File Photo: A Secondary school student takes his exam (Photo: Al-Ahram)
A nationwide high school examination paper was leaked on social networking websites on Sunday, the day of the exam.
Photos of what appeared to be the question paper of the Arabic language test of the Certificate of General Secondary Education (Thanaweya Amma), and others purported to carry the answers, circulated on Twitter and Facebook a few minutes after the exam had started.
An online drive under several hashtags in Arabic was sparked to facilitate cheating during the Thanaweya Amma exams, notoriously the toughest in an already flawed education system. One of the hash tags translates roughly as "cheater guerillas."
Some students sneak their smart phones into exam rooms to use them to cheat.
Posts of answers were being circulated by online users even during the three-hour exam time, which began at 9am.
The qualification, which determines university prospects based on grades obtained, has long been a source of panic for students and family alike, regarded as key to pupils' futures.
The Thanaweya Amma for a long time spanned two years but was reduced in 2013 to one year only, reviving a system adopted in the past.
Around 450,000 students take the exam nationwide under the new one-year system, and approximately 43,000 others are taking the now-scrapped two-year system.
Sunday's incident is not the first concerning the exam in recent days.
On Saturday, a calculus exam for the secondary certificate at the Islamic University of Al-Azhar, highest authority of Sunni Islam, was leaked in the Nile Delta governorates of Sharqiya and Kafr Al-Sheikh, also hours before the exam time, prompting officials to announce its cancellation nationwide.
The examination is to be rescheduled to coincide with that of another subject, officials said.