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Five Hundred Fifty Suspicious Text Messages on College Examination Day Discovered

Five Hundred Fifty Suspicious Text Messages on College Examination Day Discovered

Posted November. 29, 2004 23:02,   


According to an analysis of the cell phone text messages transmitted on the day of the nationwide College Scholastic Ability Test, police found hundreds of messages resembling the answers to the exams, prompting a renewed round of investigations on the cheating incidents.

Hur Joon-young, head of the Seoul District Policy Agency, announced on November 29, “…with the aid of the mobile phone companies, we are in the process of analyzing text messages sent on November 17 that comprise only of numbers”.

According to analyses of 248,000 among 300,000,000 text messages sent on the day of the examinations, provided by SK Telecom and LG Telecom, 550 messages that only consist of numbers sent during the exam period were found to match or resemble the answers to the tests. KTF submitted an additional 17,000 messages to the police on the same afternoon.

A police source stated that “according to this analysis of text messages, it is highly probable that cheating during the college entrance exams may have occurred,” and that “if one group had transmitted the answers to multiple recipients, the size of the cheating group could be substantial.”

Previously, the police asked each mobile phone company to preserve the text messages sent on November 17, taking into account the one-week preservation period of the text messages. On November 26, the police were issued a search warrant from the court.

The police also asked for the assistance of the Korea Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation on November 25, and received 6,832 names of students that were retaking the examinations and had submitted the application forms individually through the regional Offices of Education.

This action was taken as those retaking the examinations could submit the forms individually, thus making it possible to put their own pictures on the forms and take the exams by proxy.

The Seoul Police Agency requested that the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education look into the application form records of the 6,832 students, along with their residence ID photos, which they would then use to compare with the application form photographs.

The Jeonnam District Police Agency arrested two additional students, including Park(18) of Gwangju K High School, for receiving money from 11 students from 11 high schools in Gwangju and using their juniors to transmit the exam answers (interference with a government official in the execution of his duties by deceptive plan).

As of now, 16 people have been arrested in relation to the cheating incidents, including the proxy examination takers, of the college entrance examinations within the Gwangju area.

The Gwangju City Office of Education plans to send a task force starting from December 15, requesting the recruiting colleges not to have prejudice of the students in the Gwangju area and calling for a fair evaluation.

Jin-Kyun Kil leon@donga.com needjung@donga.com