Smart watches, connected to the internet, are already banned to be used during exams. But it is becoming difficult to distinguish between hi-tech and old analog watches. The ban on watches is termed as “blanket ban” on watches.
The commission is setup to investigate the prevalence of cheating in public exams in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland but there is overall a very low level of malpractice. But it can increase due to the sophisticated internet-enabled devices which could be used unfairly in exams.
Smartphones blamed for exam cheating. Exam boards check social media in cheating crackdown. Smart watches could look like conventional watches, leaving them open to misuse by cheats. It works as a time-telling watch and when one actually presses a button, it becomes a smart watch. If they continue to use it will be a difficult job to invigilators. The easiest thing is to ban watches. But it will need clarity with such a ban applying across all exams.
But the small number of reported incidents, particularly high-profile breaches, can have an uneven impact on the public’s perception of the exam system.