Is it Possible to Cheat With Computer Testing Software?


Published on

ExamSoft, a company that provides computer based testing software and online test maker, implements both cheating prevention and post-exam cheating detection systems to satisfy the needs and concerns of test administrators.

Published in: Education, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Is it Possible to Cheat With Computer Testing Software?

  1. 1. Is it Possible to Cheat Using Computer Testing Software? by David Schnabel, President of ExamSoftExam takers often wonder whether online exam security systems can be breached. As aprovider of computer based testing software, ExamSoft implements both cheatingprevention and post-exam cheating detection systems. While it is impossible to knowhow many instances of potential cheating have been prevented, our staff and systemshave been responsible for helping our clients identify or confirm cases of illicit behaviorafter the fact. This role is not always popular. In particular, we are often asked why weuse techniques to “lock-down” laptops and prevent access to outside tools or applications.We use such techniques specifically because we are trying to help exam takers, includingstudents and professionals.Moving an exam from a pen-and-paper format to a computer-based format seems verynatural, particularly in today’s technology-centric world. However, it is fraught withchallenges for administrators. ExamSoft seeks to give exam takers the benefits that comewith online exam software, while satisfying the needs and concerns of the testadministrators.ExamSoft provides the opportunity for exam takers to leverage their own laptops and/orinstitutional computer labs (depending on the institutional client’s choice) to take theirexams. The idea is to give exam takers one or more of the following opportunities:• To type their essay answers rather than write them by hand; depending on the specificexam, this might come with certain computer-based tools such as cut-paste or spell-check• To receive score results more quickly than is typically possible with bubble-sheet orblue-book systems• To receive detailed, personalized exam performance feedback, to guide future study orpersonal development efforts (i.e. get personal emails)• To have their digital answer files regularly backed up during the test, to mitigate risksof potential data loss• To have exam questions that are evaluated/measured for validity and fairness• To test in a location that is as convenient as possible (as opposed to a remote, lockeddown testing center, for example)• To go greenThe student or exam taker preferences often pose challenges for schools and otherinstitutions. Exam administrators want to provide exams that are fair and valid. Thismeans that they need to remain vigilant to prevent security breaches and find security
  2. 2. vulnerabilities. It is a continual effort since there are always a small, but impactfulnumber of people looking for ways to cheat or exploit any security system.Unfortunately, this means that the actions or potential actions of a few, impact theexperiences of the many who simply want to study for and perform as well as they can,honestly, on their exams. ExamSoft’s staff comes to work every day, trying to find waysto improve the experience for all exam takers, while also trying to stop the small numberof cheaters from impacting the whole bunch.If you ever encounter anything that might help us improve the user experience or securitylevel, for the benefit of all exam takers, please let us know. We really want to help andwe work to improve each day. We can be reached at or954-429-8889.ExamSoft prides itself in offering a full online testing software solution, rather than just astatic exam software package. We want to understand our clients’ operations andobjectives, so we can service them appropriately. Clients can use some, or all, of oursoftware modules, along with a range of live support services. Though we have beenhelping hundreds of institutions achieve their online testing goals over the past decade,we think of our clients as individuals, whose trust we need to earn every day. Moreinformation on our exam software and our test generator software can be found at