Bagrut exam-writer indicted for leaking questions

Three people are being indicted for illegally passing along questions from the Math section of the Psychometric Exam.

May 19, 2013 17:32
2 minute read.
Bar Ilan Universtyi students [illustrative]

Bar Ilan Universtyi students college lawn hanging out 390. (photo credit: Courtesy Bar Ilan University)

The Haifa District Attorney’s Office on Sunday filed an indictment for leaking bagrut (matriculation) exam questions against three people, including a member of the board that writes the exam questions, in the magistrate’s court.

Specifically, the leaked questions were from the math section of the 2010 exam.

Rachel Kedem, 53, a member of the board for preparing the exam questions, was the alleged “ringleader.” She was charged with illegally revealing and distributing a classified document, in violation of an obligation to maintain confidentiality and breach of trust.

Erez Cohen, 40, who ran a service to assist students to prepare for the exams, was charged with distributing a classified document, conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor, assisting with fraudulent receipt of an item, assisting with breach of trust and assisting with an attempt to fraudulently receive an item.

Carol Rohovitz, 27, who allegedly assisted in finding students who wanted the exam questions and in distributing the questions, was charged with distributing a classified document, conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor, soliciting to fraudulently receive an item and assisting with an attempt to receive an item through fraud.

The indictment said that Kedem was appointed to be a member of the board for writing math exam questions on November 16, 2009.

While the alleged crimes began in 2009, the exam was set for May 25, 2010.

After Kedem was appointed, she turned to Cohen for help with writing the exam questions for which she was responsible, said the indictment.

Her alleged request for assistance with drafting questions from someone outside of the system, let alone from a person providing a private service, violated her confidentiality duties as a member of the board.

Cohen assisted Kedem in preparing the questions and Kedem passed on Cohen’s questions to the secretary of the board who compiled questions from all the board members, the indictment said.

According to the indictment, upon receiving the compiled list of questions from the secretary, Kedem forwarded the list to Cohen, requesting his comments.

Cohen scanned the questions and forwarded them to Rohovitz so she could provide them to her brother and others who were taking the exam, said the indictment.

The indictment alleged that Rohovitz then contacted a person named Kfir, requesting that he sell the questions to other exam-takers.

On May 23, 2010, the Ministry of Education was notified that the math section questions had been leaked and the ministry recollected all exams, which had already been mailed out, and reprinted an entirely new exam for distribution.

The direct damage to the ministry was NIS 4,442,584 and there was also indirect damage of NIS 1.5 million.

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