China uses drones against exam cheaters

Authorities start using unmanned aerial vehicle to counter innovative cheating methods of national college exam entrees

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

More than 9 million Chinese high school students took the National College Entrance Exam this weekend. The critical test, also known as Gaokao is a make-or-break moment for Chinese students because it is the gateway to higher education. Gaokao takers prepare for years for this exam known to be one of the hardest in the world.

Because of the importance of the event, wide scale precautions are taken in every exam centre. Many test takers however, seek out ways to cheat. In the past, the officials discovered many innovative cheating methods, including improvised mobile technology or imposter exam takers.  

Some test takers attempt to use makeshift wireless hidden cameras to broadcast the questions to their accomplices, who then “whisper” the correct answers through tiny wireless headphones.

As technology advances and these wireless devices get smaller and smaller, they are becoming harder to detect by traditional methods.

To counter innovative methods of cheating, authorities from the Luoyang city in Henan province of Central China started using an unmanned aerial vehicle, or in other words, a state of the art drone to catch wireless signals and identify cheaters.

An official from a related government agency, Lan Zhigang told AP “a drone has its advantages. In an urban area full of tall buildings, various barriers limit the operating range of devices on ground, while the drone can rise up to 500 metres and detect signals over the whole city."

The Chinese government aims to achieve meritocracy by the National College Entrance Exam, an exam that provides equal opportunity to citizens from every social class.

TRTWorld and agencies