China has come up with an innovative way to fight cheating on college entrance exams – drones. In the high stakes game of getting into college, the country will spare no expense.
According to MSN, two college exams on June 8 were watched from overhead by specially equipped drones in Luoyang city in central China’s Henan province. The drone was designed to scan for signals being sent to or from smuggled devices.
Lan Zhigang, from Luoyang’s Radio Supervision and Regulation Bureau, explained “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 meters (1,640 feet) and detect signals over the whole city.”
The added security comes at a high price. The drone, which is as large a gas station pump when extended, cost tens of thousands of dollars. The price seems even greater considering that the drone didn’t find anything.
Extreme solutions for extreme testing.
College entrance exams are not taken lightly in China. According to the Times of India, about 17,000 police officers were deployed around Luoyang city to redirect traffic at testing centers and increase security.
The officers also set up first aid stations – for anxious parents suffering from heart attacks while waiting.
The national college exams are so important because for many impoverished children, they’re the difference between a comfortable white-collar life or the struggles of a migrant worker.
Fox News reports that almost all Chinese high school students have to take the exams, and more than 9 million students began the two to three-day testing process on Sunday.
Students suffer months of endless cramming to take the tests and parents come along to the city test centers to provide support (and pressure).
With the stakes so high, many try to cheat their way into a better life, hence the need for drone security.
The Education Ministry said that since late May, they’ve already arrested 23 cheaters. CNN showed off some of the creative ways cheaters try to pass, including headphones sewn into shirts and camera’s built into drinking bottles.
Kotaku reported on one student who had a camera built into his glasses. The James Bond device would allow the test taker to photograph a page of the college exam material using a coin to snap the shot. Then it would transmit that data to an unknown location. How the student received the answers is still unclear.
Those caught cheating are barred from the tests for up to three years.
The giant drone is the government’s answer to these sophisticated cheaters. Still, one has to wonder what’s easier, vigorous study or designing spy devices? Here are some of the Chinese college entrance exam questions (translated), how would you do?
[Image Credit: Getty Images]