I am contemplating a mechanism where mass entrance examinations will be conducted fully online with zero human supervision. But the main hurdle seems to be mass cheating.

For instance, in countries with large-scale college entrance exams, it is a major problem that people hire other people to take the exam for them.

How can I overcome this problem in case of, say, thousand students sitting for their exam on the same day at the same time? How can I make sure they are not cheating?

The camera can be an option, but, is it possible without the camera? And, how do I know that they are not circumventing the camera? For example, maybe they are copy-pasting from a PDF book.


1 Answer 1


Unfortunately most exams and the questions on them assume that there is a proctor present to verify both identification and the attempts at cheating. If you give one of those kinds of exams, then you can't really prevent cheating.

One option is to give an exam in which cheating is irrelevant or impossible, but this requires both a difficult process of exam creation and evaluation. Open book exams take a step in the right direction, but don't eliminate the issues.

But the other option is to assume that students who have cheated will be admitted. But if you make the first course(s) especially difficult then some of those students will be eliminated quickly.

But processes designed for face-to-face interactions, both in teaching and exams don't work well in the online environment. You need to accept that and work toward the design of more "distance-friendly" processes. It might be a long process and the need might disappear before generally accepted "best practice" emerges.

  • If cheaters are prepared to go as far as literally hiring others to take the exam for them then it seems it would be extremely difficult to "give an exam in which cheating is irrelevent or impossible". Jun 19, 2021 at 12:36

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