China considers jail time for cheating students

Associated Press
Sept. 15, 2005


SHANGHAI, China - Exam cheats, think again - instead of four years of college, you might get seven years in prison.

The government is considering a law calling for sentences of three to seven years for particularly egregious cases of exam fraud, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Thursday.

The law covers national-level exams such as the college admission tests, graduate admissions exams and national English competency exams, Xinhua said.

It won't apply to individual schools' internal exams, professional tests such as those for accountants, or exams run by overseas bodies such as the English as a Foreign Language.

Punishments will depend on the "impact on society" of individual infractions.

Last year, at least seven teachers and five students were arrested in a cheating scam in the central province of Henan. Phone text messages and digital cameras were used to pass questions to teachers outside the exam hall, who looked up the answers and messaged them to students for a fee.