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Analogue Reaction to Digital Cheating

Posted November. 21, 2004 23:29,   


As the National Police Agency ordered to expand the scope of investigation to all over the nation on November 21 on illegal acts of test-taking in this year’s College Scholastic Aptitude Test (CSAT), it is anticipated that more illegal cases will be revealed. It is pointed out that the state’s administering of the examination is remaining analogue compared to the digital generation’s highly technological way of cheating.

▽Hi-tech way of cheating –

There has been a general consensus that various ways of cheating have been used in taking the CSAT. One test taker wrote on the homepage of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources that students started to cheat on tests by using mobile phones four years ago, and it became quite prevalent as of two years ago.

A student who is involved in this large scale cheating, identified as K, said, “I heard from my high school seniors and friends that this method was used in the last two years of CSAT.” In some high schools, there are rumors that seniors are handing down this trick to juniors.

This year’s CSAT taker, identified as Kim, said that even though the supervisor collected cellular phones before the test began, there were many students who still made phone calls during the breaks.

Another method is surrogacy. Last year, two people were prosecuted for surrogating, but many people believe that there are a lot more people engaged in this kind of illegal test taking.

Even though supervisors compare the photos on the admission tickets for examination, identification cards, and the actual face of the examinees, the process is not so strict. There are even advertisements on the Internet for forging the identification cards for those who seek illegal subrogation in taking of the test.

▽ Cheating not only in CSAT –

Similar cases are being found in other examinations, such as the examination for university transfer.

In April, a group of cheaters were being caught for giving out answers through small radios in transfer admission test for some universities in Seoul. They received 1 –10 million won from examinees in return. They hired graduates of prestigious universities and disguised them as test takers. The hired graduates then sent answers to their employers, and the employers told correct answers to their clients through radio.

Illegal acts of test taking using cellular phones are said to exist in tests like Toeic, Toefl, and tests for certified real estate dealers as well.

▽ No effective remedy –

What is more serious is there is no effective countermeasure to stop these ever-advancing techniques used in cheating. Frisking might be viewed as an infringement on human rights. Installation of radio-monitoring devices in over 900 examination sites nationwide is not realistic at all. The electric searching device is way too expensive, and radio monitoring device is 500,000 to 600,000 won each, and two or three machines are needed for each examination room. In order to install radio-monitoring devices for 21,000 rooms, 7 billion won is needed.

If the type of tests is increased from current A-B types, it will cause more confusion among students as well as administrators. Temporary cut down in mobile phone communication around the examination sites will cause inconvenience to residents living nearby.

▽ What did the educational authorities do? –

Students, teachers, and citizens are criticizing the educational authorities for letting this happen in spite of the fact that the reports of alleged cheating had been filed in advance. In the homepage of the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, reports that not only mobile phones but also PDAs are being used in cheating. Also, the supervision is so lax whereas the cheating technologies advance so quickly.

Kim, another examinee in Jeju, said that cheating in tests is so widespread that many people think those who are arrested this time were simply unfortunate. “Because CSAT means so much in every student’s life, supervisors do not seem to be so strict,” Kim said.