Mobile phones are replacing cheat sheets as the most popular way for pupils to blag their way through national exams.
Official figures show that 1,897 school children were caught with their mobile phones and other banned electronic devices in exam rooms around the UK in 2009, making it the highest level of attempted cheating in GCSE and A-Level examinations ever.
Because the problem is so prevalent, detection capabilities that would highlight offending pupils before they have entered the exam room are being considered by some schools.
The total number of cheating incidents reported to regulator Ofqual has risen by 6.2 per cent, making 2009 the busiest year in history for sneaky teens.
The most common punishment for being caught cheating is the deduction of marks from the exam, although in a sixth of cases the pupils were given an automatic fail, voiding their ability to complete their chosen subject.
In many cases the teachers chose to give the offenders the benefit of the doubt, resulting in nearly 40 per cent of would-be cheats getting let off with a warning and no doubt a severe dressing down.
Ofqual's Kathleen Tattersall said: "These figures provide invaluable information regarding the examination season and allow us to check that the systems put in place to protect learners are followed."
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