The year 2021 is to witness a wide-spread acceptance of online mode of conducting various examinations. As schools and colleges remain physically closed and the surge in the COVID-19 cases during the second wave of the pandemic take an alarming turn, online remote proctored exams are being administered by various universities for conducting entrance examinations.
National level entrance examinations for university / institute level admissions that are being empowered by remote proctored exams include – VITEEE 2021 by VIT Vellore, KIITEE 2021 by KIIT Bhubaneswar, AEEE 2021 by Amrita Vishwavidyapeetham, GITAM GAT 2021 by GITAM, SRMJEEE 2021 by SRM Chennai – to name a few. All these entrance exams, and more, some engineering entrance exams, others common entrance tests, are all scheduled to be conducted in the online remote proctored mode that can be taken by registered candidates from the comfort of their homes.
Interestingly, certain groups of students are circulating ideas of cheating in these online remote proctored mode examinations. There are whole telegram groups and whatsapp groups that are being coordinated to cheat during specific slots of exams. Some are going by the name of discussion groups, while others are blatantly being named as cheating groups. These groups are now full of cheating hacks.
While taking a look at the most popular cheating hacks for remote proctored exams, we could not help notice that the perpetrators are largely unaware of the “Proctored” part. While the tests are home based, they are being conducted in the remote proctored mode and these exams are cheat-proof, and if not cheat-proof, then cheaters-will-be-caught-and-punished-proof. It is thus, in the best interests of the test taker, to not attempt to cheat.
Cheating Hacks Promoted on Social Media For Remote Proctored Exams
Screen sharing – Some perpetrators are of the belief that they can share their screen with experts during the conduct of the examination to get correct answers without even having to blink or move from their place.
Taking screenshots – While some are advising on screen sharing, others feel that they can get away with taking a screenshot of the online test questions and relay them to peers to get correct answers in real time.
Use of Bluetooth devices – Some students are even considering the use of tiny Bluetooth devices under their desk that can relay information to and fro with someone who is not taking the test and intends to help the candidate to answer questions.
Impersonation – This is one of the most ridiculous ideas being circulated over social media groups that candidates can get away with impersonation i.e. sitting someone else to take the test on their behalf as the test is being taken from home.
Proctoring Methods are Cheat Proof
Switching screens/tabs is prohibited / screen sharing – During the entire time of the exam, candidates are not allowed to switch screens or tabs on their computer. Such activity is easily tracked by the proctor (AI/Live) and disqualification of candidature will follow immediately. Candidates cannot use any application to take screenshot or share the, as such activity essentially require one to switch between tabs. The use of separate safe examination browser for the test also ensures that softwares other than the test itself do not run. Thus screen sharing and such activities will also either not be possible to run, or will be caught.
Use of headphone/communication devices is prohibited – The use or presence of any communication devices, including headphones, ear pods, Bluetooth devices, mobile phones etc. is strictly prohibited. Candidates cannot even keep these items on their desk during the exam. Thus, use of headphone for relaying information will eventually lead anyone to get caught.
Impersonation is prohibited – During the exam, surroundings of the room are monitored. There is little to zero chances of impersonation as candidates are monitored through audio and video feedback in real time.
Why cheating is not possible, and definitely not advisable?
Irrespective of what one might read about cheating in the online exams this year, all Universities conducting entrance tests in such mode have put in months of planning, consideration and effort to ensure that fair exams are conducted. It is not possible to share screen with another device. The moment the proctor detects connection with another device, the candidate will be disqualified.
Similarly, candidates can already ditch the idea of using a third phone to take pictures as they will be constantly monitored through video captured by webcam/front-facing camera. In the same way, it is not possible to take screenshots as switching tabs will automatically be detected.
Does the end justify the means? No, they do not.
And when it comes to something as critical as your career, cheating is the one thing that can ruin it.
Candidates are advised to refrain from attempting to cheat by means during online examinations as the interfaces are designed to prevent and catch cheating attempts. Any anomaly will be considered as cheating. Once caught, the consequences may be dire as in they can be barred from admission to their dream University. The only outcome will be a blot on the academic career of the candidate caught cheating.