With 9.5 million students competing for only 2.6 million vacancies, some universities installed cameras and mobile-phone blocking technology at exam halls.
But students "racked their brains" and in some cases injured themselves with "low-quality devices" to come up with new ways to cheat, state media reported Tuesday, underlining the highly competitive nature of education in China.
A student in Wuhan, capital of China's central province of Hubei, used earphones so small that they slipped into his aural canal and perforated his eardrum, the China Daily newspaper said.
Another student's earphones required an operation for their removal, the paper said, while an electronic device connected to headphones and strapped to a third student's body exploded, leaving a bleeding hole in his abdomen.
Supervisors at an exam hall in Wuhan, capital of central Hubei province, found more than 100 "cheating tools" including earphones hidden in vests, wallets and waistbands, the paper said.