Page last updated at 08:54 GMT, Friday, 5 June 2009 09:54 UK

China's hi-tech answer to cheats

By Quentin Sommerville
BBC News, Beijing

File photo of Chinese parents waiting outside a college entrance exam
Chinese children come under extreme parental pressure to pass exams

In China, video cameras are being installed in almost 60,000 examination halls to prevent cheating in next week's national college entrance exams.

In the past, some students have been caught using hi-tech equipment, including tiny radio receivers, to get help with exam questions.

For three days next week, more than 10 million Chinese students will sit exams to determine their college entrance.

The exams are seen as potentially life-changing and the competition is fierce.

Some students have been using increasingly sophisticated cheating methods to get ahead.

Tiny radio receivers, mobile phones connected to teams of university students, and illegally obtained question sheets, are just some of the scams that have been uncovered recently.

In April, eight parents and teachers caught helping children cheat were sentenced to prison.

China takes the cheating very seriously.

So as well as video cameras and metal detectors in examination halls, cheats will have to outwit the public security departments, the armed police and the State Bureau for Protection of Confidential Documents - all of whom have been drafted in, to ensure fair play in this year's exams.

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