Five common reasons that people cheat on tests
New “Investigating test fraud” hub launched to help keep assessment results reliable
April 6, 2022 — “There wasn’t time to prepare” and “everyone else does it” have topped a list of the reasons people give for cheating in exams. Questionmark, the online assessment provider, has launched a new “Investigating test fraud” hub to help educators, employers and credentialers explore and tackle rule breaking in assessments.
Test fraud is the term used when people cheat in an assessment or steal the questions to sell to future test-takers. It can lead to people getting an award or job that they are not qualified for. In some cases, it can result in people being placed in a situation where they are a danger to themselves or others.
But despite the implications of test fraud, those that commit it do not generally consider themselves “bad people”. They have their own justification of why they believe their actions were acceptable.
Questionmark has released a list of five common reasons that people commit test fraud:
- “There isn’t time to prepare” – people may look for shortcuts if they feel there is not enough time
- “Everyone else is doing it” – people are more likely to cheat if they believe that test fraud is widespread
- “It doesn’t hurt anyone” – they consider test cheating a victimless crime
- “It isn’t taken seriously” – instructors too often turn a “blind eye”
- “The course wasn’t taught properly” – if a course is poor quality it can be hard to pass fairly
John Kleeman, Founder of Questionmark, said: “Most people don’t just break the rules for the sake of it. Those that commit test fraud generally believe they have a valid justification for their actions. By better understanding what motivates people to cheat, test makers can better guard against it.”
The Questionmark test fraud hub features papers, blogs, infographics and videos that help people understand the issues that surround rule breaking in assessments.
Current topics include:
- An overview of test fraud and the different ways people cheat
- The psychology of test fraud
- The prevalence of test fraud around the world
Questionmark will continue to add insightful resources to the hub over the course of 2022.
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