The Rise of the 'Cheating Economy'

What do you think the average cost of undertaking a university degree in 2022 is?

Giving an exact figure for how much it costs to go to university is difficult as there are many variables, but, using official data alongside their own surveys, Savethestudent has estimated the average cost to be £57,000!

That is a tremendous debt for our students to be shouldering – is the pressure of this figure making them cheat on exams?

If you think of the average student at university, most of them work a part time job to fund, if not their university fees, their accommodation and course materials. Meaning that they are working evening and weekend jobs sometimes until 2 or 3am and then turning up for morning lectures and exams by 9am. Something has to give, and it seems as though in many cases, that something is legitimate studying!

"You don't get caught … you're at home and there's no supervision, so there's no chance of getting caught" - student's quote

Post COVID, more and more assessments and exams are being held online and there is now a billion-pound industry that is capitalizing on this! Called 'The Cheating Economy' and marketed as 'study aids', these companies offer subscription-based platforms that students can upload questions to – even during exams – and they get back a pretty much instant answer.

The abundance of information and answers is held on a giant database, which holds the exact textbook and exam questions that many students find themselves up against. They also offer live experts who will assess your uploaded question and give you an answer sometimes within 30 minutes.

Analysis has found that the number of requests to platforms like this has risen over 196.25% since COVID!

"It's not just a temptation, you have to do it to pass exams" - student's quote

So, how are universities fighting back?

Some colleges and universities are focusing on offering stronger student support services, such as tutoring services and official support websites, as well as blocking the IP addresses of so-called 'cheating websites'. But these must be used alongside monitoring software too. For as long as the means and opportunity to cheat are there – then naturally students will use it!

"This problem has the potential to question our entire industry, or at least put it into question," says Adel Lelo, a senior principal product manager at Western Governors University

Online proctoring offers an easy way to monitor tests and exams anywhere - at any time. Being browser-based means that student behavior can be monitored during exams without the necessity to download any specific programs.

There is a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of a remote proctoring service to ensure that every exam is taken in a completely secure way.

That is why it is so important for test organizers and institutions to always choose a proctoring solution that offers the very best standards of secure testing, data protection, and user privacy.

ProctorEdu is an example of an online proctoring solution that offers a secure, fully-remote service to ensure that taking of an exam meets all the academic standards.

In a post pandemic world, where students are working more and more remotely, new methods of assessment and exam monitoring are needed to protect the reputation of universities and ensure that when our students hit the workplace, they present with legitimately earned degree qualifications.


[1] The Guardian
[3] EdSurge