Social media ban to keep tests secret

JODY O'CALLAGHAN
Last updated 10:00 09/11/2012

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Teenagers sitting the International Baccalaureate exams are being warned not to chatter about them online, as their fellow pupils in other parts of the world haven't sat them yet.

But Scots College student Matt O'Meeghan says it would disadvantage Kiwis anyway.

He is one of more than 400 pupils in New Zealand currently completing the two-year IB, which is an alternative qualification to NCEA. Exams began on Monday and end on November 22.

Because all pupils in the southern hemisphere sit the same exams at different times, they are under strict orders to keep details to themselves, particularly over social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Matt, 18, did not think staying off social media would be too hard, especially as he was so busy studying for each of his six subjects.

The rules were explained to him and other IB pupils in pre-exam meetings, but he did not see the point in risking giving too much away anyway.

"If you tell them what's in the examination, they could possibly do better and it will be worse off for you."

But internet forums such as the studentroom.co.uk are taking a more hardline approach, blocking or delaying posts that make any reference to IB exams.

Even an innocent discussion could turn to disclosing exam content, a warning banner says. "This means no discussion at all, not even ‘I found it hard/easy' or ‘I dropped my pencil'."

Students in the northern hemisphere sit different exams, in May.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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