Who is Cheating: Commentary from ExamSoft
Whether they are taking important school exams, or certification or licensing exams, exam takers are subjected to sometimes onerous security procedures.
They are also concerned with making sure the content of their exams (i.e. the questions) does not get out into the general public without proper authorization. When this happens, it costs administrators time and money to resolve. Questions have to be retired and replaced (which can be very costly), and sometimes exam results have to be reevaluated.
Exam software companies like ExamSoft develop systems to discourage and prevent cheating with sophisticated levels of monitoring and analysis. Even with security as a priority, students continue to look for ExamSoft hacks and other ways to use ExamSoft to cheat.
With all of this focus on exam security, it begs the question of how frequently exam security is breached and how prevalent security vulnerability is. Unfortunately, cheating is far more common than anyone would like to believe.
Here are the statistics compiled under Academic Dishonesty within Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_dishonesty):
In the United States, studies show that:
* 20% of students started cheating in the first grade.
* 56% of middle school students and 70% of high school students have cheated
* 50%-70% of college students admit to having cheated at least once
While, nationally, these rates of cheating in the U.S. remain stable today, there are large disparities between different schools, depending on the size, selectivity and anti-cheating policies of the school. Generally, the smaller and more selective the college, the less cheating occurs there.
* 15%-20% of students who have engaged in academic dishonesty at small, elite liberal arts colleges
* Cheating at large public universities can be as high as 75%
* 56% of MBA students admitted cheating, along with 54% of graduate students in engineering, 48% in education, and 45% in law
Students are not the only ones to cheat in an academic setting. A study among North Carolina school teachers found that some 35 percent of respondents said they had witnessed their colleagues cheating in one form or another. The rise of high-stakes testing and the consequences of the results on the teacher are cited as reasons why a teacher might want to inflate the results of their students.
Based on these statistics, you can see why online testing systems, such as ExamSoft's SofTest, are designed to prevent cheating, identify security breaches, and monitor attempts to hack the software.
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