Controlling cheating during quizzes and tests

It’s exam time again. I have added a multiple choice vocabulary test to my exam suite. I am doing it in the same way I have been doing my weekly quiz with the students. Controlling cheating is always a concern.

I have four classes so I made four tests. It wasn’t too difficult for a multiple choice test. I suspect that if I had only one test, by the time the last class of the day arrived they would be fully briefed as to the questions and answers.

Fortunately my classroom is very large and I can space the students out. So peeking on the other guy’s paper is not a concern.

Students are not allowed to have anything with them except their pen when they take the test.

The questions are not numbered and neither are the answers. This makes it nearly impossible for students to develop signaling systems to communicate answers to each other.

I have the students use a set of my pens that have green ink to do the test. After they finish the test, I collect the pens and the test papers. I then redistribute the papers back to the students but making sure no one gets their own paper. Students use their own non-green colored pens to correct the papers as I put up the answer key on the projector. They also calculate the score for the students’ papers.

Because the students are doing corrections with a different colored pen than the pen used to answer the questions, it makes it more difficult for them to help a buddy by changing his answers.

Having the students correct the papers cuts down on my paperwork and provides the students the opportunity to quickly review the material rather than wait until another day.

After correction and scoring, they briefly return the papers to their owners so they can review again their answers and double check the marking and scoring and bring up any questions or contentions about the test, the answers and score.

Then they turn in the papers to me.

This process is a quick way to maximize the testing, scoring, reviewing, checking and double checking. All I have to do then is enter the scores into my computer but I could also have the class monitor do that.

The disadvantage is that it makes the students’ performance public which could be a little embarrassing for some students. Although some teachers may count that as an advantage as a prompt to lazy students to make more effort. It doesn’t control cheating completely but it inhibits it sufficiently so that the integrity of the tests are not corrupted.

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