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Test impersonator sits for the GMAT more than 500 times

by / / Blog

Do you believe it’s possible for someone to sit in on an exam or test, impersonating a student or test taker over 500 times?


More than 50 years ago, 1,291 candidates took the first Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) test for Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs. Today, more than 250,000 people around the world sit the GMAT test every year. Most people sit the exam once, two if they persist and desire a better score. Lu Xu on the other hand, has taken the exam over 500 times in his lifetime.

For half a decade, between 1998 and 2003, Xu, was taking the test for other candidates. By counterfeiting others’ passports and other forms of identification, Xu was compensated with up to $5,000 for acing a GMAT exam and getting the applicant into an MBA program. Xu was a master of disguise, successfully sitting and passing exams for both men and women.

Xu was eventually caught and sentenced to serve 2 years and eight months in prison. Reflecting on his life story, Xu asserts that taking the GMAT test was always a stimulating adventure. As he professes, he was irresistibly drawn to the excitement the GMAT had in store for him each time he had to sit the exam and he self-proclaims himself a GMAT mobile database. As a holder of various Master’s degrees — including of course an MBA —, Xu offers GMAT tutoring classes today.

The Educational Testing Services that was administering the tests during Xu’s impersonating activities, cancelled the scores of about 160 cheating applicants’ tests, that have been aced by Xu.

A lot of concern has been raised as to the impermeability of such a popular exam. There’s ongoing debate on the urgency of improving exam proctoring — given how easily and frequently a single person was able to tiptoe around ID verification processes by simply forgetting his wallet.


ProctorFree offers automated, on-demand exam proctoring and student credentialing for exams and tests. Cheating-deterring algorithms track the candidate’s activity to ensure the validity of the student’s score and thus help maintain accrediting body’s integrity.

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