Ahead of China’s massive college entrance exam — the Gaokao — that took place on Saturday and Sunday, local media outlets released photos of cheating devices confiscated by police around the country in recent weeks.
The photos show intricate cheating equipment, a majority of which were created by students in the southwestern city of Chengdu before taking a different test, the National Professional and Technological Personnel Qualification Examination.
Around 40 students, all originally from Shanghai, were reportedly caught with the devices, which were disguised to look like everyday objects.
Some of the uncovered equipment included miniature cameras installed into both a pen and a set of glasses, as well as wireless earphones resembling small earplugs. In one instance, a grey tank top was wired with a plug capable of connecting to a mobile phone that could be used to send out information. There was also a camera installed in the shirt.
“Cheating happens in every country, but it’s extremely rampant in China,” Yong Zhao, the presidential chair at the University of Oregon’s College of Education, told VICE News. “This isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last.”
Cheating has been an enduring issue in China, where the emphasis placed on standardized tests can create high-pressure environments.
“For over a thousand years China has been using tests,” Zhao said. “Standardized tests tend to be the only way for upward social mobility, passing the test has been a way to change people’s lives.”
Read more: Business Insider