What is Examination Malpractice? – The Causes, Signs, and Effects Exposed!

Many students may not be aware of the consequences of examination malpractice, but it’s important to understand what is examination malpractice and how it can impact your academic career. Exam malpractice, commonly referred to as cheating on tests, is a severe problem that can have a negative impact on both the success of individual students as well as the reputation of educational institutions. 

Examination malpractice describes any actions that provide a student an unfair advantage during a test, such as using unlawful resources, getting help from others, or changing test answers. 

The causes, signs, and effects of examination malpractice will all be covered in this article along with prevention methods.

Keep reading!

Causes of Examination Malpractice

1. Academic pressure

Students who feel pressure to get good grades may turn to cheat to help them reach their objectives.

2. A lack of preparation

If a student is underprepared for a test, they could feel pressured to cheat in order to pass.

3. Anxiety of failing

Some students might use exam cheating to avoid the negative effects of failing, such as getting a grade deducted or losing a scholarship.

4. Peer pressure

Exam malpractice can be influenced by peer pressure since some students may feel pressured to cheat in order to fit in or stay out of trouble.


5. A lack of morality

Some students might only assume that cheating is okay and lack a strong moral compass, which is why they might engage in it.

6. Inadequate supervision

Students may use the chance to cheat when instructors are not strict enough in their supervision of them during exams.

7. Socioeconomic factors

Low-income students could experience peer pressure to cheat in order to get a higher education and better future opportunities.

8. Social behavior

Students could feel pressured to cheat on exams if society approves of or rewards cheating

It’s crucial to remember that this list is not complete, and there may be additional factors that lead to examination malpractice.

Signs of Examination Malpractice

1. Cheating

One of the most prevalent types of exam fraud is cheating. It refers to using unapproved resources or getting help from others while taking an exam. Looking at a friend’s exam paper, sneaking a cheat sheet in, or using a cell phone to access the internet are all examples of ways to cheat. It is crucial to remember that cheating is not just done by students; it may also be done by professors, administrators, and even employers.

2. Plagiarism

Another frequent type of exam fraud is plagiarism. It refers to the practice of stealing someone else’s ideas and passing them off as one’s own. This includes using text that has been taken verbatim from a book, website, or another student’s assignment and turning it in as part of an exam or assignment. Plagiarism is regarded as a major academic offense and is punishable by disciplinary measures like failing the exam or the entire course.

3. Substitution

It is intellectually dishonest to use substitution as a symptom of examination malpractice, and doing so can have detrimental effects. It compromises the validity of the educational process and can make exam results illegitimate. In addition, it could result in sanctions like expulsion from school or the cancellation of a degree.


4. Collusion

Exam malpractice known as collusion occurs when two or more people collaborate to cheat on an exam. This can take many different forms, such as discussing solutions, plagiarizing essays, or even planning to cheat before the exam even starts.

5. Misrepresentation

Exam malpractice known as misrepresentation happens when a student falsifies or modifies their work in order to get an unfair advantage. This can involve fabricating research data, plagiarizing other people’s writing, or lying on a test or exam.

6. Bribery

When a student gives money or other forms of payment to a teacher or other authority in exchange for a favorable grade or other advantages on an exam or assignment, this is referred to as bribery and is considered examination malpractice. The student and the person collecting the money could both face serious repercussions for this grave breach of academic integrity.

7. Misuse of technology

Teachers and institutions are increasingly concerned about students abusing technology during exams since it’s getting easier for them to utilize digital gadgets to cheat. Technology abuse during exams can take many different forms, such as utilizing smartphones to access the internet, smartwatches to get answers, or even dedicated cheating tools that are intended to be hidden from the teacher.

8. Impersonation

Pretending to be someone else in order to take an exam.

9. Theft of Exam

Stealing or obtaining an exam before it is officially distributed.

10. Tampering with Examination materials

Altering exam materials or answer sheets in any way.

Effects of Examination Malpractice

Examination malpractice  may result in a number of unpleasant outcomes, including:

  • Invalidation of test results, which could result in retesting or the revocation of diplomas or certifications
  • Harm to the educational institution’s or examination board’s credibility and reputation
  • Loss of faith in the educational system’s ability to objectively evaluate students’ knowledge and skills
  • Unfair edge for cheaters, creating an unequal playing field for honest pupils
  • Difficulty identifying and addressing areas where children may need more support or help
  • Preventing students from growing a passion for learning and a desire to learn for its own sake.

How to Prevent Examination Malpractice

  • Establish and enforce strong guidelines regarding behavior during exams.
  • Reduce the likelihood of leaks by using numerous exam versions.
  • Utilize proctoring tools like online proctoring software or closed-circuit television.
  • Exams should be more challenging to lessen the appeal of cheating.
  • Inform students of the negative effects of cheating and the value of upholding academic integrity.
  • During exams, keep a tight eye on the students and keep an eye out for any unusual conduct.
  • Impose severe punishments on cheaters.
  • Students should be encouraged to report any shady behavior or knowledge of cheating.


Cheating on exams is a major issue that can have an impact on both the educational system as a whole and specific individual. In order to prevent examination malpractice, it is crucial to create and enforce strict guidelines for behavior during exams, use multiple test versions to reduce the possibility of leaks, employ proctoring techniques, make exams more difficult, inform students about the negative effects of cheating and the value of academic integrity, closely observe students during exams, has strict penalties for those caught cheating, and encourage students to report any instances of malpractice to the appropriate authorities. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is examination malpractice a problem?

Examination malpractice undermines the integrity of the exam process, distorts the results, it undermines the fairness and integrity of the examination process, and it can result in students who are not truly qualified receiving degrees or certifications.

What are the consequences of examination malpractice?

Consequences of examination malpractice can include failing the exam, receiving a lower grade, expulsion from school, or even criminal charges. It can also have a negative impact on the student’s future academic and professional opportunities.

What are some common forms of examination malpractice?

Some common forms of examination malpractice include cheating, plagiarism, sharing answers, impersonation, and bribery.



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