What's considered cheating on Suneung? 11 Types of cheating on the Korean university entrance exam

Today is Suneung day again in Korea, when high school seniors nationwide will take the Korean equivalent of the SAT known as Suneung (수능) or the CSAT exam. So today let's take a look at some of the rules on the types of cheating that are officially banned on the exam, and a bit about how the punishment varies. 

What's considered cheating on Suneung? Image: LawTalk News

I'm no lawyer or education policy expert. I'm just doing a quick translation of an article posted at LawTalk News which discusses some of the officially defined types of activities that are prohibited during the exam and will revoke your score in addition to other potential punishments. 

The list of 11 banned activities is divided into 5 major types of cheating and 6 minor types. Here's the entire list from the post, with my comments below.

Top 5 major cheating methods on Suneung

These top 5 carry the most serious punishment, mainly in the fact that not only would your score for that year be invalidated, but you'll also be prevented from sitting the exam again next year. That may not sound like much, but consider that if your goal was to attend university, you've now basically thrown away 2 years of your life before you can even try again. You've lost any age-based connection to new friends, and if you're a male, you've doomed your entry into post-college real life to your late 20s at least when you include mandatory army service. Not to mention it's likely your mind won't be in the most sharp, educated state after a 2 year delay. I think this is probably sufficient punishment for anybody dumb enough to try to cheat.

So let's take a look:

  1. Looking at another's answer sheet, or showing your own answers to another
  2. Signaling to others during the test, whether by sounds or gestures
  3. During the test, looking at a phone or other device [Note: special analog-only watches are sold in Korea specifically for use during this test that run about $10. See: 수능시계 : 다나와 통합검색]
  4. Having another proxy individual take your test on your behalf, or being a proxy and taking the test on another's behalf
  5. Using any type of force or intimidation to make another divulge their answers to you

These 5 cheating methods are special and seperate from the others in the list not only because of the practical 2-year invalidation, but also because they can carry criminal charges too. For example, #4 typically includes committing various other criminal offenses like forging ID cards, etc. 

Top 6 minor cheating methods on Suneung

These are not exactly "minor" but I don't know how to phrase it well. For committing these 6 offenses, your score for the current year only will be invalidated. 

  1. Changing your answers or continuing to write after time is up
  2. During the 4th test period, looking at other test papers or looking at the wrong time [See note below]
  3. Not following a proctor's request to check your belongings or ID at any point
  4. Not submitting any prohibited items before the start of the 1st test period
  5. Not following proctor's requests about item storage location 
  6. Any other act that a proctor feels constitutes cheating

Regarding #10, I'm just guessing that this means something like if a proctor asks you move your bag, lunchbox, etc. and you refuse. 

And #7 is likely confusing to you. It was to me. In fact I had to ask my coworker to explain it to me. The 4th period of the examination time is devoted to elective subjects, i.e. not math or English which are core required subjects, but subjects students can choose such as science, social science, a 2nd foreign language, etc. 

Apparently during this time, for convenience and time-saving, proctors simply hand out test paper bundles that include all of the possible tests, from which the student has of course pre-chosen 2 to actually take. This rule then means that students are not to look at any of the exam papers other than the 2 subjects they are meant to sit. There's also apparently a specific time for the 2nd foreign language part and you can only look at that test paper at the right time. But he points out that most students who elected to take a 2nd foreign language will already have been allocated test sites focused on that language so it's unlikely students in a general test location would have those 2nd foreign language papers anyway. 

So there you go. Good luck out there kids and don't forget to avoid these 11 activities. This test may determine the rest of your life, but the best way to screw that up would be to cheat.

Source: 로톡뉴스 - 다가오는 수능…어떤 경우를 부정행위로 볼까? 어떻게 처벌될까?