How to Prevent Cheating in Online Exams?

It’s been more than a year since the pandemic of Covid19 forced society to switch to remote functioning in all spheres of life.

It’s not just education that has migrated to the internet…The whole bureaucracy spanning from commerce to finances and labor market has evolved to the online realm.

Needless to say that working remotely has brought a whole new set of problems for employers, managers, and analysts.

For example, when it comes to evaluating employee productivity levels, fraudulent behavior has become a growing concern

Since evaluation and tests are carried out from our homes’ comfort, cheating naturally became a modern-day plague.

Additionally, the exams that take place in various learning centers or in-house can weigh on your budget and are much easier to cheat on.

That’s why government institutions, learning centers, and companies are striving together to figure out ways of preventing fraud in online exams.

Finding an all-encompassing solution that can allow you to stay one step in front of witty candidates is difficult… but not impossible.

This is where testing and assessment software can come in to save the day and make the online evaluation legitimate.

Automate and Secure Online Exam

Even before online testing, the various data suggested that people have a strong inclination to cheat at tests.

It’s impossible for the teachers or team leaders to completely supervise every aspect of the test-taking process.

Actually, in such a setting, approximately 30% of candidates are probably going to resort to some form of cheating. 

Most often, there simply aren’t enough supervisors to tend to numerous tests and candidates.

Let’s put it like this — if the tester-supervisor ratio is 20 to 1, funny business is bound to take place.

That’s why you should try to find an online testing and assessment software that automates the supervision of the whole test-taking process.

So the first step is to use automated software to monitor the test-taking process and make your life easier.

What you’ll read next is the key features your software of choice needs to offer to prevent cheating.

Use The Test Generator And Randomize Questions To Prevent Students From Copying The Entire Answer Sheet

Multiple-choice tests are, without a doubt, the easiest to cheat on. So, the only way to ensure secure testing is to implement software that can randomize the question order for each candidate.

Namely, by randomizing the questions, you’ll significantly decrease the candidates’ ability to memorize and share the correct answers.

Thus, the test generator feature is the first step to ensuring that your candidates don’t cheat.

Ideally,  you ought to look for automated testing software that enables you to do that with the click of a button. This means that test-takers won’t be able to simply jot down the answers and pass them along amongst each other.

An online exam builder can also allow you to create multiple-choice tests online, or import the questions you want to use from your local machine.

Another great functionality you ought to look for is branching questions, which create a logical question path, further customizing the exam.

Pro tip: Some online quiz makers allow you to create “hotspot” questions, allowing the candidates to select a spot on an image — testing both their practical and theoretical knowledge.

Use Automated Proctoring To Ensure That The Candidate Isn’t Using External Resources

Automated proctoring can allow you to keep an eye on your candidates at all times — without anyone actually being there.

Just imagine, you simply turn on the AI software, and let it do its work, while you’re off doing more important things.

If you are a test supervisor yourself, you save time & energy while increasing productivity.

If you’re a manager of a test center, you also save money you’d otherwise have to spend hiring proctors and supervisors. What’s more, you build authority in your niche and become more credible and legitimate as a learning center.

Here’s how automated online proctoring builds your (brand) presence and ensures credibility:

  • Behavioral trackers – monitor head movement of candidates, as well as background noise
  • AI technology
  • ID authentication – face recognition that compares test taker to his ID picture
  • Lockdown browser – disables candidates from switching screens, tabs, right-clicking, or making screenshots
  • Post-exam credibility reports – allow professional proctors to review the test-taking process and mark suspicious behavior so that supervisors can pay attention to specific parts of the video.
  • Display monitoring – prevents candidates from using multiple screens in order to simply Google the answers on their alternate device

All of it combined ensures test integrity and prevents cheating while allowing candidates to take an exam from the comfort of their homes or offices.

Online proctoring is an incredibly powerful tool for employee training and development, as it can substitute personal monitoring. 

Live proctoring solutions also monitor and record online assessments via camera and microphone on the candidate’s computer.

Additionally, automated online proctoring utilizes AI software to help you monitor the candidate’s behavior and workflow.

Then, once the process has begun, the online testing software will also lock the browser to prevent the examinees from exiting the window. It will even disable the right-click option, just in case.

That way the examinees can’t simply Google the answers or share the questions with other candidates.

As an added precaution, the remote proctoring tool will also let you know if the window is maximized, or an additional display is connected. In doing so, it will prevent candidates from using any devices to search for answers while taking the test.

Not to mention, some software will take screenshots along the way, so you can always go back and review what happened during the testing.

All in all, these features ought to ensure secure testing, without ever involving you, or a proctor in the process.

Keep Tabs on the Candidate’s Cam, Mic, and Surroundings with AI Software Features

Candidates often make use of external resources on their quest to cheat.

Perhaps most commonly, they connect another device or have someone sit next to them to give them answers.

So, first and foremost, the software has to be able to monitor the candidates’ camera and microphone.

