10 Ways Students Have Cheated In Exams

NUMBER 10: IMPOSTER ALERT Ever wished someone could take a particularly difficult exam for you? Well, in 2015, fifteen Chinese nationals made that wish a reality with an organized scheme of cheating The international students, who were all sitting entrance exams for colleges in America, paid imposters $6,000 each to come and take the exam in their name

They then mocked up fake versions of their passports, including an image of the fake candidate Investigations led by the District of Western Pennsylvania revealed that this scheme had been going on for at least four years The students involved were banned from making future applications, but the increasing frequency of cheating has led to harsher punishments in China It is now a criminal offense with perpetrators facing up to a whopping 7 years behind bars if found guilty Sources: Time, Independent, New York Times

NUMBER 9: DRAG ACT If you haven’t got the money to pull of an elaborate scheme of hiring imposters and faking passports, perhaps this next method is more your speed In 2005, a Russian youth offered to pose as his friend and sit an entrance exam at Moscow University on their behalf The problem with this plan? His friend was a woman Dressed in a skirt, wig, lots of make-up and improbably large fake breasts, the man entered the exam hall Invigilators were not fooled, however

Upon noticing the obviously fake breasts, they were immediately suspicious that a female student was attempting to smuggle notes into the exam When they investigated further, they were amazed to discover the candidate was actually a male imposter The man was banished from the exam and the woman whose place he was taking was forbidden from applying to the university again Sources: BBC, Sky News NUMBER 8: INVISIBLE EAR-PIECES In a move apparently straight out of a spy movie, students have taken to using invisible earpiece devices to cheat in their exams

What happens is that exam candidates record useful notes on their mobile phones or MP3 players so that – during the exam – they can listen to them wirelessly using hidden earpieces The British Qualifications and Curriculum Authority says that this problem is currently on the increase One company who make such devices, Examear, sells their earpieces globally You would think that they would at least bother pretending the product was a cool spywear gadget, but no… they overtly advertise it as a handy tool for exam cheats They use the advertising slogan ‘Helping students succeed… worldwide!’ and their website states that ‘the model was especially designed for high school’ Sources: BBC, Examear

com, Telegraph NUMBER 7: GET YOUR TEACHER TO CHEAT FOR YOU With increasing pressure on schools to produce good results, there is a growing trend of teachers – and not just students – cheating In the United Kingdom, more than 260 school or college staff were penalized in 2015 for exam malpractice Meanwhile, in 2002 nine teachers and school administrators from Atlanta were convicted of organizing a large-scale scheme to inflate students’ scores on state tests at 44 different schools The administrators involved had encouraged teachers to change their students answers, to give the illusion of educational progress, throughout the state

The courts didn’t take the charges lightly Three of the defendants were sentenced to 7 years in prison, plus 2,000 hours of community service and a $25,000 fine The others received one year in prison and four on probation Sources: BBC, The Times, The Guardian NUMBER 6: WRITING ANSWERS ON A TAMPON A study conducted by the forum ‘Student Room’ found that 1 in 10 students between the ages of 12 and 24 had cheated on an exam at some point in their educational lives

One girl on the forum confessed to writing crucial study material onto a tampon, which she then placed in her pocket in the knowledge that sanitary products were among the few items allowed to be brought into the exam hall She would then ask to go to the toilet, knowing that she could check her revision notes without suspicion Another girl admitted that she had jotted notes onto her thighs, which were hidden with a skirt and thick tights However, during the exam, she was able to stretch her tights so she could read the answers beneath Sources: Student Room, Women’s Health News, BBC

NUMBER 5: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST In 2015, the story of 17-year-old Simon Schräder from Münster in Germany went viral when the media learnt of his ingenious scheme to learn the answers to his upcoming exams Schräder shrewdly read into his country’s laws and decided he could take advantage of the freedom of information law to request the answers to his papers He set his local ministry the legally permitted one-month deadline, which – annoyingly for him – fell a couple of days after his first exam Despite this, the publicity the schoolboy received for his fiendishly clever plan did help him grab the attentions of recruiters, who provided him with a job offer for when he finished university Sources: The Guardian, Independent, Techworm

NUMBER 4: HIDING NOTES IN A HEADSCARF One cheating technique that has been at the center of some debate is the method of hiding notes in a headscarf Girls in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia have all reportedly admitted to this, as well as using the headscarves to cover bluetooth devices This has sparked some controversial responses, with some Indian exam boards banning scarves during tests, including those worn as part of an individual’s religion Of course, this has been met with criticism for discriminating against those of particular faiths In Uttar Pradesh, India, a Muslim girl refused to take off her headscarf and chose instead to not sit the test

Similarly, a nun from South India was not allowed to sit her medical school entrance exam when she wouldn’t remove her veil and cross Sources: Scroll, Telegraph India, Times of India NUMBER 3: SMARTWATCH SCAM Cheating in the 21st century has become incredibly high-tech, with a plethora of gadgets and gizmos available to dishonest students One particularly sophisticated scam was uncovered in 2016 and resulted in 3,000 students in Thailand having to retake their exams During an entrance exam for Rangsit University in Bangkok, three particularly bright candidates filmed their papers using tiny inbuilt cameras, hidden in their glasses

These images were then streamed live online to the smartwatches of other students sitting the same paper But the orchestrators of this intricate scheme didn’t do it out of the goodness of their hearts… students had to pay up to $24,000 to receive the answers! After the invigilators noticed the particularly bulky glasses of those involved, the exam was cancelled The perpetrators were blacklisted from the university and banned from applying again Sources: BBC, Computer World, International Business Times NUMBER 2: TIME ZONE CHEATING Particularly in large countries, such as America, exams are complicated by students from varying time zones sitting the same paper but at slightly different times

A pair of students – one from New York and one from Hawaii – used their geographical difference to their advantage Because New York is 6 hours ahead of Hawaii, the student in New York was able to fax the details of their multiple-choice exam to their friend before they sat it Geniusly, the Hawaii student then carved the answers into pencils, which they sold to classmates for a staggering $400 each The entrepreneurial students were rumbled, however, when teachers noticed how many students had the uniformly marked pencils Sources: BBC, Time and Date, Times Higher Education

NUMBER 1: SCALING THE WALLS Some families go to great lengths to ensure their children do well at school And none more so than parents in India, where pupils face tremendous pressure to pass exams in order to continue their education In 2015, images from India’s eastern Bihar state went viral, as they appeared to show relatives scaling the walls of the exam hall to pass notes and paper planes with answers to the students Bihar education officials launched an inquiry into the ridiculous – and blatant – cheating, with those involved having to resit or face expulsion India has a growing problem with exam dishonesty, with a single week in March 2015 seeing 600 students in eastern India expelled for cheating

Many of these had been caught smuggling notes or textbooks into their exams Sources: Telegraph, Time Magazine, New York Daily News

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