Cheating rumours plague Berlin math exam retake

Not 24 hours after the Berlin city administration reported that things had gone smoothly, reports on Tuesday surfaced that the mathematics final exam 28,000 Berlin 10th grade students had to retake due to a massive cheating scandal was likely plagued by more dishonesty.

Cheating rumours plague Berlin math exam retake
Photo: DPA

“I have information from students that says questions from the final exam were circulating via email the night before the test,” education spokesperson for the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Sascha Steuer told German daily Die Welt, adding that students from the Reinickendorf, Tempelhof and Neukölln districts were likely involved.

Student forums like SchülerVZ (the German equivalent of Facebook), were also circulating rumours that students had been involved in fudging the test, Die Welt reported.

City education administrators told the paper they were investigating the information, and education senator Jürgen Zöllner said that none of the 346 schools had reported irregularities.

Despite a large protest staged by students last week, the Berlin school administration stood by its decision to force students to retake their mathematics final exam after a massive cheating scandal was uncovered. Questions for the 10th grade test were reportedly sold in schoolyards across the city. Berlin authorities launched a criminal investigation and all test results were declared invalid.

Many students were reportedly frustrated by the retake, saying it was significantly more difficult than the first test.

“The questions were similar, but more difficult,” student Christoph Walter told the paper, adding he felt betrayed by education senator Zöllner, who had promised students in a ‘crisis talk’ – meant to ease their stress over the second test – that the test would not be harder than the first.