Would You Cheat? Cheating Students’ Ingenious Use of Spy Equipment

Grace Jalowiecka   November 5, 2018

As long as there are tests, there will always be people who try to cheat. Educational systems place huge emphasis on originality and fairness, and the strict exam conditions students experience today are designed to prevent cheating. Desks are separated so that candidates cannot copy each other, bags and phones are banned, pockets may be searched, and even visits to the toilet are accompanied by a staff member.

So how are students able to cheat in the 21st century and if they are, what spy equipment are they utilising to get away with such a risky activity? Figures obtained by the BBC has shown “more students are cheating in GCSE and A-level exams in England. Most were penalised for taking mobile phones into the exam, while just under a fifth were pulled up for plagiarism.”

exam hall room

These days, there’s even a wikiHow page listing 12 ways to cheat on an exam using technology. Suggested methods range from the relatively low tech, such as writing the answers on a piece of paper cunningly concealed inside a calculator case, to using a tiny Bluetooth earpiece to call an expert friend who can then feed you the answers.

High-quality spy equipment, like hidden cameras and listening devices, are growing increasingly available and affordable from online retailers. How many students pass with flying colours simply because they had the ingenuity to set up an ace spying system in the exam hall? It’s hard to say, but educational institutions would certainly like to know.

What’s The Impact Of Cheating Using Spy Equipment?

Anyone who has completed some education will, most likely, have been drilled in the impact of cheating: “It’s not fair on those who worked hard to prepare for the test”, “cheaters never prosper”, and “what if you got a job in trigonometry one day and found that you couldn’t tell a sine from a cosine?” These are all valid arguments, but the real impact of cheating is that educators don’t know who is doing it unless they are caught in the act.

Who’s the cheat, the ‘failing’ student who scrapes through with just enough GCSEs to work in a supermarket, or the A/B student who unexpectedly scores straight As and lands a place at a top-flight university? If students get the idea that cheating is widespread, they may be more tempted to join in – perhaps being scared of being beaten to the best further education and job opportunities by cheating classmates.

Which Technology Do Students Use To Cheat In Exams?

handheld smartphone

WikiHow’s advice on how to cheat includes techniques like saving your notes to a smartphone, donning an extra pair of trousers with pockets underneath your actual trousers, and stashing the information-crammed smartphone inside said pockets. As a result, the student is able to cheat on the exam using a smartphone even if they are asked to turn out their pockets on the way in.

A second interesting idea is recording the answers onto an MP3 player which is hidden beneath a baggy jumper or hoodie, but how many cheating students actually know the content of their courses well enough to produce perfect answers to a closed book exam in advance?

A smartphone with internet access would clearly be helpful to a cheater, but it would be difficult to make a call or send a text during an exam without being rumbled. A cheat could use a nearly invisible spy earpiece to use their phone or listen to MP3 recordings containing the answers.

For those desperate students who have a helpful friend on call, a spy product like a body worn spy camera linked up with a Bluetooth earpiece and smartphone could be the ideal combination. That way, whatever nasty questions the exam board decides to throw at them, they can secretly ‘phone a friend’, send them an image of the exam paper, and obtain the answers.

Can We Expect Cheating To Occur In The Future?

cheating in exams

So what does the future hold for spy equipment being used to cheat on exams? The usual technological factors, such as miniaturisation, increasing processing speed, and storage capacity will enhance the equipment available for those students who choose to cheat. Smartphones are a somewhat high risk for exam cheats due to their bulkiness, so the future may lie with other technology.

Augmented reality glasses or contacts, truly microscopic spy cameras and hidden microphones, or even Wi-Fi enabled insect drones delivering the answers to exam questions on request could be all but impossible to detect. Educational institutions should be scanning the horizon right now because the cheats will always be one step ahead.

Speaking to the BBC, Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Layla Moran said: “This is an extremely worrying trend in our exam halls and throws into question whether the current assessment process is even fit for purpose.”

Spy Equipment UK

Although we have no control over the uses of our equipment, Spy Equipment UK in no way supports or condones cheating in examinations. The staff at Spy Equipment UK have and would never knowingly sell spy technology for this type of use. For more information on our spy equipment and alternative ways in which you could use it in your day-to-day life, get in contact with our friendly team who will advise you on your personal requirements, today.