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The Perfect Score

In a huge study of 50,000 college and 18,000 high-school students in the United States by Duke University's Center for Academic Integrity, more than 70 percent admitted to having cheated. That's up from about 56 percent in 1993 and just 26 percent in 1963. Internet plagiarism has quadrupled in the past six years, according to the same study.

At the same time, a growing number of top universities are reducing their emphasis on standardized tests. Many are even beginning to throw them out altogether in favor of interviews and recommendations-'"markers of aptitude that can't be faked.

"I do see a rise in alternative ways to augment the scores," says Gary Natriello, an education professor at Columbia University's Teachers College. "People are looking for those other signs that a student has a lot of potential."

This article, written by Emily Flynn Vencat, appeared in the March 27th, 2006 publication of Newsweek International.

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