Mobile phone exam cheating on the rise in England

According to a new study from England’s Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), the number of students in the country who are using mobile phones to cheat on exams is rising fast:苏州美睫美甲

“Over recent years we have seen a noticeable rise in the number of mobile-phone related incidents in examination halls across the country,” said QCA Chief Executive Ken Boston.

The report found that over 4,500 students were penalized for cheating during the last round of A-level (pre-university exams) and GCSE (high school) tests, up 27 percent over last year. Of these incidents, candidates caught with mobile phones accounted for nearly a quarter of the offences.

Because of the rise of mobile phone cheating during exams, students are instructed not to bring them into exam rooms, and advised to leave them at home if possible. Students can currently be docked marks or even failed for simply having a mobile phone during exams, whether they use them to cheat or not.

The good news is that the overall number of students who are penalized remains low, with less than one incident for every 1,500 exams written. Other offenses included plagiarism, disruptive behavior, failing to follow the invigilator’s instructions, and cheating using more traditional methods.

Cheating has been a problem for examiners as long as there have been exams, but does the rise of wireless technology present a special problem for education? Traditional mobile phones would not be much use for in-exam cheating, but being able to text or SMS your friend who wrote the same exam yesterday (or last year) would be a much more discreet method of cheating. However, educators can adjust in much the same way as they did to the cheating possibilities provided by programmable calculators: by simply not allowing them to be used.

Is the rise of mobile phone cheating indicative of a larger societal problem? Already there are some concerns about the fact that today’s generation of gadget-obsessed kids may sacrifice concentration and accuracy to the holy grail of multitasking. However, the low percentages of cheating seem to indicate that the traditional examination is not under an immediate threat. What will happen to the education system when students get Google feeds directly implanted into their visual cortex is, of course, another question.

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