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Finland to overhaul theory sections of drivers' licence exams to combat cheating

Finland's Transport Safety Agency says that it plans to update most of the theory portion of the national drivers' exam to thwart would-be cheaters.

Yksityiskohta ajokortista.
Image: Ismo Pekkarinen / AOP

The theoretical questions in Finland's national drivers' exam will be updated at the beginning of July because people have been secretly photographing the tests as they were taking them, Trafi, the Finnish Transport Safety Agency announced on Monday.

The transport agency said that some individuals have been secretly photographing parts of the theoretical exam and posting the photos on the internet.

Trafi said that students have managed to sneak in cameras into exam rooms, despite not being permitted to have their phones with them. The tests are carried out by authorities at Ajovarma, the firm which organises and handles driving exams across the country.

Story continues after photo.

mies suorittaa teoriakoetta
File photo of drivers' licence theoretical exam on a tablet. Image: Yle

Trafi: Tranlsators were giving the answers

The agency said it also suspects some drivers licence applicants of cheating as they used foreign language translators in the tests.

Instead of simply translating the questions on the tests verbatim, the agency said some translators have given exam-takers the answers outright.

In an effort to combat the alleged practice, Trafi said translators will no longer be able to be present as the tests are being taken.

Cheaters will have it harder in July

The theory test itself will be changed — nearly entirely — at the start of July, according to Trafi's Marko Rajamäki, who said the number of random questions that will appear in the test will be significantly increased.

"The size of the pool of questions will be increased, so then we can avoid using the same questions often. In the future it is unlikely that the same questions will appear in different tests," Rajamäki said.

Yle contacted several driver education firms around the country, and all of them said they were familiar with the problem of cheating on the tests. However, so far, just one case of cheating on drivers tests has resulted in criminal charges being filed.

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