In recent years, higher education institutions and standardized test providers in the U.S. are confronted with a new problem—mainland Chinese students are trying to gain admission into top colleges and universities by hiring imposters to take entrance exams for them.
On November 14, Xinyan Wang, a Chinese student at Lehigh Carbon Community College in Pennsylvania, was found guilty of taking entrance exams six times to help others gain admission into American universities, using a fake Chinese passport and a visa in another person’s name, according to Reuters. She has since been arrested on charges of committing fraud.
Wang’s case is hardly an isolated case. In May, Yue Wang, a Chinese student at Hult International Business School in Cambridge, Mass., was arrested for taking the TOEFL exam—an English-language proficiency exam often required by American universities for prospective international students—for three students. Each of them later used the exam scores to enroll in Northeastern University, Penn State University, and Arizona State University, respectively, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
The three women had each paid US$7,000 to Yue Wang, after they had taken the TOEFL exam and failed to get the minimum score to enroll in those universities. All four of them have since been arrested on charges of conspiracy to defraud the U.S.
In May 2015, 15 Chinese nationals were charged by the U.S. Department of Justice for providing fake Chinese passports to imposters to take SAT (college entrance exam), GRE (graduate school entrance exam), and TOEFL exams, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. They were indicted on 35 charges, including conspiracy and defrauding organizations that administer the U.S. exams, including the College Board and the Educational Testing Services (ETS). In Dec. 2016, Han Tong, considered the leader of the group, was sentenced to three years probation, and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which handles deportation, according to The Pitt News, the campus publication of the University of Pittsburgh, where Han is an alum.
With a buoyant Chinese economy, many Chinese students choose to study abroad, believing that they will be more competitive in the job market with a foreign college degree. According to data from China’s State Council, 544,500 students have studied overseas in 2016, an increase of 144,900 from 2012. Data revealed by the U.S. Institute of International Education showed that Chinese students made up the largest contingent of foreign students studying in America for the school year of 2016-2017, with 350,755 students out of the total foreign student population of 1.078 million—making up 32.5 percent. India came in at a distant second with 186,267 students.
While Chinese students can still take TOEFL exams at test centers in China, they need to travel outside of China to take the SAT, since the College Board hasn’t announced any test centers in China for the upcoming four examination dates, December 2017, and March, May, and June 2018.
In China, hiring imposters is not limited to higher education exams, such as the gaokao, China’s version of the SAT. Test takers hire imposters for nursing exams and truck driver tests too.
In September, Ms. He, who worked at the health bureau in Hengnan County, Hunan Province, paid 2,200 yuan (about US$331) to an imposter to take a nursing exam on her behalf, according to Chinese news portal Sina. On the day of the exam, which was in May 2016, the imposter was caught with Ms. He’s exam admission ticket and ID card. Both Ms. He and her imposter were given a penalty of six months supervision and a fine of 20,000 yuan (about US$3018).
In Beijing, truck drivers took cheating one step further. According to an article by state-run newspaper Beijing Youth Daily in April, local truck driving schools offered imposters 40 yuan (about US$6) to take the test. The license exam included a multiple choice portion and a hands-on portion where testers had to change a truck’s wheel. Because the schools had colluded with local motor vehicle authorities, imposters were given test sheets with correct answers already filled out, and only had to pretend to change the wheel. The schools in turned sold the obtained licenses to interested buyers for 1,500 to 1,800 yuan each (about US$226 to US$271).
From The Epoch Times