HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ARE CHEATING IN RECORD NUMBERS
August 6, 2020. WHILE no formal statistics exist, my estimate is that more than 75% of high school students cheat during online exams. Cheating during an online exam is easy, effective and safe. Most students cheat by Googling the question on their laptop while they are sitting for the exam. Since so many students are cheating in the United States, Google already has the exact question and answer, so it takes less time to Google than to “critically analyze and think through” a question.
GOOD GRADES CAN BE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE RICH AND POOR
If good grades are important because they often (but not always) make the difference between being poor and being rich, the stakes are sky-high and cheating is clearly worth the risk of getting caught; and the potential guilt can be eliminated later in mid-life through psychotherapy.
SOME CHEATING IS FULL PROOF
For example, assume your taking an organic chemistry exam which is one of the dreaded courses ever forced upon a student. The student could have a “friend/chem tutor” stand off-screen in the corner of the room with a clipboard, laptop of of their own, and a separate monitor to see what the student sees, and that tutor could signal the answer to the student. The student could miss a couple questions on purpose to avoid suspicion.
ONLINE CHEATING CANNOT BE DETERRED OR PREVENTED
Catching online cheaters created high tech “proctors” which are private companies that specialize in preventing online cheating. Requiring the students to leave their webcams on during the exam, monitoring key strokes, checking browser histories, and even iris detection for identification, are unproven ways to prevent or deter cheating.
CREATING TRICKY EXAMS DOES NOT TEST SUBJECT MATTER KNOWLEDGE
Exams cannot be designed to avoid cheating. Creating tricky “lawyer like” bar exams is not the answer. Those antiquated exams, have multiple choice questions with weird answers such as “D. A and B are both the best responses”; or questions such as “which is the least best answer to the following narrative….” Those exams do nothing more than make the educators who create the exams feel smarter.
Other unproven ways to create exams that deter online cheating include using more essay questions, and open book exams; but too often those types of questions do not test the students knowledge of the subject matter, but rather the student’s ability to take exams in general and they favor students with superior reading and writing skills.
The only answer is to have in-person exams, with proctors walking up and down the aisle, but that is months or years away.
The author Attorney James R. Stout has passed three bar exams: California, Arizona and Nevada.