NTU exam paper leak due to human error: Gan Siow Huang, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

NTU exam paper leak due to human error: Gan Siow Huang

A recent online leak of a test paper for Nanyang Technological University (NTU) students earlier in November was due to human error, said Minister of State for Education Gan Siow Huang on Monday.

Based on NTU’s investigation of the incident, an administrative staff had failed to password-protect the electronic version of the test paper for students taking the test online, she told the House.

“As a result, the students were inadvertently given access to the questions before the test started,” Ms Gan said in response to Dr Wan Rizal Wan Zakariah (Jalan Besar GRC) and Ms Joan Pereira (Tanjong Pagar GRC).

“NTU undertook remedial action to ensure a fair assessment process for all students by having a retest with reduced examinable topics and extended counselling support to affected students.”

Ms Gan said NTU is reviewing its internal protocol and staff training to prevent similar incidents from happening again.

A total of 218 students, who mostly study psychology, had to retake the test after the paper was released online prematurely on a student learning platform.

In response to Dr Tan Wu Meng (Jurong GRC), who had asked if there were similar cases in recent years, Ms Gan said there were five isolated incidents within the past three years of examination papers being leaked ahead of time.

This affected “a small minority” of the undergraduate student population for the more serious cases, she said.

On measures to prevent similar incidents from happening, she said institutes of higher learning have protocols to prevent unauthorised access or premature release of exam papers.

These include password-protecting digital copies of exam papers and releasing the password to students only just before the scheduled exam time, hosting e-assessments on internal platforms with controlled access, and storing printed copies in secure locations with restricted access.