In India, 15 IELTS test-takers caught for cheating
With stakes so high, cheating on IELTS and TOEFL has turned into a money-making business. Source: Shutterstock

College students fraudulently posing as candidates for a written examination of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) at Amritsar, India last week have been handed over to the police.

Up to 15 impostors had allegedly confessed that they were there to take the English language proficiency test on behalf of the real candidates to make money, Tribune India reported.

“The accused were caught before entering the examination hall. We matched the photographs on passports with the faces of the candidates before the fingerprint match. They confessed that they had come to appear for others,” says one Sanjeev, who works for international education provider IDP.

The IELTS is a popular test used to assess the language ability of those who want to study or work where English is the language of communication. Over 10,000 organisations worldwide – including universities, employers, professional bodies, immigration authorities and other government agencies – recognise and accept IELTS.

According to officials, some of the students caught at Amritsar were reportedly from “reputable” colleges located in the state.

“They were hired by a person, identified Navjot, by offering Rs 30,000 (US$44.68) per examination. We have handed them over to the police and filed a complaint at the Civil Lines police station,” Sanjeev added.

News reports show there is a cheating epidemic going on in India, as desperate students and parents resort turn to unscrupulous means  in hopes of clinching a limited spot at its highly competitive universities and job market.

The Guardian reported that there is a so-called “cheating mafia” in India which provide leaks to exam questions as well as other fraudulent means to students during high-stakes exams.

The recent incident in Amritsar also forms part of the growing fraud perpetuated highly organized rings of college-admission-exams imposters globally. In the US, several Chinese students were recently charged for sitting the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) on other Chinese students’ behalf.

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