Testing times: Arab News explores why Saudi students cheat

Apr 6, 2018 by

  • Education ministry has specified 8 measures to be taken if a student is caught cheating for the first time
  • Notes on bottle labels, color-coded prayer beads among the tools used to cheat
Jeddah: A pupil in the exam hall breaks into a sweat as he stares at multi-colored prayer beads during a science exam. He frowns at a blue bead and scratches his head, before breaking into a smile and quickly writing an answer on his exam script.
The teacher supervising the exam, who had been watching the boy intently, looks away, no longer anxious about the boy who had looked in danger of fainting from sheer exam stress.
The boy is Yussef Al-Otaibi but all is not as it seems. For, far from needing the teacher’s sympathy, Yussef is actually cheating, and using a cunning scheme he devised for himself to do so.
He explains to Arab News: “I was able to snap photos of our final (exam), which was all multiple-choice.
“Once I got home, I studied the questions and made color-coded prayer beads that represented the right answers. Red beads represented A (answer A), blue beads B, yellow beads C’, and green beads D.
“It looked like I was praying during the exam as I had to count to whatever question I was on. When we got our grades back the week after, my teacher said, ‘Your prayers worked Yussef, good job!’ I felt pretty guilty, but I desperately needed an A to pass.”
Yussef is by no means unusual in choosing the risky route of cheating rather than the sensible, studious option of swotting. Nor is he alone in displaying such ingenuity.

Source: Testing times: Arab News explores why Saudi students cheat

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