CHINA

Cheating their way into uni, Bond style

Cheating is as old as exams themselves. In China however, cheating involves a cunning blend of technology, innovation, and acting. Rubbers with miniature screens, rulers with inbuilt cameras, earpieces... we're a long way from cheat sheets and writing on the inside of your pencil case. Read more...

Advertising

Cheating is as old as exams themselves. In China however, cheating involves a cunning blend of technology, innovation, and acting. Rubbers with miniature screens, rulers with inbuilt cameras, earpieces... we're a long way from cheat sheets and writing on the inside of your pencil case.

Each June more than 10 million students pass their gaokao exam in order to get into university. It's a crucial test for degree hopefuls - 40% of those who take the test fail, and the remaining are chosen by institutions depending on their results.   

The secret to passing the test has been discovered in Songyuan College in Jilin province, north of the country. As revealed by daily paper China Youth, the students in the exam hall transmit the questions to those on the exterior using mini cameras or mini microphones implanted in a rubber or a ruler. They then receive the answers through an earpiece or a mini screen built into a piece of stationary.

The extent of the phenomenon is difficult to determine. According to the local press, the Songyuan police identified 33 college students who cheated during their exam and subsequently arrested 34 people suspected of fitting stationary with equipment.

Left, the rubber which shows the answers, right, one that transmits the candidate's voice. Source: Xinhuanet.

 

A ruler fitted with a screen for displaying answers. Source: Xinhuanet.

An earpiece used for passing the answers to the candidate. Source: Sohu.

 

This is an illustration of how the system works: students who need help in passing the exam obtain an earpiece, which they then hook up to the airwaves of a "cheat gang" who send the answers in return for money.

"You can either bribe the invigilators or use these technical methods"

Wang Jun (not his real name) is the father of a student who passed his gaokoa at Songyuan.

This cheating business is unbelievable. I know one of my son's classmates who got 549 points in the gaokao this year, whereas before he only managed to gain 300 or 400. How come? By cheating of course!

There are two main methods of cheating here. You can either bribe the exam invigilators (there are eight in each exam) and the professor in charge (for the answers), which costs around 4,000 Yuan [€420] in total. Or you can use these technical methods, which costs around 5,000 Yuan [€520].

This cheating business makes the gaokao completely unfair for other students. My son was very depressed about it, knowing that the cheaters had taken his place in the best universities. I want the Songyuan authorities to seriously investigate this affair and hand out punishments to those who deserve them."