Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Unlikely possible on the AP exams

Reminder: The College Board does not allow this or any other kind of delivery of any kind of cheat sheets during AP exams. In India 300 people have been arrested, 750 students expelled, and 4 exam centers have been closed.

Parents deliver exam cheat sheets in Bihar, India.

One wall climber was a photographer

This reminds me of stories about the Imperial exams in ancient China.
"While many artistic figures were perhaps hampered by their own creativity in tackling the relentless rote learning required by the exam system, others succumbed to the temptation to cheat, and suffered the consequences of being caught. The renowned Ming period painter, Tang Ying, resurrected his career through his painting after his hopes of an official position were shattered when he was caught cheating in the exam hall. Before winning influential friends and patrons through his talent, Tang was reduced to poverty as a consequence of his dishonesty.

"The sheer volume of knowledge required to succeed in the Imperial examinations elevated cheating to something of an art form in China. Miniature books were devised to be concealed in the palm of a hand; shirts had important passages from the Confucian Classics sewn, in miniscule lettering, to their insides; fans were constructed with pass-notes on their obverse. Other duplicities included hiring veteran scholars to sit the exams in one's stead, and the simple expedient of copying a neighbour in the exam hall. At certain times, bribery of examiners was commonplace.

"As every Chinese teacher can attest these cheating methods, refined over centuries - are alive and well today.

"One lasting legacy of an inflexible and daunting examination system is that Chinese students have become experts at subverting such systems. But the most important legacy of the imperial examination system is surely the massive academic effort channelled into the National University Entrance Examinations in China each year."

The Sixth Edition of What You Need to Know is available from the publisher.



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