Monthly Archives: March 2012

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Airplane notes

Category : dermatology , Education

English: So called "New Matura" from...
Image via Wikipedia
No doubt, memories can be quite painful sometimes. But can memorizing something become cheating and outright illegal! Well, it seems possible. A CNN story alleges that doctors studying to become dermatologists have for years shared exam questions by memorizing and writing them down after the test. It seems radiologists also too share this vice. These memorised notes are called “airplane notes” as the memories are transferred to paper and shared in the plane on their return trips. The American Board of Dermatology has warned residents that the practice of using so-called “airplane notes” to cheat on certification exams is illegal! Dermatology and Radiology are the two medical specialities that rely mostly on visual cues and hence difficult to be ‘memorised’.
Image by Getty Images via @daylife
But this same ‘illegal’ practice is very common in our Indian medical/engineering entrance exams. Our entrance exams are mostly mcqs and a substantial percentage is repeated. Popular entrance coaching class owners relegate students to memorise a particular question so that the load is shared and they are able to get the entire question paper after the exams. Then they elucidate the pattern of certain commonly repeated questions and figure out work around to reach the answer without even having a basic understanding of the concepts. Ultimately these entrance exams fail to filter out intellectually capable prodigy from the millions who give this exams and unfairly select the ones who are resourceful enough to attend these entrance coaching classes. It is high time we called this illegal too!