Questions Leaked During Waseda University Entrance Exam Using Smart Glasses

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Waseda University’s main campus in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, in 2022

An 18-year-old male student is suspected of taking pictures of questions during a Waseda University entrance examination in February using smart glasses, before posting them on social media in a bid to seek answers, it has been learned.

The Metropolitan Police Department will soon send documents pertaining to the teenager to prosecutors on suspicion of fraudulent obstruction of business at the private university in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, by leaking questions to outside parties to obtain answers, according to investigation sources.

With digital devices becoming smaller and featuring more advanced functions, the case has highlighted how sophisticated cheating methods have become for university entrance examinations.

According to investigation sources, the teenager, who lives in Tokyo, is suspected of using the device to take pictures of a chemistry test on Feb. 16 during a university-administered entrance examination for the April enrollment to its School of Creative Science and Engineering. The examinee allegedly sent the images to his smartphone before leaking them on X, formerly known as Twitter, thus interfering with the university’s operations.

The boy allegedly sent the images to several people he had been in contact with via X, asking them to send back the answers. After replying to the examinee, however, one of the people suspected that the teenager could have been cheating and reported the case to the university on the same day.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
How Waseda Univ. entrance exam questions were leaked
Based on information from investigators

Analysis of the images and other clues led Waseda to suspect that the teen could have been involved in the leakage. He visited the university again on Feb. 21 to take an admission test for a different school. As test administrators were able to confirm that the smart glasses he was wearing had a small camera attached to the frame, Waseda reported the case to the MPD.

At the time of the incident, the teenager was a third-year student at a private high school in Tokyo.

During voluntary interrogation by police, the teenager said he got poor results on the Common Test for University Admissions, which was conducted in January, and therefore found that he would not be able to enroll with the national university he had hoped, according to the sources.

“I was afraid that I might fail for other universities [I wished to attend] as well, so I came up with the idea of cheating [at the Waseda exam],” he was quoted as saying.

The boy told police that during the exam for Waseda’s School of Creative Science and Engineering, he answered the questions based on solutions he had obtained from outside parties. He failed to pass either the Feb. 16 or Feb. 21 examinations.

Some types of smart glasses can be used to watch videos and make phone calls by connecting with smartphones, in addition to taking photos. Waseda University does not allow test-takers to use digital devices with communication functions while sitting its entrance exams.

Regarding other examples of cheating during university admission exams, documents were sent to prosecutors pertaining to a female examinee who was suspected of taking videos of questions and leaking them to outside parties when she was taking the Common Test for University Admissions in January 2022.

In an entrance exam for international students administered later that month by Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo, a Chinese national was arrested on suspicion of taking videos of test questions using a small camera and leaking them to an acquaintance.