The 10 most inventive cheating attempts on online exams

Exams are just around the corner and there is so much of the syllabus still left to cover. It’s the story of every student’s life.

exams-cheating-onlineAnxiety and fear has often pushed us to cheat. We all have seen, heard or even participated in some form of cheating. I had a friend who would use all his time making crib notes before exams instead of studying.

His argument: most of the subjects are unimportant and a waste of time.

Call it genius at work or another smart innovation, but here are some of the smartest ways in which candidates have cheated in exams. And by no means, intentionally or unintentionally we are advocating in favor of cheating.

1. With assessments going completely online in a few schools and colleges, tech savvy students have utilized their IT experience to hack into the online assessment system. Steve (obviously, his name has been changed) had to write some of his tests in an online system. This was an open source system, and he created a program that fetches the correct answers to the test (which are stored on the server). However, he got caught because he got 100 percent in 0.01 mins.

2. In the case of online exams, use of Google Docs, screen share, and opening new windows in a separate tab to access Google are also prevalent malpractices employed by students. In the US, a group of four friends used a shared Google Doc, which they could read, write, and comment simultaneously while writing an online test. They were all writing for an online science course they hardly cared to study for. All of them got straight As.

3. A few students use cheat sheets hidden in water bottles, coke bottles, Kleenex boxes or tissue paper. There’s even a YouTube video detailing how to use Coke bottles in the exam room.

4. Students have gone to people who are specialists in a particular area in chat rooms on the internet and had them give answers, especially for take home/online exams.

5. Many students have also tried to swap papers with students in various years, at different universities using eMail or MSN.

6. Not all can do wonders with their IT skills. Some goof up big time. For a simple college assignment that required him to write a simple java applet that displays three colored bars in a graph, George (whose name has been changed) re-submitted a student’s assignment from last year. Everything was going smoothly, until the code was run. Displayed in bold letters at the top was “Stella’s Bar Graph.”

7. Most interesting and innovative example of cheating in exams where calculators are allowed comes from engineering colleges. An engineering student implanted a smartphone inside his calculator and accessed Google to get the answers. A few other engineering students confessed to using graphic calculators that have a section where one can type out notes. They used that section to write in complex equations.

8. Recently in the news, some fifth-year medical students at Adelaide University allegedly breached the copyright notice by using university-provided iPads to capture and upload material about the exam.

9. During an exam, question papers were placed on the desks in a classroom. Two students sat a couple of seats away from each other so that they had the same version of exam. Both took the exam, then one student (who apparently wasn’t registered in the class) handed off his exam to the other student, who then compared the two exams and handed the one in that the other student had written

10. As the cheat sheet system and micro-xeroxes became less popular, students started writing on their body parts. After getting repeatedly caught for writing down the notes on her hands, ankles, fingers, and palms, a student named Sheila started taking advantage of her long, dense hair to hide cheats.

This post originally appeared on Mettl’s blog.

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