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Japan univ. hopeful gets all zeros after trying to cheat in test with phone

A group of exam takers are seen waiting for the last National Center Test for University Admissions to begin at the University of Tokyo in the capital's Bunkyo Ward on Jan. 18, 2020. (Mainichi/Kaho Kitayama)

TOKYO -- A student taking this year's National Center Test for University Admissions, the last in its current form, has been given zero marks in all of their subjects after they were caught trying to use their smartphone during one of the exams on Jan. 18, according to The National Center for University Entrance Examinations.

The incident, the only cheating case reported during the two-day testing period, took place during the geography, history and civics section of the test held at a venue in Saitama Prefecture, just north of Tokyo. Multiple exam supervisors saw the student take out their phone from a pocket and turn it on. The student was subsequently removed from the room.

The candidate has admitted to cheating, saying, "I was trying to do a search about a question I didn't know." Exam rules state that phones must be switched off and kept inside test takers' bags. The use of smartphones was first classed as cheating starting with the January 2016 edition of the test. Including this latest incident there have been 5 infractions involving smartphones.

(Japanese original by Kenichi Mito, City News Department)

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