So this weekend many of the university students will have had the TEM4 (Test for English Majors) exam. This is a national exam, and it is very important to pass in order to get a bettter job.
There are many of these national english exams for university students in China; CET4, CET6, TEM4, TEM8, etc… They are not that easy, and have sections on vocabulary, dictation, composition, cloze, passage and note-taking.
Even for the native speaker these exams can be somewhat confusing, especially the vocabulary section. Here’s some examples:
6. ____ man can now create radioactive elements, there is nothing he can do to reduce their radioactivity.
D. Now that
5.____ his knowledge and academic background, he is basically stupid.
A. But for
B. According to
C. For all
D. Thanks to
53. Britain’s press is unusual _____ it is divided into two very different types of newspaper: the quality press and the popular press.
A. in how
B. in what
C. in which
D. in that
25. According to the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, wisdom comes from the _____ of maturity.
32. All experts agree that the most important consideration with diet drugs is carefully ____ the risks and benefits.
It’s a shame that they don’t have national exams in speaking, as this is argueably the most important thing for them to master, if they are to use english in their future line of work. Though I wonder how they would be able to examin spoken english exams, the simply don’t have the manpower to be able to do it.
But what I wanted to get on to is the topic of cheating. Before I came to China, I thought cheating was 100% wrong. Bad. Something you just don’t do.
However, living here has altered my perception somewhat.
In China cheating is an industry, it’s big business, it’s Institutionalised.
It’s really quite simple to do, here’s a guide for the un-iniatated:.
- Contact that phone number on one of the many posters dotted around campus that advertises ‘how to get the answers’
- Make arrangements with friends on how to split the costs involved. i.e. 1500yuan/10 people = 150yuan each. suddenly it becomes affordable.
- Decide on what answers to buy – there are many sources – afterall this is a business. Costs vary from 1000yuan up to 3000yuan and so does the quality, so i’m told.
- Hire any necessary communication devices that may be required. Walkie-talkie ear-piece devices that can allow someone outside the exam hall to feed information to the recipiet. (virtually undetectable to those with long hair)
That’s it. Really simple and easy and cheap. I know students that have paid as little as 100 yuan (as a group of ten) and 40yuan each to hire the listening equipment.
However, sometimes the ‘cheat’ answers are wrong, and there is no guarantee that you will pass. Of course there is a chance that you might get caught, and if you are really clumsy that might happen, though I doubt it. If you do get caught, you’ll just get a slap on the wrists. You won’t get kicked out of university, and it will make no difference to anything of any consequence.
The examiners know this goes on, it’s part and parcel, par for the course.
Indeed, one wonders where the answers originate from, maybe the examiners are making a fast buck, who knows.
And so when my student’s ask me ‘is it okay to cheat?’ I say it is most certainly not okay, in my professional opinoion. In my personal opinion I think there is no problem with it, it is just another case of playing the system, to your maximum advantage.