While many artistic figures were perhaps hampered by their own creativity in tackling the relentless rote learning required by the exam system, others succumbed to the temptation to cheat, and suffered the consequences of being caught. The renowned Ming period painter, Tang Ying, resurrected his career through his painting after his hopes of an official position were shattered when he was caught cheating in the exam hall. Before winning influential friends and patrons through his talent, Tang was reduced to poverty as a consequence of his dishonesty.
IN 1986, UCOPE set the general standard for passing by approving the AWPE Scoring Guide. There also is a regular annual procedure for applying these general standards to each new examination. From the pretest essays, the Universitywide Analytical Writing Placement Examination Committee assembles a set of papers representing the weakest to the strongest performance. Members reach their own consensus about the scores these papers should receive. They then provide this set of papers to UCOPE. At its March meeting UCOPE reviews these essays and decides independently on the scores. (In almost all cases both committees assign the same scores to the papers.) These essays and their UCOPE scores set the standard by which the chief reader and the room leaders choose essays from the May administration to exemplify the standards for all the readers who score papers in June.