Around 2,500 students were caught cheating on a pharmacy licensing exam earlier this week in Xi’an through the use of wireless ear pieces and “electronic erasers,” CCTV reports.
Proctors first detected abnormal radio signals in seven testing locations where over 2,500 would-be pharmacists were taking the national comprehensive test. Upon being investigated, a total of 2,440 students were caught using an earpiece to receive the answers in code.
Organizers behind the elaborate scam had sent fake candidates to take the test and quickly memorize questions. They then broadcasted correct answers to students, who in turn handed over 330 USD for the services.
The cheaters will have their test papers destroyed and are banned from taking the exam for two years.
A revised law of medicine management and quality control in China states that only licensed pharmacists are eligible to run a pharmacy. Anyone currently running a pharmacy without a license must obtain one by 2015 or lose their business, Want China Times reports, citing Beijing Times. Authorities believe that this deadline, in part, is what triggered the mass cheating, as Shanxi boasts over 8,500 pharmacies yet only has 4,000 licensed pharmacists.