Apparently people are sitting exams to obtain Master’s degrees right now. Unlike the HSK, where security is a joke (especially at Yunnan Normal University), the security was very tight. Around the testing building, armed police officers stood guard – two on each street corner, in the surrounding 9-block area.
Lots of large, red banners telling people in Chinese to obey the testing center regulations.
Not being inside the building, I can’t say if the actual testing rooms were set up to discourage cheating. But if they were, it seems like a model for other tests in China that normally have extremely lax security (and thus extremely questionable results). The HSK result is based upon your performance compared to test-takers as a whole. So if there are lots of people sending in native-Chinese speakers to sit the exam, it messes up the scores of everybody.