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Can cheats proper?

24 May 2017

Accountancy bodies have no plans to beef up their exam invigilation following reports of a surge in hi-tech cheating at universities.

A leading national newspaper recently discovered there has been a 42% rise in cheating cases involving gadgets such as mobile phones and hidden earpieces since 2012.

Among the worse offenders when it comes to cheating were apparently Queen Mary University of London, Newcastle University and the University of Surrey.

There are numerous websites that openly target students with devices that can be used for cheating. Monorean even advertises itself as an online store to buy invisible earpieces for ‘cheating in exams’.

A company spokesman claimed they we selling easily 200 units a year in the UK. The devices cost anything from £50 to £350 and come with a speaker as small as a grain of rice.

MPs and university leaders have now said that students may need to be frisked for these tiny devices.

PQ magazine asked all the accountancy bodies if they had plans to increase security at exam halls.

CIMA has had only a tiny number of disciplinary cases and none have involved invisible earpieces. It explained its exam centre partner Person VUE does not allow any personal items into the testing room and candidates have to empty their pockets to show they are not carrying any prohibited items with them. The centres also have CCTV.

ACCA revealed to date it had had no instances of any students caught with invisible earpieces. It said there are no plans to increase security in relation to such challenges at this point.

Over at the AAT there was more concerned with plagiarism of other students assessments and collusion between students. Again it said there were no plans to increase or change security at assessment centres at this time.

The ICAEW had also not caught another using invisible earpieces. However, because many its exams are open book, students can bring in their own materials.
As a result it believes there are fewer ways to cheat effectively in these exams, which are heavily focused on the application of knowledge and demonstration of skills.

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