A copyright infringement lawsuit, which shuttered a site that improperly distributed GMAT questions, could spell trouble for the more than 1,000 prospective M.B.A. students who used the service, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports. A district court in Virginia awarded the test administrator, the Graduate Management Admission Council, $2.3 million in damages from ScoreTop.com, which offered a sneak peak at "live" test questions and unauthorized study materials to its users.
GMAC, which is now analyzing the site's payment information, posted a message at ScoreTop.com that students who used the site will have their test scores cancelled, be barred from taking the exam again, have their business schools notified, and may be subject to prosecution. "This is illegal," a GMAC spokeswoman told Business Week. "We have a hard drive, and we're going to be analyzing it. If you used the site and paid your $30 to cheat, your scores will be canceled. They're in big trouble."
Business schools say it is too early to tell what their response will be, and because prospective students who are most competitive are the ones who tend to use these services, the fallout will likely be limited to the top schools. And for the students who used the site, which has been in existence since 2003, and are already enrolled in M.B.A. programs? According to one administrator, the punishment could range "from a slap on the wrist to expulsion."