More than nine million students packed exam halls across China for the opening day of the country’s university entrance exam last week – with attempts to stop cheating even leading to bans on metal bra clasps.
Students in the northeastern province of Jilin were banned from wearing clothing with metal parts and education authorities installed metal detectors in exam centres to clamp down on “wireless cheating devices."
Authorities have become increasingly concerned about the risk of examinees using devices such as smartphones – some of which have become smaller and easier to hide – as an illicit aid during tests.
Some measures to ensure students reach the annual test on time can be extreme. Pictures posted online showed an amphibious fire engine ploughing through water to deliver a boy dressed in school uniform to the exam in a remote part of Inner Mongolia.
The test has come under fierce criticism on China for putting enormous pressure on students, and as a symbol of educational inequality, with many low-income students whose parents have migrated to cities barred from taking the exam in their new homes.