College Entrance Exam Cheating…In China!

College Entrance Exam Cheating…In China!


Illegal businesses aid student exam corruption.

Beijing — Committing a crime in the People’s Republic of China can lead to serious consequences, with the Chinese government known to execute criminals for bribing an official or stealing historical artifacts reports “The Economist.” [1] One “new” crime that has reared its ugly head in the PRC is a complex cheating scandal involving that nation’s annual college entrance exam, whereby 62 people have been detained by Chinese police for selling electronic devices used for cheating.

National College Examinations

China’s national college entrance exams will be held June 7 and 8 this year and are administered by the country’s Ministry of Education. It represents the largest test of its kind in the world, surpassing the SAT in the number of students participating.

Because of the test’s huge effect on the lives students — where they will go to school and, indeed, how well they’ll live their lives following college, cheating has become a problem. This year’s scandal, however, offers something new as a “ring of illegal businesses” has resorted to offering students electronic devices to aid in their cheating. The Chinese news agency, Xinhua, reports that wireless headphones and two-way radios were being sold to aid students. [2]

In the most recent incident, city police in Xiamen, Fujian Province, held two suspects on June 4 for openly retailing electronic cheating aids and counterfeit examination documents, the latter said to contain content from this year’s entrance exams.

Disqualified Students

Although the punishment for the business people isn’t yet known, the Chinese government has said that students caught cheating or plagiarizing during the exam will be disqualified from taking the exam. Moreover, these students will be barred from signing up for next year’s exam as well, setting back the college aspirations for some by at least two years.

Ministry officials, aware that only a minuscule number of students cheat each year, have nonetheless sought to preserve the test’s integrity by employing an “iron hand and zero tolerance,” states Xinhua. Thus, the penalty for students, although severe, may be nowhere near the consequences the accused business people will face in a country where due process is often not part of the legal equation. [3]


[1] The Economist; China and the Death Penalty: High Executioners; July 28, 2010

[2] Xinhua; Chinese Police Detain 62 Suspects Involved in College Entrance Exam Cheating Schemes; June 6, 2011

[3] Tsinghua Law School; He Haibo; The Dawn of the Due Process; March 8, 2011


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