Planet China

The hearing test

“You snooze, you lose” is a familiar motivational phrase but netizens in China have coined a derivative: “you sneeze, you lose”. That newer phrase follows a cheating incident during an exam for architects in Changde.

One of the candidates taking the qualification sneezed loudly during the exam and the sheer force of his bodily reflex popped out a small earpiece, alerting the invigilators that he was being fed the answers.

Legal Daily reports that a woman could be heard delivering solutions through the device and when the other examinees were checked, 40 of them were found to be cheating in a similar manner.

Hunanese police then tracked the wireless signal to an employee at an education consulting firm. He was operating the transmitter in a nearby café with further radio links to his bosses back at homebase. When police then raided the consultancy, they found advanced wireless equipment and the types of chops typically used to forge educational documents. At least 13 people were arrested.

In the ultracompetitive world of Chinese education cheating is a recurring problem, although netizens responded to the news of the cheating in Changde with more amusement than alarm.

One of the more practical suggestions: all candidates should have to sniff chilli powder at the beginning of their exams to make them sneeze out any of their illicit listening devices.


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