You want to go to medical school but are concerned that you might not do well on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). What should you do?
a. Study hard
b. Choose another career
c. Concoct an elaborate plan to transmit real-time photos of the exam questions to a confederate who has duped three people into thinking they are auditioning for jobs as MCAT prep tutors. Have the confederate supply you with the consensus answers that the tutors come up with via a phone link. Do not worry that the tutors might become suspicious because the images of the questions are fuzzy, they are allowed to discuss the questions and your friend has to periodically leave the room to call you with the suggested answers.
As difficult as it is to believe, someone chose “c” and was caught when the tutors reported their suspicions to university security.
This episode raises a few questions. It occurred in late January of 2011 but has only come to light in the last 48 hours. What took so long? What sort of proctoring was taking place in the examination room? Apparently, no one noticed the camera, the transmitter or the phone being used by the examinee. What did the cheaters expect to accomplish? OK, the examinee might be admitted to medical school, but what was in it for the accomplice? A job in the doctor’s office some day? If the scheme worked and he was admitted to a medical school, how was he planning to get through even the first two years? To arrange a complex set-up like this for every test would have been quite a challenge indeed.
Another concise yet thorough report of this debacle is available here.
What have we learned from all this? I’d say it’s that there is no limit to the stupidity of man. What do you say?