Cheating in an online exam

Cheating in an Online Exam

As online exams are becoming considerably more common place, unsurprisingly, cheating in an online exam is becoming more common too!  However, universities are beginning to put in place mechanisms to stop the cheating…  here are the 10 most common tools used to stop cheating in an online exam.


Cheating in an online exam – Proctoring Software: Utilizing proctoring software that monitors students through their webcam, screen, and microphone during the exam. It can detect unusual behaviour or the presence of unauthorized materials.

Example: Software that flags when a student looks away from the screen frequently or detects another person in the room.


Cheating in an online exam – Lockdown Browsers: Implementing lockdown browsers prevents students from opening new tabs, windows, or accessing other applications during the exam.

Example: A browser that restricts access to only the exam window and disables functions like right-clicking and screen capture.


Cheating in an online exam – Question Pool Randomization: Creating a large pool of questions and having the software randomize which questions each student receives. This makes it difficult for students to collaborate or share answers.

Example: Two students taking the same exam receive different sets of questions or the same questions in a different order.


Cheating in an online exam – Identity Verification Measures: Using biometric verification, such as facial recognition or fingerprint scanning, ensures that the person taking the exam is the enrolled student.

Example: Students required to scan their face or ID card before starting the exam.


Cheating in an online exam – Time Limits and Randomized Start Times: Setting strict time limits for answering questions and randomizing exam start times to reduce the opportunity for students to communicate with each other.

Example: Each student receives a unique start time within a specified window.


Cheating in an online exam – Automated Plagiarism Detection: Employing plagiarism detection software that analyzes responses for similarities to online sources or other students’ work.

Example: Software that compares exam answers to a database of existing material and highlights matches.


Cheating in an online exam – Controlled Environment Requirements: Establishing rules for a controlled environment, such as a clear desk policy and specific room setup.

Example: Students must show their workspace via webcam before starting the exam.


Cheating in an online exam – Post-Exam Reviews: Conducting post-exam reviews where students might be required to verbally explain their reasoning for certain answers.

Example: Randomly selecting students to discuss their exam responses in a follow-up video call.


Cheating in an online exam – Real-Time Monitoring: Having live proctors or AI monitoring during the exam to watch for suspicious activities.

Example: Proctors who can pause or terminate an exam if they observe cheating.


Cheating in an online exam – Educating Students on Academic Integrity: Prior to exams, educating students about the importance of academic integrity and the potential consequences of cheating.

Example: Mandatory online modules on academic honesty that students must complete before accessing the exam.


Not sure the last one will have any effect whatsoever!