Scantron Cheating: How it Detects Cheating and Tricks Students Use

How Scantron Detects Cheating

How Scantron Detects Cheating

Scantron is a popular program in many different schools across the country, and it is no surprise that some students use them to cheat. Many reasons could lead you astray when trying to cheat through these exams.

But first, let us give you an overview of a Scantron test and why it works so well for detecting cheating.

Also Read: How to Sign Off a Letter or Email to Professor Professionally

What is Scantron?

Scantron is a computer-based test to assess your knowledge of the content you are learning. The Scantron format is designed to be simple and easy to use, which makes it ideal for teaching and testing students in a large classroom setting.

using scantron

Scantrons have been used extensively by elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, businesses, nonprofit organizations and state governments. The scoring software is available for individuals or schools.  

How does Scantron Detect and Prevent Cheating

1. Web Camera

The Scantron Proctoring software provides a live proctor who monitors via web camera. The webcam is placed on the candidate’s table, and the test administrator can view the webcam from anywhere in the testing center.

The software also allows for remote monitoring of the testing room, which allows instructors and administrators to monitor each other’s activities.

2. Records a Candidate’s Audio

Scantron Proctoring software is designed to record a candidate’s audio, which is then played back. If a candidate makes a mistake, the software automatically stops the recording and alerts the proctor.

The software incorporates a built-in microphone so that the candidate can hear what they say as well as what is being said by the proctor.

doing exam

For that reason, Scantron Proctoring software also records audio during proctoring sessions. This feature allows you to capture various sounds, such as typing noises, mouse clicks, and other sounds that may occur during your test session.

3. Records Keystrokes

When you use Scantron Proctoring software, you must enter the answers to the questions. The scanner will automatically detect the correct keystrokes and record them.

The scanner records keystroke information in milliseconds, meaning it records 1,000,000 bits per second.

The software records keystroke information from the student’s computer screen so that the teacher or administrator can review them later.

4. Records Computer Screen

The first way is by taking a screenshot of the computer screen and saving it to an image file on your hard drive. Using third-party software, you can then use that image file to create a video file or an audio recording.

The software is designed to be used with an external camera mounted above or below the computer screen. The camera captures images of the computer screen, which are saved as .jpg files.

The images are then uploaded to our server and converted into readable text files by our automated conversion tool. The converted text files are then uploaded to our client’s website, which is publicly available for download by anyone who wishes to view them.

Also Read: How to Email a Professor: Etiquettes for Help, Research or Grades

What Scantron Detects?


Scantron can detect devices connected to the internet (e.g., cell phones or tablets). Students who use these devices to access the website or upload files during testing. Scantron Proctoring software detects phones with the following features:

doing online exams

1. A phone with a built-in camera can be used to take pictures of the test taker’s answers or record videos of the test taker during the test.

2. A phone with a built-in microphone can be used to record audio from the test taker’s answers or his/her speech.

3. A phone with an integrated Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver that can record the test taker’s location at specific points during a proctored exam.

4. A mobile device that is not an Apple iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch but whose manufacturer has included an App Store and has made available apps designed for use with Apple products (iTunes U, iTunes U, etc.)

Other devices

The Scantron Proctoring software detects the following devices:

  • Printers and scanners
  • Projectors and LCD screens
  • Cameras and webcams
  • Mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc.)
  • Video game consoles (Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo)
  • Air-gapped computers, such as those in a server room
  • USB-powered devices that are plugged into a computer without any network connection (e.g., a test book)
  • Mobile phones with cameras and/or microphones may take pictures and/or record audio.

IP change

Scantron detects IP change. It can help you detect the IP address of your server and if it has been changed or if there are any problems with the IP.

Scantron can also detect whether your server is running on a private network, and this information helps determine whether you can connect to it from outside your network.

Hacks Students use to Cheat Scantron

1. The Erase Method

The erase method is so simple that it’s almost too easy. Students will take the test, and then, after they have finished, they will simply erase their answer sheet and use a different answer sheet to fill in the rest of the test.

Some students do this by placing their eraser on top of the paper and then writing on it before reinserting it into the Scantron machine. Others will use a sharpie to mark off their answers.

This method is dangerous because if someone finds out about it, they could easily steal your answers or even copy them onto another person’s answer sheet using your answers as a template or guide.

2. Formulas and Key Points in your Calculator

using a calculator

Use your calculator’s “copy” tab to copy important formulas or key points from the test. For example, if you are asked to find the per cent of a number, you should be able to copy this formula into your calculator by pressing “copy.”

Then, when you are asked for another percentage, simply type in the formula and enter. You can answer all questions without spending time determining each number’s percentage.

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How to prevent Scantron cheating

Use a valid and unique student ID card

The first step is to have your students sign up at the beginning of the year for their ID cards. This will allow you to keep track of their names and have them sign off on the fact that they’ve been told about the Scantron program and are prepared for it.

The second step is ensuring that each student has a unique ID card with their name on it. If you’re using our Scantron App, you only need one copy of this card. If you’re not using our Scantron App, you will need two copies of this card: One with the student’s name and one with their signature.

The school should print out both cards to be handed out at random intervals throughout the year.

Once again, we recommend that, if possible, each student have an individualized code number printed on their IDs so they can be identified easily when they take their test in class or online.

Switch off Phones and Other Devices

Require students to turn off their cell phones during testing. Students may use their phones as a flashlight during testing and easily see someone else’s answers on their phone screen.

If possible, require students to use laptops instead of tablets for taking exams. This will eliminate any possibility that other students can steal data from a student’s laptop or tablet by plugging it into someone else’s computer or using it as a flash drive.

Use Electronic Scoring

Use an electronic scoring system. This would allow students to submit their answers electronically rather than having a proctor walk the room and check them.

This would also make it easier for you to see who’s cheating and make it harder for them to cheat by copying off other students’ answers.