Exam body: No cheating took place on university exams
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULMar 20, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Mar 20, 2015 12:00 am
Turkey's Student Selection and Placement Center (ÖSYM), the state-run body responsible for holding university entrance exams, denied allegations that some students were allowed to cheat in last week's exam.
Allegations surfaced after a Twitter user published photos of the booklet containing questions and claimed she was not searched before sitting the exam - although there were strict security measures to prevent cheating via cellphone in place. Moreover, she claimed she was able to search answers online with her cellphone.
Several media outlets claimed mass cheating on the exam was ignored. Releasing a statement yesterday, the ÖSYM announced the participant of the exam who shared the questions online was detected and she was a student who sat the exam in Istanbul. The ÖSYM said in the statement that the student secretly tore off two pages from the booklet and photos were not taken during the exam as she claimed. The suspect's exam will be canceled and she will be banned from participating in the exams for the next two years under regulations banning applicants from revealing questions.
The ÖSYM statement said media reports on mass cheating were "provocative" and sought to strain the confidence of applicants.
Over 2 million students took the YGS, Transition to Higher Education Exam, on March 15. During the 160-minute exam, applicants answer questions in the fields of social sciences, mathematics, physical sciences and Turkish language. It is the first round of a two-stage exam, and students passing the exam will be eligible for the Undergraduate Placement Exam (LYS), which will be held in June.
The body does not announce the results of the exam, and only applicants can see them online by entering codes given to them. The results were announced yesterday while questions will be made public shortly after the results are announced.
The ÖSYM has also been under fire due to the multiple-choice tests used for university placements, perceived as unjust by some, and plans to replace them with tests based on essay writing.
There are also plans to hold the University Entrance Examination (YGS) multiple times a year instead of the current once-per-year format to minimize exam stress among students.
Exams organized by the ÖSYM in past years were overshadowed by allegations of mass cheating. Moreover, the Public Personnel Selection Exam (KPSS) for employment of civil servants is being investigated after it was revealed that a large number of participants cheated, and questions and answers were given to some participants beforehand. The Gülen Movement, a controversial group that runs a global network of private schools, is accused of leaking questions and answers to its supporters for the KPSS.