Automated online proctoring also has to ensure that the devices are on, that there’s no unauthorized noise or presence in the background.

The online exam proctoring software will connect to the candidate’s system to ensure the right person is taking the test.

The software does that by comparing the picture of the candidate’s ID to the candidate’s facial features. If the wrong person is sitting in front of the feature, you’ll be alerted so you can prevent cheating.

Some candidates will try to get around this by having two people in front of the camera (hoping the software can’t pick up on multiple faces).

So, look for online assessment software that is able to detect additional, as well as unfamiliar faces on the camera.

Any background noise should also be filtered and marked in the subsequent video recording of the test-taking process.

Finally, the time-stamped video with “problematic” behavior will then be sent to a real proctor that can review automated software’s reports.

Pro tip: If you want an instant reaction to the fraudulent behavior, find a company that enables you to hire a Certified Proctor who will keep track of the test as it’s being conducted.

Even though the AI proctoring services prevent cheating per se this kind of premium support is available if you wanna go retro. 

So, it comes in handy when your anti-cheating solution of choice, can connect you to a professional supervisor who will keep track of the candidate’s behavior and look for any abnormalities.

Additionally, proctored exam software allows both the program and the proctor to monitor the entire process from start to finish.

So, if there’s anything suspicious going on, the proctor will get a real-time report about the activity, and can then check it out for themselves.

Moreover, a proctor can even view the progress of each candidate during the questions on the test in real-time.

They will also be able to have a clearer overview of test results, during and after the testing process.

The proctored assessment platform should also allow screen sharing, and be able to archive the videos so you can go back and check them.

Suffice it to say, a well-thought-out proctored online examination allows you to cover all of your bases and be 100% sure a candidate isn’t cheating.

Find a Tool That’s Easy to Implement Across the Board

Sometimes the biggest problem with monitoring candidates is learning how to use the online exam software correctly.

If you don’t know how to use the software, you’ll make an opening for the candidates to cheat their way through.

Automated apps can be tricky to use and many providers don’t have user’s experience on their minds during development.

That’s why it’s important that you find a tool that’s easy to implement and understand from a user’s perspective. Additionally, it should also prioritize making the online test-taking process administrator-friendly.

Make sure the software you plan on purchasing is easy to use and that it comes with high-quality support because migrating people from paper to online examination requires good organization skills and time management.

We also recommend finding one with an online training platform that provides video tutorials, help centers, and customer care every step of the way.

This way, the test administrators can learn how to grade a test, embed online exams, monitor the candidates proficiently, and help candidates to adopt the new technologies without any hassle.

Also, it’s very important that the software can be implemented across multiple common platforms such as Zoom, Meet, and Webex.

However, if you have a custom communication solution, make sure the automated testing software can be integrated with it as well. 

Your ultimate goal should be to find a solution that offers a wide array of customizable features — while being intuitive and easy to use.

Having a clear picture of the program’s features will enable you to focus on the test-taking process, and get precise results every time.

Repetition is the mother of learning and we don’t want you to miss any of the important features that a cheating-prevention software should have, so let’s revise the steps to making your tests legit:

  1. Use the test generator to randomize the questions and prevent students from copying passing around the answers
  2. Use automated proctoring software with these features:
    • Behavioral trackers – monitor head movement of candidates, as well as background noise
    • AI technology
    • ID authentication – face recognition that compares test taker to his ID picture
    • Lockdown browser – disables candidates from switching screens, tabs, right-clicking, or making screenshots
    • Post-exam credibility reports – allow professional proctors to review the test-taking process and mark suspicious behavior so that supervisors can pay attention to specific parts of the video.
    • Display monitoring – prevents candidates from using multiple screens in order to simply Google the answers on their alternate device
  1. Make sure to monitor the candidates’ surroundings for any background noise and/or unwanted guests (although the software already does that for you)
  2. Make sure your software is easy to implement across the board as too many technicalities can be time-consuming and difficult to monitor

Final Thoughts

Although going remote has come with a lot of benefits, it also has its pitfalls.

As you can see, cheating candidates can become a burden on their instructors.  

So, if you’re conducting high-stakes testing, it’s imperative that you find a solution that can keep up with candidates and stop them from cheating.

This is the only way to ensure the quality of your testing process.

If you’re looking for a solution that encompasses all of these features and benefits, we recommend checking out YouTestMe Get Certified.

We wrote the article so it’s safe to say we’ve got your back when all these features are concerned ;)

In a sea of various online learning platforms, YouTestMe stands out as the most well-rounded solution, in addition to being accessible, and easy to implement.

It allows you to sit back and relax while making sure that all your candidates are being monitored in a foolproof testing environment.

Not to mention, the software offers a high ROI, by making your testing secure, and your overall costs low — so it quickly pays itself off.

To check YouTestMe GetCertified out for yourself, feel free to reach out to our friendly customer support team and schedule a free trial or a live demo.