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How to prevent cheating in online testing software

Plagiarism Detection

Plagiarism detection is one of the most commonly used anti-cheating measures by online testing software. The premise is simple; the examination software goes through the content presented by the candidate and does a web search of it. Using advanced algorithms, it can detect how much of the content was copied or spun from an online source. This measure is extremely useful when evaluating subjective questions and essays.


When students are giving exams outside of a classroom, it can be hard to assess their identity. They might simply ask a friend to give them exam for them. A lesser known control measure is proctoring, where an invigilator keeps check on candidates via a webcam. A proof of identity such as a driving license has to be presented before attempting the exam.

While it is possible that students can keep an open book outside of the webcam’s field of view, most experienced invigilators can catch unnatural eye movements. The method is now being used by institutions such as the Boston University, who has now started using online testing software for assessing their final examinations.

Keystroke Recognition

It may seem like the stuff of fiction, but even today, universities are making use of keystroke recognition technology to detect the identity of candidates. The keystroke patterns generally tend to be homogenous for a particular student which advanced online testing software can tally to assess whether the same candidate is attempting the exam. This technology is most famously being used by Pace University in New York.

Live Monitoring

If all these control measures weren’t enough, invigilators can also access a live stream of the candidate’s screen while they are taking an exam. This prevents candidates from accessing the internet for information for the duration of the assessment.

Common Sense

Perhaps the greatest tool that teachers can use to determine whether a student is cheating or not is by simply using common sense. If a student hasn’t been doing great throughout the semester and manages to score exceptionally high marks in the finals, it warrants some scrutiny. However, it is entirely possible that the student hasn’t cheated; subjective judgment is expected in such instances. Many online testing software such as Examtesting.com offer a performance bell curve which can indicate outliers for a particular assessment.



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