Feeds

Exam papers tagged to deter cheats

Chips go to the top of the class

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

An exam board has said it will be using radio frequency identification (RFID) from this summer to increase the security of its GCSE and A-level papers.

UK-based Edexcel said it plans to use the electronic tagging system to help prevent exam papers being stolen.

Jerry Jarvis, managing director at the firm, said in a statement: "Incidents involving stolen papers are extremely rare, but the potential impact is massive. The logistics of re-issuing an alternative paper to schools and colleges around the country and re-training markers on the new paper are complicated, costly, and could ultimately be detrimental to candidates."

Of 620,000 exam packages sent out to schools and colleges by Edexcel last summer, there were around 70 reports of security breaches.

Speaking on the BBC's Radio 4 Today programme this morning, Jarvis said tagging packaged exam papers should help the firm quickly track the source of any leak.

Edexcel said it also uses an ePen system to scan, digitise, and mark up to 90 per cent of all packaged exam papers online.

It reckons the system should enable it to detect suspicious submissions from students by comparing their previous results for anomalies where a candidate "performs significantly out of line with expectations".

RFID technology is already widely used in shops to tag electronic goods and clothing.

It can also be found round the ankles of criminals on early release from congested prisons who can be monitored to ensure their curfew isn't broken.

Just last month a government minister suggested the technology might be a good way to free up elderly sufferers of dementia. The logic being that a tag would allow them to safely wander off, with the view that they could be easily tracked down.

But El Reg can only ponder what might happen if a criminal on curfew, an elderly dementia sufferer, and a student with a stolen exam paper under their arm all meet up in a CD shop. ®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.