Test takers make final preparations for the National Postgraduate Entrance Examination in Fuyang, Anhui province, before the exam started on Dec 26.[Lu Qijian/China Daily]
The Ministry of Education has reported a suspected cheating incident in an important exam on the weekend to the public security authorities and will crack down on any cheating in exams, according to the ministry’s micro blog on Dec 27.
The post came after anonymous Internet users alleged that some questions and answers on the National Postgraduate Entrance Examination, which was held on Dec 26 and Dec 27, were released in advance.
The Internet users posted screenshots from social networking apps showing questions and answers that were going to be on the exam.
The ministry said in the post that it had no tolerance for cheating and had asked public security departments to conduct an investigation.
“Those who disrupt testing and harm the equity of education by cheating will get the punishment they deserve,” the ministry said.
According to a newly amended Chinese Criminal Law, those who organize, assist or are involved in cheating during national exams could be sentenced to three to seven years in prison.
As the first graduate school entrance exam after the amendment, the exam on the weekend was dubbed by Internet users as “the one supervised the most strictly”.
As a national exam with more than 1 million test takers every year, the National Postgraduates Entrance Examination is very important for students’ academic life, and cheating incidents have been exposed from time to time.
The Education Ministry has also taken some measures, such as canceling testing results and noting cheating in personal records.
Number of exam takers bounces up
Statistics from the Ministry of Education showed that 1.77 million students registered for the National Postgraduate Entrance Examination for 2016, which was held over the weekend, marking the first rise after two successive decreases.
Chen Zhiwen, editor-in-chief of eol.cn, a leading education portal in China, said taking the exam and attending master’s programs have maintained their popularity among Chinese students as a result of China’s current economy and employment situation.
“The number of college graduates in China has kept growing, and graduates have found it increasingly difficult to land a good job. These factors have driven large numbers of students to take the National Postgraduate Entrance Examination and pursue further education on campus,” Chen said.
According to a survey of 38,000 students by eol.cn, 43 percent said they chose to take the exam to add to their competitiveness when job hunting.
The survey also found that 60 percent of registered test takers this year were female and 40 percent male. Business administration, accounting and finance continued to be the most popular programs.