Report suggests one in ten students cheating in exams

The Times is reporting claims from a study that suggests one in ten school and university students have cheated in this summer’s GCSE, A-level and university exams… 

The study, which was conducted by online student community The Student Room, found that 11 per cent admitted cheating in their most recent public exams, with 20 per cent saying the problem was getting out of hand.

As well as using traditional approaches like smuggling notes into the exam, the report suggests an increased use of technology including the use of UV light pens to create notes using invisible ink, recordings of key information accessed through hidden headphones and more.

The report describes students developing codes to signal answers but says notes smuggled in various ways and on all sorts of objects are the most common approach.

One student is quoted describing a classmate’s elaborate cheating method:

“A boy in my year used to print out replicas of Coke labels and stick them on the bottle, but instead of ingredients, they would list all of our formulas or tricky names to remember. It always seemed like a lot of effort but he got great grades…”

The report also suggests GCSEs students were most likely to admit to cheating at a rate of one in seven, compared with one in twenty amongst A levels students.

More at: One in 10 students cheating in exams (subscription may be required)


I haven’t seen the original study and can’t comment on how robust these figures might be, but are you surprised by them?

Were you aware that students might be going to these kinds of lengths to, for example, smuggle notes into exams?

Please share your reactions in the comments or via Twitter…


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  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Not saying cheating doesn’t occur but suspect many tales based on urban myth/empty boasts from those trying to remain “cool”

  2. JuliecarJulie

    SchoolsImprove Which explains why labels had to be removed from water bottles. But which schools ever allowed coke into exams anyway?!

  3. SchoolsImprove

    JuliecarJulie Saw some footage on tv recently of an exam and one boy had a bottle of Coke AND a bottle of orange stuff on his desk!

  4. MadgeJesss

    SchoolsImprove andylutwyche It’s like surveys of teenagers use of sex, drugs and alcohol. Take a genius to devise questions that get truth

  5. mjallcock243

    SchoolsImprove no labels are allowed on drink bottles in GCSE / GCE exams so formulae on coke bottles may be an urban myth…

  6. mcallister1

    mjallcock243 SchoolsImprove I scratched formulae inside calculator cover for physics in 1981. Too scared to use calculator at all.

Let us know what you think...