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Earlier this week, a new poster asked for solutions to a word-substitution question. I spent a good 15 minutes writing an answer, and immediately I posted it I remembered that the question is featured in an "English Fluency" test that is widely used throughout Vietnam and Cambodia by businesses and civilian government service agencies, including even the PPSV and diplomatic service.

Does something like this warrant just a question in a comment, or is it blatant-worthy?

Anecdotally, I have seen more than a few obvious test-takers, and I wonder whether there is a specific policy in place to address this concern. Has it been beaten to death in Meta already?

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  • Related: Policy on homework questions – ColleenV Jul 24 '16 at 12:23
  • I'm not sure what the "something like this" is. Is the problem that the question didn't mention the test it was taken from? Or that someone is looking for the answer to a test question? – J.R. Jul 24 '16 at 23:40
  • @J.R. The latter - and I wasn't entirely clear. I'm concerned that a person will be certified as fluent when they aren't, through our good offices, in addition to the possibility that, as latency decreases, our answers could be used by a test-taker in real time. – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Jul 25 '16 at 0:45
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    If the test can be subverted so easily, it's not a very good test. In my opinion, it's not our responsibility to investigate whether people are cheating or try to prevent using the site for cheating. We might be helping a bunch of people study for a test so they don't have to cheat. As long as we stay away from Submitting Answers that merely answer the question, and don't answer questions that show no effort beyond copying and pasting from the test, I think we're OK. – ColleenV Jul 25 '16 at 3:02
  • @ColleenV tyvm for the useful link – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Jul 25 '16 at 3:18
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    The flip side of it is, if they come here and get the right answer explained to them, then they are increasing their fluency. All the more reason that a good answer explains why something is true, and doesn't merely identify the correct answer. I don't have any problem with ELL being used as a resource when people are prepping for an English proficiency test, but we owe it to those learners to give answers that will actually help them become more proficient, not merely tell them which bubble to fill in with their #2 pencil. – J.R. Jul 25 '16 at 9:45

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