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Government exams in India provide a golden opportunity for many people. For some, it guarantees a government job security, while for others it’s a symbol of a higher status. Regardless of the reasons, many Indians usually wish to secure a government job for themselves, especially from rural areas. With a higher population of aspirants applying for the same positions, a job cannot be guaranteed, however. In these situations, one finds candidates desperate enough to use unfair advantages to attend their exams. These exams ensure that only the worthy candidates get those jobs, and hence are very important.

While people still cheat implementing well-used methods, as times have changed, however, cheating in exams has taken a high tech turn. Such use of malpractices can affect both the reputation of government agencies and can bring in corruption to future generations of government services. To ensure such things don’t happen, services of online and offline assessments  are brought in. What does they do? Their focus is on managing & conducting these exams and ensuring that the conditions are perfect for holding fair examinations for candidates. To help out, these services even manage the registration and tally scores for candidates, all of which are done online. Such type of assistance can help out government examination authorities, especially when there is a pandemic affecting India.

Cheating in exams

Candidates have been cheating in exams for as long as modern education has been in place, as far as offline assessment in India is concerned. Over the decades the methods may have changed and improved to the point where examination authorities find themselves unable to do anything. Following are some of the methods that have been used by exam candidates in the past to cheat:

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Talking to other candidates – This is the oldest and the original way of cheating in exams. Although it can’t be guaranteed that anyone would want to help others with undeserved answers, who can say if they are not under duress either. It may sound risky, but even invigilators aren’t always around, which gives candidates enough time to cheat.

Question Paper Leakage – Whether intended or unintended, leaked question papers and the business that is borne out of it can hamper the education sector. Even though candidates would still need to learn the answers, it still provides an unfair advantage over others.

Chit notes – One of the basic ways used by cheaters is to carry in small chit notes in exam centres. These aren’t the kind of notes students make to improve their grasp of a subject.

Writing on the body – Some candidates also use their own body to carry in cheating information. Invigilators are not always able to keep an eye on the candidates. Some enterprising candidates will use this opportunity to cheat off written info on their hands and legs. Unlike carrying a small chit, no one could possibly check them cheating materials.

OMR Sheet Cheating – Optical Mark Recognition sheets are supposed to help fight against cheating since it uses automatic means to check the answers. This is also a great way for multiple-choice questions to be conducted in exams. Even such a secure method has been subject to malpractices. In the past, cheaters have used ways to stop OMR machines from failing them.

Impersonators – There have been impersonators in the past who have attended an offline assessment as the real candidate. Due to a lack of a proper authentication system, such cheaters have been able to break the system in the past. As surprising as that sounds, it has been successful enough times to be even featured in movies.

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Bluetooth earphones & spy-cam glasses – There have been candidates who have used small bluetooth earphones connected to their phones and tiny cameras attached to their glasses. Something so simple yet hard to detect by exam invigilators proves that better tricks are needed by the authorities to stop the cheaters. This is also an example of how technology is being used for nefarious reasons.

Corruption – Organised cheating scams have been committed in the past, that made use of corrupt officials in charge of exam centres. Such activities can make people distrust the exam authorities in charge of these exams.

Shielding Examinations From Cheaters

Strides have been made, in detection systems, that have taken care of cheaters. Even though this progress, cheaters and those enabling such malpractices, have stepped up their game. In such cases, only an offline and online assessment company can be called in to ensure that such practices are kept out of the examination hall. How such agencies help out with delivering tests and cheating prevention can be summed up as the following: 

Online registration and score tallying – By making the registration process digital, each candidate’s records are also added to the system digitally, and are exempt from any tampering. Since the score is also tallied in the system and displayed online, it can truly help balance the load of these exam authorities.

Constant CCTV vigilance and Flying squads – With a seamless and constant CCTV system in place, cheaters can not take any action without being recorded and watched for malpractices. Whether candidates attempt to talk to others, take out their chits or try to cheat off their body, they won’t succeed. They might take the risk, but getting caught is where cheaters would be heading with such a system in place. Flying squads are also introduced at random times to discourage anyone from planning to cheat.

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Stringent authentication and Invigilators – Biometric authentication is used to ensure that only the real candidate can attend the exams, and keeps away impersonators from getting in. Experienced and qualified invigilators are hired from all over India for these exams. Ensuring that examinations proceed without corruption aiding cheaters unfairly is a top priority. 

Question papers and latest OMR sheets – The latest OMR technology is used for MCQs to ensure that candidates can’t use any tricks to fool the machines from detecting any errors. For other answer types, question papers are delivered by the test delivery agencies themselves. This eliminates any problem of leakage and ensures the sanctity of exams.

Examinations are important in any functioning society. These ensure that only people who are worthy, get a responsibility. It promotes the need for education and also empowers citizens. Succeeding in fooling the system allows a candidate to be wrongfully replaced, and also incur future damages on others. To ensure that this does not come to pass, competitive exam authorities in the government must take note, and ensure the best experience for such exams.

Shabbir Ahmad

Shabbir Ahmad is a freelance enthusiastic blogger & SEO expert. He is the founder of Shifted Magazine & Shifted News. He contributes to many authority blogs including porch, hackernoon & techcrunch.