Drug tests before university exams?

In the future, students who have taken drugs that give them an advantage by increasing alertness and focus could be found out by tests. The Daily Telegraph reports that Chartered Psychologist Professor Barbara Sahakian of Cambridge University says discussions over introducing such monitoring processes are taking place.

Modafinil and Ritalin, which is prescribed to patients with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, are among the medicines being used by university students to improve their short-term memory and focus when sitting exams.

Professor Sahakian told the ~Daily Telegraph that a screening process should be set up at exam time if the use of these drugs taken by healthy people in order to boost their test performance becomes more commonplace.

"I know within some of the colleges ... people have started to think about whether under certain circumstances which are competitive, we should be looking at this type of [drug testing] procedure," she stated.

One survey of Cambridge University students found ten per cent of students admit to using cognitive enhancers to help them work, while this figure rises to 16 per cent among US undergraduates and postgraduates.