In China this year, 7 June was the day prospective tertiary education hopefuls sat down to take the national university entrance examination. It’s a high stakes affair that has a great impact on each young person’s future.
Given the pressure these students and their family face there’s no question some will resort to cheating to get through. This year alone 9,120,000 people will take the exam. Considering those numbers, even if the cheating rate is only 0.1 percent, there is still a serious problem.
Starting this year the government has begun clamping down further on the growing problem of entrance exam cheats.
The two most popular methods of cheating are hiring a ringer to take the test for the actual student, or using wireless communication devices such as hidden cameras and earpieces to communicate with outside supporters.
To combat imposters, every testing site has begun to use fingerprint scanners to verify the test takers identity. It’s a little hard to gauge the effectiveness of these scanners though as it would seem to require having all of nine million people’s fingerprints on record.
In searching for any hidden communication devices the government has brought out metal detecting wands that hopefully can sniff out hard to see ear pieces or cameras mounted in eye glasses.
Altogether these are said by authorities to be the strictest counter-cheating measures ever taken. Although the idea of pinning the future of one’s education practically on a single test, as is done in China, Japan, and South Korea, seems rather extreme to this writer, it’s good to see steps being taken to ensure a fair playing field.