Kyoto University: No Smartwatches During Entrance Tests

Smartwatches are the perfect cheating tool: they're small, easy to conceal, and can be loaded with information before an exam. Some schools and universities have banned smartwatches during certain examinations as a result, and latest among them is Japan's Kyoto University. In a statement late last week, the university said it is banning smartwatches during entrance exams starting in 2016.

The problem, according to the university, is that it is near impossible for those proctoring the examination to tell whether a prospective student is using the smartwatch to send a communication to someone or cheat. Tapping out a text message and using a calculator app look the same from a distance, after all.

The ban, ultimately, is to keep things fair, not to presume that smartwatch users plan to cheat. The move isn't surprising; smartphones are similarly banned. Those who want to watch the time will have to go the old school route of watching dedicated clocks placed in the examination room.

This the first time a national Japanese university has banned watches during entrance testing, but it isn't the first educational institute to bar the wearables. The University of New South Wales, for example, updated its rules this past summer banning "wrist [and] handheld watches" during tests; anyone with them has to place the wearable in a clear resealable bag and then put the bag under their seat.

SOURCE: Wall Street Journal