London, May 27 : Those who think that cheating in exams is child's play will now have to think twice before peeing into their neighbour's copy, thanks to the recently developed James Bond-style gadgets.
Examiners have now resorted to use James Bond-style high-tech gadgets to curb growing cheating incidents in UK examinations like GCSEs and A-levels.
One of the biggest exam boards, Edexcel, has claimed that they have made cheating in exams a lot more difficult by tagging papers with radio transmitters and microscopic identification in order to make sure that the papers reach the specific school.
They are also planning to go for secure boxes containing papers that could be opened only by codes transmitted from mobile phones. They have also claimed to have reduced serious incidents last year by implementing a hi-tech approach to put off cheats
"Eighty per cent of kids that cheat get caught anyway and it is devastating when they do get caught. The chances of cheating and getting away with it have gone down again," The Telegraph quoted Jerry Jarvis, Edexcel's managing director, as saying.
The move to use these security measures come in the wake of preventing cheating incidents as more than a million students prepare to sit GCSEs and A-levels. In fact, a high degree of cheating has made the Examination Officers' Association to call for using CCTV by test centres to catch students.
In 2007, an increased number of pupils were specifically coached to answer questions by teachers, what one may refer to as "teaching to the test," for boosting their position on league tables.
Now, Edexcel will be using technology to scann the papers to notice any curious patterns or similarities in pupils' answers, in order to do away with collusion. It comes in line with the so-called "Turnitin" tool which checks essays against billions of web pages to detect plagiarism. Already the board is using the system to pinpoint results that are significantly out of place from what is expected.
After being successfully tried last year, the papers will now be attached with radio frequency identification devices, like those attached to CDs and clothes in shops, which are scanned before the papers are dispatched from examination headquarters and tracked to ensure that they reach the right school.
In fact, in order to avoid any kind of breach in papers' security, they will also seal the bags, ensuring the contents are not tampered with during transit. And after reaching the schools, the papers are to be strictly put into a strong safe or cabinet, kept in a room with solid floors, ceilings, walls and doors with keys held by two or three staff only.
Nobody is allowed to open the packets until examination day, and if in case the thieves manage to dodge the security and manage to get hold of the papers and photocopy the contents, the board would still have two more fail-safe devices.
Usually, question paper identification bar-codes are specific to individual scripts and "microtexting" is being used during the printing process, with the name of each school or college embedded into the questions printed on each paper in text invisible to the naked eye.