The results of half of the high-scoring Unified State Exams inspected by a group of testers were found to have been unjustifiably improved by members of regional exam commissions, a news report said Monday.
A nationwide check of all tests with high scores has been recommended by Education and Science Ministry inspectors, but they admit that the initiative may not find support in the regions, Kommersant reported.
The checks already done focused on 18 regions where average test results were significantly higher than in the rest of the country, including Bryansk and Voronezh regions and the republics of Dagestan, Ingushetia and Kalmykia.
Inspectors have checked almost 1,500 individual tests so far, and at least 5,000 are set to be reviewed.
Serious inconsistencies were found in 77 percent of the tests, and the discrepancies have been attributed either to examiners' "low qualifications or ill will." In most cases, between one and four points were added to the final scores.
Other violations included questions being answered by persons other than the one named on the test paper and crediting students with extra points for questions they had not attempted to answer.
The worst cases of cheating were reported in the North Caucasus republic of Dagestan, where more than 70 percent of the answers on biology tests were copied from answers available online or from standard test answers, while up to 94 percent of the answer sheets for the history exam showed signs of cheating or other violations, the regulator said.
One of the main obstacles to ensuring fair results was the availability of test problems and sample answers on the Internet long before the test dates. Deputy Education Minister Igor Remorenko has said test materials could have been stolen from the ministry's email account by hackers.