From education to employment

Two thirds of companies worried about their ability to catch exam cheats


New research released today from leading assessment software provider Questionmark, shows that two thirds (63%) of businesses are concerned about their ability to detect cheating during an exam.

The research also found that many organizations are failing to keep pace with cheaters, with almost half (46%) of the companies surveyed saying they relied on employee’s honesty, (formal policies requiring honest test taking) as a safeguarding measure.

The temptation to cheat an assessment, particularly in industries with ‘high stakes’, can be overwhelming as tests play an important role in informing the decision-making process – From who to hire or promote to assessing potentially lifesaving skills and meeting compliance regulations.

John Kleeman, Founder of Questionmark, said:

“As we’ve seen this summer, with leading professional services firms, there is a worrying trend in the willingness to cheat tests across all sectors. For employers this presents real challenges when it comes to preventing cheating- as the capabilities of those willing to cheat improve, so must the security in place”

Questionmark, one the world’s leading assessment providers, who have used cutting edge technologies to build a secure assessment platform for the likes of the US Government, commissioned research to gauge perceptions and attitudes towards cheating from some of the biggest companies across the UK & US.

John adds, “While of course organizations should have faith that their employees won’t cheat a test, fraud is a serious issue that faces employers. Relying on honesty culture is not going to cut it when it comes to high stakes exams and leaves organizations dangerously exposed.”

While organizations have concerns around their ability to catch those cheating, many have zero tolerance measures in place. Nearly a quarter (23%) in the UK and half in the US would terminate a contract immediately should they suspect cheating.

And of those companies nearly a quarter (21%) would only need to demonstrate cheating could have taken place should they suspect a fraudulent result before disciplinary action is taken.

Worryingly, from an employee perspective, research found that over 6 in 10 (63%) organizations would consider the use of wearable tech, such as a smart watch, during in an assessment to be cheating. Meaning employees across the UK and US are potentially risking their jobs should they have wearable tech on them in an exam setting. 

This research into the perceptions and prevalence of test fraud forms part of Questionmark’s whitepaper report, The Test Fraud Fallacy looking at the true nature of workplace test cheating.

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