China sentences 6 in graduate exam cheating scheme

BEIJING (AP) — Six people have been imprisoned for up to four years for their part in a scheme to cheat on China's national graduate school exam, state media reported Wednesday.

Exam takers were provided with wireless transmitters and receivers and told to read the questions out loud, according to the reports. Researchers off-site would then find the answers in textbooks and read them to the test takers through their receivers.

Among those sentenced Tuesday were two exam takers who helped recruit clients. It wasn't clear how much the cheaters paid for the service or what punishment they received, although permanent disqualification from the exams is the usual sanction in such cases.

The six defendants were sentenced to between 20 months and four years and fined up to 40,000 yuan ($5,900). They could have faced as much as seven years in prison under a 2015 amendment to the law.

Exam scores make up the overwhelming preponderance of criteria for acceptance in the Chinese education system from early education onward.