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Cheating on Police Exam by "Hem" Sounds

Posted December. 31, 2004 22:58,   


After the recent cheating scandal on the aptitude test for university admission, another shocking cheating case has been uncovered. In the state-run recruitment exam for police officers, some applicants were involved in organized cheating.

On December 31, 2004, a Daegu local police agency requested warrants for the arrest of four individuals (three of which are police trainees), Oh(30), Cho(28), Chon(29) and Choi (28,unemployed), for the charge of exchanging answers at the exam in conspiracy with one another.

According to the police, they were acquainted with one another at a preparatory institute for civil servant recruitment, and they exchanged answers by using watches with seconds hands and dry cough sounds on July 11, 2004, at the exam held in a high school in Daegu.

The exam consisted of five subjects, each with twenty multiple-choice questions. During the 100 minutes of exam, the cheaters each spent 60 minutes working out questions of the part they had predetermined to complete, exchanged answers for 25 minutes, and filled in the answer sheet for the last 15 minutes. They synchronized the seconds hands of their watches in advance, and carefully planned to give one answer per 15 seconds starting at 11:00 a.m., or after 60 minutes from the start of the exam.

Among the four, Cho took charge of two subjects, and the others undertook one each. They concentrated on only studying their part, and had several rehearsals in advance.

By cheating, they scored between 76 and 78 on the written test, which is above the average. However, Choi was eliminated at the interview portion of recruitment. The other three were admitted to the Central Police School last August, and were currently undergoing the 24 weeks of training for new police officers. They were scheduled to be officially employed as police officers on February 11.

Following the report that cheating was conducted at the police recruitment exam, the police thoroughly examined the applicants’ answer sheets. As a result, the police found that those individuals marked 20 identical, wrong answers. Oh, Cho, and Chon were practicing at local police stations when summoned for investigation by the police. They made a full confession at the inquiry. The police invalidated their employment, and further investigations are proceeding to see if there are more individuals involved.

Yong-Kyun Jeong cavatina@donga.com