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5 things to prevent cheating during online exams

One of the major concerns of institutes while conducting an online examination is the apparent risk of malpractices that comes with it due to lack of human invigilation.

One of the sad truths about education and examinations today is that students come up with creative techniques to cheat in an exam, be it an online or an offline exam.

One of the advantages of conducting online exams is that it comes with n-number checks and balances to avoid any malpractices from being carried out. Perhaps, these checks and balances make online exams more secure and efficient in rooting out malpractices.

Offline exams still have the risk of human errors which won’t be a problem with online exams.
5 Things To Do To Prevent Cheating During Online Examinations

Here are the steps which are taken to prevent cheating in online exams:

1. Secure Browser

Security is an important aspect of the exam. A feature during the online examination process prevents the opening of another window or tab on the browser.

Secure Browser Technology prevents users from opening any other window while the online examination process is going on. The user is allowed to access only the examination window.

Access to keyboard shortcuts for copy, paste and screen capture is completely prevented.

When a candidate tries to open a new window, an alert is flashed which asks the candidate to revert to the exam window.

After 3 such alerts, the exam is terminated. It is also possible to customise this approach and the exam is terminated immediately after the candidate tries to open a new window.

Secure or Safe Browser can also be used to conduct remote exams. Safe browser is exe file which is used to launch online exam. It has many advanced features which can be helpful to conduct remote exams without any kind of cheating.

Features of Secure Browser APP

  • Prevent HDMI Cable extensions
  • Kill background screen sharing applications with ease
  • Prevent unauthorized access to exam using remote logins
  • Prevent users from opening any other background recording applications
  • Facility to keep exam window always on top
  • White list required application so that you can switch windows (e,g Excel for accounts calculation, R Programing app for analysis)

2. Remote Proctoring

Proctor Role Details

Remote Proctoring is a proctoring process in which a physical proctor is not required to be present in the room where the online exam is being conducted.

In a remote proctored test, candidates are monitored for the duration of the test via webcam, mic and access to the screen of the candidate’s device.

To take such a test the candidate needs:

1.A suitable device such as a desktop PC, laptop, mobile phone, tablet.

2.Access to the internet.

3.A functioning webcam and mike.

The following process takes place when a candidate appears for a remote proctored test:

1.Candidate Identity Verification

Identity of Candidate is verified by Remote Proctor.

2. The candidate is Allowed to Appear for Online Exam

Upon identity, verification Candidate appears for the online exam.

3. Images and Video Capturing 

Images and Videos of Candidate are captured using a Web camera Attached.

4. Auto Proctoring 

Auto Proctoring keeps track of key events of candidate movement, mobile phone usage, and suspicious audio to monitor exam process.

Types of Remote Proctoring

1. Live online proctoring

In this type of remote proctoring, a proctor is assessing the candidate in real time via webcam, mic and access to the device’s screen.

2. Recorded proctoring

In this method, no proctor is assessing the candidate in real time. The audio-video feed for the duration of the test is recorded. A proctor later goes through this feed and flags any malpractices noticed.

3. Automated Advanced Proctoring

In this type, there is no or minimal need for manpower. An automated system is programmed to monitor the candidate and detect any malpractices and flag them.

Proctor can view live streaming of candidates attempting the exam


Object Detection during Online Exam

AI Proctoring can also help in detecting objects like mobile  phone usage during online exams.

AI based proctoring with object detection

3. Remote Candidate Authentication

Candidate authentication is one of the most primary steps of an online exam. The first step in an online examination is the verification of a candidate’s identity. For many institutes, a major concern while switching over to online exams is authentication of the candidate’s identity.

Impersonation is one of the most major forms of malpractices which take place in both online and offline examinations.

Eklavvya answers these concerns with its candidate verification system. It follows the following steps:

1. Candidate logs in to the system using valid credentials.

2. On Successful Login, the candidate is asked to enter a valid identity card number in the system

3. The system then validates this identity card number with the details provided during registration. For example, if the candidate has submitted their PAN number while registration, then the system will compare the entered details with the records available.

4. After the entered details are verified, candidates need to show their, say, PAN card to the remote proctor for verification.


5. If the identity is not valid then the remote proctor may reject it. The candidate will have to redo the process of showing his/her ID to a remote proctor.

6. Only after the identity of the candidate is verified he/she is allowed to appear for the exam. The candidate activity is continuously streamed to a remote proctor for the duration of the online exam. The exam screen is also locked and the candidate cannot open a new window on the browser.

7. Proctor can initiate a live chat with the candidate.

8. The candidate can appear for the exam within the specified exam timeline. A remote proctor can monitor it and the system also records the duration of the online exam. This video recording of the candidate activity is available for auditing.

4. Data Encryption During Transit

Data Encryption During Transit

Eklavvya Online examination system’s data has been encrypted to prevent any kind of misuse. Question Bank and exam data are stored in a highly secure and encrypted manner.

Data encryption plays an important role in preventing unauthorized access to question banks. It also helps to avoid result manipulation and blocks access without valid credentials. It is a vital feature to ensure the security of the examination.

The entire communication between server and examination client is also encrypted with a secure mode of communication.

High-level encryption algorithms are used to encode the data which cannot be decoded easily.

This ensures the confidentiality of the question papers being exchanged between the server and the client.

The decoding can be done only by authorized personals. This assures the security of the examination data to its maximum.

5. Exam Timer for Each Question

Exam timer for each question

Some institutes conduct exams which have stipulated a time duration for each section or each question in the exam. Eklavvya provides a facility to set a timer for each question of the exam. In such a case, the candidate is unable to navigate questions.

A specific sequence must be followed while appearing for the exam. Each question will be allotted a specified time of e.g. 30 seconds/ 45 seconds/ 60 seconds for the attempt. If the candidate is unable to attempt the question in the specified time, the system moves on to the next question.

Here is one of the success story of leading university which prevented cheating during online exam process with the help of per question timer.

Listen this article as Podcast

Guidelines to reduce the risk of cheating in online examinations

  • Design Question Paper in such a way that candidate need to use analytical ability even for theory based question.
  • Multiple choices provided in the exam should be intelligently design to promote critical thinking and problem solving.
  • Keep Per Question Timer for the exam.
  • Disable Question Navigation for the exam. Candidate must answer question and move to next. Candidate can not move forward or backward during exam process.

Frequently asked Questions About Online Exams Cheating Prevention

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