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Precautions

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Kazoyuki Shindo, a vice president at Toyo Kohan, a major producer of tin plate, said that his alma mater, Waseda University, has had problems in the past several years because parents were bribing faculty members to obtain copies of the university's entrance examination before it was administered. Now, he said, Waseda and the public universities take extra precautions: The tests are printed in jails by prisoners who cannot give copies out, and they are kept locked up in a safe until the day of exams.

Yoshiya Abe, a professor of resource development at the National Center for the Development of New Media in Education and a specialist in comparative religions, had a deal with his daughter. When the girl was in junior high school, they worked out an arrangement whereby whenever she finished first in her class on an exam, he would give her 10,000 yen (about $40). If she was second, he would award her 9,000 yen, if she was third, 8,000 yen, and so on. But there was a hook to the deal. If she was 11th, she had to pay him 1,000 yen; if she was 12th, she had to pay him 2,000 yen, and so on up the line.

The results, he said, were that "she earned a lot of pocket money" and that because she paid a lot of attention to her school work beginning at an early age, she "didn't have to worry about examination hell."

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