How do I prevent my students from cheating!

In the process educating or teaching, the ultimate aim is to develop knowledge, skillor character of the individual; therefore examination may be a means to assess whether this goal has been achieved or not. How effective is the examination method is absolutely important. In this regard, teachers must take effective measures to ensure that the examination questions are drawn in such a way that would truly reflect the capacities and abilities of their students.

Furthermore, they must be alert to the various cheating strategies some students might want to adopt and hence prevent any cheating and consequently examination results will truly reflect what the students have achieved so far.

 Personally, I try to measure any cheating during the exams I give my students by comparing their scores with their performance in class. One of my students called Ahmad is known for his intelligence, hard work and good manners and often uses the Eng-Eng dictionary and prepares well for the lessons, while the other named Wazah is lazy careless and impolite.   It happened that I gave them a class exam which both Ahmad and Wazah took. After the exam, I collected all the answer sheets from my students. To my astonishment, when I finished marking the papers; I observed that both Ahmad and Wazah got full mark 10 out of 10 obtaining excellent grade.

 This actually puzzled me! How come a weak and lazy student could obtain full marks! So I started investigating the reason for this coincidence in the exams. After prolong thought, I finally concluded that the nature of my questions might have played a role.

My questions were multiple-choice and it is easy for students to get the right answer by just making some gestures. Then, I decided to change the method of asking questions in order to make it difficult for them to cheat.

 In this connection, I came with the solution of putting all the choices randomly in a single box. I then require them to choose the correct word to fill in the blank spaces.

 Choose the correct word to fill the blank spaces bel

Read, write, eat

 1. I ________ lunch everyday.

 In this way, I found that it is more difficult for them to cheat as compared to the old method which is as follows:

From the following multiple choices choose the correct answer:

I _______ lunch every day.

a) read          b) write       c) eat

 The latest version of my multiple questions has the under mentioned advantages:

1. The random way I introduced the answers confused cheaters and gestures can not be easily used any more to indicate the correct answers.

2. It will make students use their handwriting which is a very important element in learning process.

3. I think this is a kind of anti-cheating method which makes students prepare well before exams rather than waiting for an opportunity to cheat during exams.

If you ask me; what is anti-Cheating Questions? I will reply: that: these are questions which are designed to prevent students who are cheaters from copying the correct answers from their classmates.

 In conclusion, we as teachers of English should think seriously of inventing questions and methods which make it difficulty for students to cheat. Also, other cheating methods some students use include; writing the information on their arms and rolling down their sleeves, so during exams if the teacher is not concentrating they roll up their sleeves and start coping. Sometimes, also students copy information on their desks and write from it during exams.  The bottom line of these anti-cheating questions is to make assessment of student’s ability more meaningful.

 Your suggestions and comments on this topic are most appreciated.


7 comments on “How do I prevent my students from cheating!

  1. Well, usually that’s why I create an A and a B version at least. I also make them change seats randomly right before the exams.

  2. The easiest way to prevent cheating is to ask questions that require more then a single word answer. For example you can give them the statement “I read lunch everyday” and ask them what is wrong with the statement and what would they do to fix it.

  3. I don’t think that Tony’s idea is a good one. Writing an incorrect sentence is a problem to me, as it fixes a mistake by writing.
    To prevent children from cheating is to make them realise that when they cheat, they only cheat on themselves.

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