The nationwide Arabic exam of Egypt's general secondary certificate was leaked online Sunday, mirroring leaks of exams in previous years and the continuing failure of the Ministry of Education to prevent it.
The exam questions along with the answers were leaked online 45 minutes into the three-hour exam, which started at 9am.
The country's Ministry of Education investigated the leaked exam papers and managed to identify the three different stamps they bore, each with the specific number of an examination committee.
Consequently, three students were arrested across Greater Cairo and mobile phones were found in their possession, Al-Ahram journalist at the education ministry Ahmed Hafez reported.
It is illegal for students to sit for their secondary exams with mobile phones.
If a student is found with a mobile phone, he or she is automatically disqualified from the exam they are sitting, even if they were not cheating.
If a student is found cheating, they are disqualified from all exams.
Online hashtags were initiated in Arabic to facilitate cheating, including the hashtag "cheating guerrillas."
The hashtags were trending in Egypt before the end of the examinations, with people also using them to express their feelings towards cheating.
The "Thanaweya Amma" is the last stage of high school education. The exams used to span over two years but were reduced to one year in 2013. They are highly competitive exams.
Parents spend thousands of pounds on private tutoring lessons to ensure their children would be admitted into a "top university" in medicine, engineering, pharmacy and political science.
Social media and smart phones has made it easier for exams to leak.
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