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10 Unique Ways Students Cheat in Online Exams

At this time, many universities are conducting exams online. This trend has been accelerated in recent months due to the COVID-19 cases are on the rise, and exam centres and health centres are closing. The number of applicants competing for admission is directly proportional to the reputation of the university as a learning centre. Therefore, when conducting high-scoring exams online, universities and organization often think of ways prevent candidates from cheating – especially if the candidate is trying to take an exam online from long distance places.

It’s not hard to believe, but in the education industry one of the most searched internet queries revolves around ways to cheat on invigilated online exams. It is well known that fraud in online exams is on the rise, and there is no denying that students will always invent new ways to beat proctoring technologies. 

In this blog, we list 10 unique ways in which students try to cheat in online exams, in addition to evaluating smart technologies that can help prevent such an event.

1. Screen Sharing/Reflection:

When taking an exam from faraway places, candidates can use multiple monitors to approach a friend’s exam question simultaneously and provide answers. Candidates are known to use screen sharing to cheat in tests.

2. Using High-Tech Equipment:

Students will often find ways to cheat in an online exam involving cameras. Companies conducting high-tech online exams such as CAT, MAT and other competitive exams, have recently been cited, with test-takers using smaller, practically undetectable Bluetooth devices.

Candidates use calculators that can store formulas and other data so that they can get higher marks in their exam. Test takers have agreed to use high-tech devices to address their concerns about how to cheat in an online exam. They also said that some students use traditional fraudulent methods such as hand-written notes and even writing on their bodies and palms.

3. Mobiles Phones:

In invigilated online exams, fraud, using smartphones is on the rise. Connected devices help candidates store answers and help fellow test-takers find answers from each other or external sources.

4. Auto Coding Software:

Candidates are known to use auto coding software to clear the exam during school/university exams or during recruitment programming tests. These types of software create such programs, without the candidate writing any code themselves.

5. Navigation Offers:

Student misused easy access to the internet and social media tools to commit fraud during online exams. During the test, they tend to log in to unauthorized websites, paste questions into the URL, and find the best solution they can steal.

6. Impersonation:

Taking the test for someone else is a famous trick or an idea borrowed from the plot of famous TV shows. However, when the exams are offered remotely online, the chances of a candidate using an impersonator to come to the exam on other's behalf are very high. There is no need to use any fraudulent devices or methods; Ask a high achieving student to take the test for you. Many testers have been using impersonators to destroy so-called 'high-integrity' tests for years.

7. Use of External Devices:

In online exams, fraud masterminds often use hard drives, USBs, microSDs and other external smart devices that are easy to hide and challenging to detect. Before or after the test, students insert them to make a copy of online exams so they can sell it to other students post exam, or share it online.

8. Their family and friends are present in the room:

One of the most common ways to cheat on multiple-choice tests or quizzes online is to help a family member or friend get close to those who come to the test. These assistants are parked away from the webcam or behind the screen.

They write the answer on a block chain or whisper softy. When engaged in unreasonable ways, such students often hide their faces, disappear from the screen, look around the room, or make suspicious gestures when contacting assistants for the desired response.

9. Copy-pasting and other keyboard shortcuts:

One of the most common types of cheating in online exams is copying and pasting the answers. Students can often copy and paste answers from documents or notepads, which will be prepared in a separate window before the test begins. These are simple ways to trick some remote proctoring software who have no information about what is happening on the screen. IRIS Invigilation software does record screen activity so in this case the student would be caught cheating.


10. Deliberately exit from the test:

Students who think about how to cheat online tests often try to outdo the software by deliberately excluding themselves from the exam. They use excuses such as poor internet connection or power outage to create a way to exit the exam and shut down the camera recording so they can quickly look up answers to questions in the exam. Then they log back in again and continue on with their assessment. Some students outright lie and say they cannot access the software at all but really they are making excuses to avoid being invigilated.

How IRIS can help reduce online exam fraud

IRIS is the complete remote proctoring solution that is secure, scalable, cost-effective and customizable to suit clients’ needs.

IRIS records live footage and audio from the student's computer's microphone and video from their webcam and takes continuous screenshots of what the student sees on their computer screen. Facial markers are identified and monitored; classifying and differentiating innocent behaviors from dishonest behaviors.

Traditional methods of real-time stimulation are expensive and time consuming for educators and evaluators. IRIS targets or `flags” videos that require evaluation to prioritize students in need of further investigation and to manage staff workload.

Best Remote Proctoring:

IRIS’ auto proctoring algorithm is trained to detect a dynamic set of anti-fraud features and is designed to flag suspicious events such as face/presence loss, mobile phone detection, extra person presence, distracted eye movement and more.

IRIS is a sophisticated tool that provides a complete academic integrity solution to ensure the quality of your online assessments is maintained and your students are held accountable for their actions. IRIS Invigilation software and can be easily integrated with any Learning Management System (LMS). Contact the IRIS team today to find out how we can help you.