The Independent on Sunday reports that 45,000 students were found cheating in coursework and exams, by plagiarising essays or buying them in from outside agencies. In exams, the main cheating referred to is bringing mobile phones into exams. It would be interesting to know how the figures break down between cheating in coursework and in exams, and how many of the mobile phones discovered in exams were actually being used. We know of lots of cases where phones are found on candidates during exams, but most of the time in schools at least, this is because teenagers simply don’t want to part with their phones. It’s rare to find a candidate using one to cheat in the exam hall. So it would be interesting to know how many of the cases of ‘academic misconduct’ the Independent on Sunday reports were related to phones, and how many of these were candidates trying to gain an advantage. Either way, of course, it’s malpractice, and a reminder to invigilators to be constantly on the alert.
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