The National College Entrance Exam, commonly called “the gaokao,” determines access to higher education and is taken annually by up to 10 million students across the country.
The pressure caused by the exam can be enormous, so enormous in fact that some studies have linked the test to student suicides. On top of that, fear of failure has pushed some exam-takers into cheating, a serious issue the authorities appear to have trouble getting on top of, not least because of the increasingly sophisticated methods employed.
Some students, for example, have worn eye glasses with tiny cameras that relay images of the question paper to an accomplice outside the exam room. The answers are then fed back to the student via an earpiece.
In an effort to combat this high-tech cheating method, the authorities in Luoyan, a city about 400 miles south of Beijing, have come up with the idea of using quadcopters. The quadcopter will hover above the exam room. If it detects a signal, the information is then relayed to a teacher’s tablet. By flying the drone around the general area, that teacher can then use the system’s specially designed app to pinpoint the signal’s source.
It’s not yet known how effective the technology really is, but the authorities have made students well aware of its drone-based efforts to catch cheaters, hoping the mere sight of the remotely controlled copter will be enough to persuade students to leave their camera-equipped specs and earpieces at home