Academic Integrity

Teachers, be Cautious: Students Are Using Exam Cheating Tricks

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In 2013, the Benenson Strategy Group conducted a survey about student cheating. Following its results, about 44 percent of students admitted to cheating. That’s quite a high rate, isn’t it? Why do students cheat?

Students have always been eager to cheat teachers. To resist the temptation of getting high grades without putting in the effort is rather difficult. That’s why students tend to fall over themselves to successfully cheat. They upgrade copying and pasting skills with each year and become more and more proficient in this “sphere” – they definitely know how to cheat in tests.

Copying now and then

Actually, cribs didn’t disappear at all, they just changed their form. That’s right, students don’t need to write them manually – now any materials they need can be found online and downloaded to their cellphones or printed out in any size they wish. It’s easier than ever before.

Often, students start abusing freedom and use cellphones as tools for cheating. They use cameras to take photos of tests, resort to text messaging for exchanging correct responses, record answers and then hear the audio via earpieces, etc. Educators, however, can unmask the cheaters with a cellphone detector – the BVS PocketHound, which “can detect the wireless signal and alert the instructor with a silent vibration.”

The Internet is a resident evil. It tempts students into taking works from paper mills, copying right during class, learning how-to-copy strategies that are described on websites and even provided with video manuals. The only necessary gadget for that is a smartphone with Internet access.

Students can be rather inventive. What are the best exam cheating tricks?

All these tricks above are widely practiced by students worldwide. However, students took a step further, and now they use really creative ways to cheat on a test. Their imagination just amazes! Among cheating devices that can be easily ordered online, there are glasses, pens, smart watches, neckloop and tiny body-colour headphones, lockets, shirts and T-shirts equipped with Bluetooth technology, and more.

Imagine, a big cheating scandal took place in China in October 2014. During a national exam, around 2,000 students were caught using earpieces to get the right answers. Experts agree that national exams are too tough, which explains why students cheat every year.

Is there a way out?

All this stuff is called high-tech cheating. It’s not an easy task to tackle, but still there are some proven methods.

There is a good example of successful struggling against dishonest students. High-tech cheating needs high-tech solutions.

Winneg’s company has been working on the copying issue since 1999. Now they suggest an innovative system, Remote Proctor Suite. It works thanks to a record-and-review online testing model. It means that a student’s identity is indicated biometrically, and the exam environment is recorded. It’s perfect for teachers, but unfortunately, not every school can afford such a high-tech solution.

Still, educators can cope with cheating even without high-tech software. Here’s how they might do it:

  • laying more emphasis on students’ activity during the lessons than on the results of their tests;
  • providing students with clear instruction on how to work in groups and avoid plagiarism;
  • encouraging students to study instead of applying intimidation discipline methods;
  • composing tests on one’s own, instead of taking them from the web or other educators;
  • keeping an eye on students while they are writing a test;
  • not letting students have breaks – where they use their electronic gadgets – until they finish their tests.

Students are great innovators when it comes to cheating techniques. But it’s not a reason to be angry with them. Everything you need to do as a teacher is to set your own rules, stick to them, explain to your students why and how to work following them and utilize a plagiarism tracker to make sure student papers are not plagiarized.