11 Ways Students Cheat in Online Exams & Prevention Tips

The evolution of technology has paved the way for the widespread adoption of online exams, offering unparalleled convenience and streamlined administration. However, this digital shift brings with it the challenge of maintaining academic integrity, as the ease of taking exams remotely has opened doors for various cheating tactics. Students often exploit their knowledge gaps and the system’s vulnerabilities to manipulate their scores without investing the required effort. Additionally, educational institutions are striving to adapt to this new learning landscape by exploring diverse remote proctoring solutions. In this article, we will explore eleven ingenious methods of cheating in online exams and discuss strategies to mitigate these issues.

What are the reasons behind the significant concern about cheating in the hiring process?

Cheating in the hiring process poses a significant risk, as it can have far-reaching consequences for both the organization and the individual involved. The hiring process is a cornerstone of any organization, as it involves selecting individuals who will shoulder crucial responsibilities and embody the company’s values and culture. 

When an individual cheats during online hiring exams, it creates an unjust advantage over other candidates who have adhered to the rules and may be better suited for the role. This can result in the organization hiring someone who may not be the ideal fit for the position, potentially leading to subpar job performance and adverse effects on the team or organization.

Furthermore, cheating undermines the integrity of the hiring process and the organization’s reputation, particularly if the cheating becomes public knowledge. It can also lead to legal and ethical dilemmas, as cheating may involve fabricating credentials or providing false information about one’s qualifications, which can expose the organization to legal liability.

What is a Proctored Exam and How Does it Work in the Hiring Process?

A proctored test is an assessment overseen by a proctor or invigilator, tasked with ensuring the exam is conducted fairly and in accordance with established rules. Proctored exams are commonly employed in the hiring process to deter cheating and accurately evaluate a candidate’s skills and knowledge.

During a proctored exam, the proctor may supervise the test in person or remotely through video conferencing or specialized software. The proctor is responsible for verifying the candidate’s identity, outlining the exam rules, and monitoring the candidate’s behavior to prevent any form of cheating.

Online proctored exams adhere to a similar protocol as traditional in-person exams. Candidates are required to undergo an identification process and authenticate their identity before commencing the evaluation. The system cross-verifies information from two separate sources once candidates activate their webcams and submit a photo or scan of their identification. Upon satisfactory verification of their identity and inspection of the necessary equipment, candidates may begin the test.

Proctoring software is designed to detect any anomalous behavior by test-takers and, depending on the software type, either alert a human proctor or generate a report for further scrutiny. Additionally, online proctoring involves recording all data, not only to detect dishonesty in real-time but also to facilitate the review of test outcomes should any contentious situations arise.

11 Smart Methods Candidates Use to Cheat on Online Proctored Exams & How to Stop Them

Online exams have surged in popularity, particularly with the advent of remote learning. While they offer numerous advantages, they also open the door to potential cheating by candidates. With the aid of technology and the internet, candidates can employ various innovative methods to cheat during online exams. Here are eleven such methods and how to prevent them:

1. Using External Devices: Candidates might use external devices like smartphones, tablets, or smartwatches to cheat during online exams by accessing notes, searching for answers, or communicating with others.

Prevention: Ban the use of external devices during the exam and employ online proctoring software that can detect any devices connected to the candidate’s computer.

2. Screen Sharing: Candidates can use screen-sharing tools to display their exam screen to someone else who can assist with the answers.

Prevention: Utilize proctoring software that can detect screen sharing and alert the exam supervisor.

3. Copy-Pasting: Candidates can copy-paste answers from online sources or their notes.

Prevention: Employ software that can detect plagiarism and check for duplicate answers.

4. Virtual Machines: Candidates can use virtual machines to run multiple instances of the exam, allowing them to search for answers without leaving the exam interface.

Prevention: Use software that can detect virtual machines and prohibit their use.

5. Impersonation: Candidates might request someone else to take the exam on their behalf, either before or during the online assessment session.

Prevention: Implement identity verification measures such as facial recognition or biometric authentication to ensure the person taking the exam is the registered candidate. Consider using AI-based proctoring software that can identify suspicious sounds, other devices, and unusual body language.

6. Collaboration: Candidates can collaborate with other candidates or individuals during the exam, through chatting or video conferencing.

Prevention: Use software that can detect multiple logins from the same IP address and prohibit communication during the exam.

7. Fake IDs: Candidates can use fake IDs to impersonate others during online exams.

Prevention: Employ identity verification measures such as government-issued IDs or biometric authentication.

8. Keyloggers: Candidates can use keyloggers to capture keystrokes and learn the answers typed by previous candidates.

Prevention: Utilize software that can detect keyloggers and prevent their installation.

9. Cheating Websites: Candidates can access websites that provide answers to exam questions.

Prevention: Use software that can detect access to known cheating websites and prohibit access to these sites.

10. Brute Force: Candidates can use brute force to guess passwords or break encryption to gain access to the exam.

Prevention: Use strong passwords and encryption algorithms that are difficult to guess or break.

11. Malware: Candidates can use malware to gain access to the exam or the computer of the supervisor.

Prevention: Employ antivirus software and firewalls to detect and prevent malware infections.

Online exams are vulnerable to cheating, but by employing software that can detect cheating techniques and implementing preventive measures, the integrity of online exams can be maintained.

What measures can be taken to minimize cheating in online exams?

Reducing online exam cheating during the recruitment process is crucial for maintaining integrity and fairness. Here are some effective strategies to consider:

1. Implement Proctoring Software: Utilize proctoring software to monitor candidates’ computer activities, webcams, and microphones during the exam. This ensures that they are not accessing unauthorized resources or receiving external assistance.

2. Randomize Exam Questions: Randomizing exam questions for each candidate prevents the sharing of answers and increases the difficulty of cheating.

3. Employ AI-Powered Anti-Cheating Tools: Leverage AI-powered tools to analyze candidates’ behavior during the exam and identify any suspicious activities. These tools can detect patterns indicative of cheating, such as copy-pasting answers or accessing online resources.

4. Utilize Plagiarism Detection Software: Implement plagiarism detection software to identify instances where candidates have copied answers from online sources or submitted work that is not their own.

5. Verify Candidate Identity: Ensure the authenticity of candidates by requiring identification documents, such as passports or driver’s licenses, and comparing them to the candidates’ photos or webcam feeds.

6. Establish a Code of Conduct: Develop a code of conduct that clearly outlines the rules and consequences of cheating during the exam. Communicate this code to all candidates beforehand to set clear expectations.

By adopting these measures, online exam cheating can be significantly reduced, leading to a more transparent and fair recruitment process for all involved.


In conclusion, the rise of online exams has brought forth innovative cheating methods, challenging the integrity of assessments. However, by employing proactive strategies such as proctoring software, randomizing questions, leveraging AI-powered anti-cheating tools, utilizing plagiarism detection, verifying candidate identities, and establishing a clear code of conduct, we can effectively safeguard the credibility of online exams. These measures not only deter dishonest practices but also ensure a fair and equitable evaluation process for all candidates. As technology continues to evolve, so too must our approaches to maintaining the integrity of online assessments.

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