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Exam cheats exposed by high-tech methods

Edexcel bullish about success of security changes

The Edexcel examinations board says it is delighted with the success of new high-tech security methods to stop teenagers cheating in GCSE and A-level exams.

After introducing methods such as electronic tagging of question papers, Edexcel said it saw fewer 'serious incidents' in 2007.

The exam board believes that teenagers now feel that they are likely to get caught and so had decided not to try.

Edexcel uses a range of methods to snare cheats. These include what it calls "Micro-text" technology, where the school name is hidden in microscopic writing within a single letter on an exam paper.

This in turn acts as proof that the question paper is genuine, and serves as a way to trace the paper back to the school.

Edexcel also fits containers of exam papers with RFID tags to prevent tampering, uses software analysis to prevent copying and is investigating the potential of recording oral exams using MP3 technology.

See also:

Teaching kids to cheat smarter

Edexcel managing director Jerry Jarvis told the Press Association: "Last year we had the best year ever of attempted cheating - we had zero incidents.

"Eighty percent of kids that cheat get caught anyway and it's devastating when they do get caught. The chances of cheating and getting away with it have gone down again as far as we are concerned."

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