Test for English majors alleged to have content leaked

Organizers of national tests for English majors in Chinese colleges said they have approached police regarding online allegations that the contents of a test were leaked.

Organizers of national tests for English majors in Chinese colleges said they have approached police regarding online allegations that the contents of a test last Saturday were leaked around an hour before the test took place.

The National Advisory Committee for Foreign Language Teaching, which administrates the tests, said in a statement that it noticed some Weibo users posted allegations online immediately after the Test for English Majors – Band 4 was finished.

The TEM tests, including TEM4 for sophomores and TEM8 for seniors, are designed to measure English proficiency of undergraduates learning English Language and Literature in Chinese colleges.

The committee has asked police to check whether the allegations are true and to collect related evidence, according to the statement.

According to the committee, the test papers are usually strictly secret, with security measures akin to top-level documents.

It would terminate the qualifications of any site found responsible for a leakage, and they promised those involved would be held liable.

Shanghai International Studies University, where the committee's office is located, also said that it had received reports from examinees, saying at least two users of Weibo, the Chinese counterpart of Twitter, and one user of QQ, a kind of instant online chat application developed by Tencent, had leaked test content in advance.

According to the screenshots that the university said it had received from examinees, one Weibo account posted scripts for listening and translation, as well as answers for questions at 7am and 7:29am on Saturday. The test started at 8:30 am.

Many examinees became angry after checking the questions with the leaked material after the test, finding they were identical.

One web user joked that “surfing on Weibo is much more helpful than doing exercises.”

It’s not the first time suspicion of TEM test content leakages have appeared online. Similar allegations also appeared online in 2016 about TEM4, and in 2012 about TEM8. 

No investigation reports were ever publicly released.

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