How to Prevent Cheating in Online Exams?

Data shows that cheating has increased since online education became the norm. Without any teacher facilitating and watching their moves, students discovered more ways to be dishonest.

That’s where programs like ProctorEdu online proctoring come in with one objective: To prevent cheating.

What Is Cheating in Exams and What Is Considered Cheating?

Cheating is engaging in unfair and dishonest practices to get academic credit. Cheating may include:

  • Collaborating with other people to get the answers or questions of the examination in advance.
  • Letting another person take the examination.
  • Looking and copying another person’s answers during exams.
  • Using another person’s work in the examination.
  • Breaching the rules and regulations of the exam.
  • Accessing devices or materials containing information about the exam.
  • Trying to get and distribute exam materials.

Why Do Students Cheat in Exams?

Some of the common reasons why students cheat on online exams include:

1. Pressure

Students usually cheat in exams to obtain something. They may want to maintain their scholarship, or they don’t want to disappoint their parents with bad or failing grades. Some students may have full time-work, so they can no longer focus on exam preparations.

2. Under Preparation

When students are unprepared, they see cheating as their only hope. Laziness can contribute to unpreparedness, while some lack time to learn and review due to jobs, family problems, and mental conditions such as anxiety and depression.

3. Competitiveness

When students are conditioned to outperform others, they tend to do everything they can to win and surpass them, even if it takes them to cheat.

Why Is Cheating in Any Exam Wrong?

To prevent the likelihood of cheating in online exams, students must understand why cheating is wrong.

  • Cheating is unfair to others who work fairly.

Many students give their best to prepare for the examinations. Although they might suffer from conflicting schedules from other aspects of life, failure to properly balance your time is not a reason to defraud others.

  • Cheating prevents progress.

Although students pass examinations due to cheating, they don’t learn. Even if they pass on paper, their skills will be lacking, thereby affecting their performance in either their jobs or other facets of life.

When these students don’t experience hard work to learn and get those good grades, they won’t develop traits such as dedication, hard work, and patience that they’ll need when they find a job.

8 Ways to Prevent Cheating in Online Exams

Here are ways to deal with online academic dishonesty:

1. Use an Online Proctoring Software

One of the best ways to prevent cheating on online exams is using online proctoring software. Various features of online proctoring software that can ensure the integrity of the entire examination include:

  • Examinee Authentication

Proctoring software can validate the examinees and remove them for suspicious behaviors. Before the exam, the software will require the examinee to present their identification. It will also ask them to share screen, audio, and video.

  • 360-Degrees Tour of the Examination Area

Some online proctoring software will require a 360-degrees tour of the examination area to ensure a cheating-free environment. It can detect the presence of gadgets and other abnormal activity that will remove dishonest students on exams.

  • Real-Time Monitoring

Perhaps the closest to the traditional classroom setting is the use of live proctors who can supervise examinations and look for cheating behaviors.

2. Create an Honor Code

An honor code such as “I pledge I will not cheat” can be helpful to appeal to the examiners’ conscience. It’s also essential that instructors teach students the importance of academic integrity and the consequences of cheating.

3. Give Clear Examination Rules and Instructions

Before the online exam, it is vital to let the students understand the rules. Give them instructions on what are considered acceptable behaviors and what are not.

4. Provide Analytical Questions

Instead of making questions that can be answered by simply searching the internet,  try to create questions that will require students to analyze, interpret, and explain.

5. Create Different Versions of the Same Examination

Change the sequence of questions and some of the words and choices. Letting the students know the questions are different for each batch will prevent them from sharing answers and questions because they won’t be any help.

6. Set-up the Exam to Prevent Backtracking

Prohibiting students from going back to previous questions will force them to do their best to think about their answers.

7. Protect the Examination Answers

Instead of presenting students the number with their correct answers, only show the questions they answered incorrectly. This will lessen the questions students will want to share with the next batch of examinees because they won’t be able to tell the correct answer right after.

8. Delay the Availability of Scores

Instead of giving them their scores and the answers to the questions immediately, delay it until all the batch of examinees is done.


Students cheat due to different reasons. However, they must understand that cheating will not benefit them but instead, will hinder their growth and success later in life.

Although some students already know the consequences of cheating, they might still be tempted. Because of this, it is vital to implement strategies to prevent it and ensure the integrity of the examination.