Drastic measures as China students sit exams

2012-06-07 10:31

More than 9 million students sat China’s notoriously tough college entrance exams today, with “high-flier” rooms, nannies and even intravenous drips among the tools being employed for success.

With just 6.85 million university spots on offer this year, competition for the top institutions is intense, and attempts to cheat are rife – 1 500 people have been arrested on suspicion of selling transmitters and hard-to-detect earpieces.

Parents and students this year are also resorting to some outlandish but legal methods to ensure nothing goes wrong in the make-or-break two-day exam.

Students have reportedly been given pre-exam injections and intravenous drips designed to boost energy levels, while girls have resorted to hormone injections and birth control pills to delay menstruation.

“There are situations where girls take pills to delay their periods until after the exams,” a gynaecologist at Beijing’s Chaoyang Hospital, who declined to give his name, told AFP.

Some of the more affluent parents have rented houses close to the 7 300 exam venues across the country, while so-called “high-flier rooms” are being offered in the northern port city of Tianjin, according to the state-run China Daily newspaper.

The special hotel rooms – which cost up to 800 yuan (R1 046) more than an ordinary room – are billed as having previously been rented out to someone who scored high points in the exams.

Rooms with lucky numbers such as six – which symbolises success in Chinese culture, or eight, which represents wealth – are also favourites.

“Every year the house rental market heats up ahead of gaokao (the Chinese name for the exam),” Jin Guangze, a teacher from the Beijing Experimental High School, told the China Daily.

The exam has also given rise to a new and lucrative industry – the gaokao baomu, or “exam nannies” – who are tasked to look after students during the exam period.

“The nannies are well qualified with at least a college-level degree,” said Jennifer Liu, marketing manager at Coleclub, an agency that provides household help and has offered the service since 2009.

“They are there to help the students – cook meals, wash clothes, tutor the students and offer support for their mental wellbeing,” she told AFP.

Liu declined to disclose how much it cost to hire a nanny, but media reports say the service costs an average 4?000 yuan over a 10-day period.

Meanwhile, China’s state television has repeatedly broadcast advice to help students prepare for the exams and has warned against cheating, airing a confession of a remorseful suspect caught for aiding students to cheat.

The nation’s public security ministry said in a statement on Monday that police had busted over 100 gangs suspected of selling cheating equipment, rounding up 1 500 people with the seizure of some 60 000 devices such as earpieces.

Exam authorities said they would use wireless signal jammers and frequency detectors to prevent cheating, as well as fingerprint scanners to verify exam takers’ identity.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.