Student’s attempt to find impersonator for exam goes awry

A Seattle-based student created a Craigslist ad for a “taller college age brunette” in order to take an online college placement test for her. Some teachers, members of a private teaching Facebook group, found out about it and decided to act. They had an English teacher —fitting the student’s profile —contact the student under a pseudonym.

The student was looking for female student knowing college-level math to take the ACT compass exam. Should the fake student or stand-in pass the exam, she might even have had to take the online class too their email discussions reveal.

With no intention of sitting the exam, the teacher wrote to her highlighting the illegal and unethical aspect of what she was doing.

If the student had found her ideal candidate, the latter would have to physically take the computerized test in a testing center. This highlights potential vulnerabilities that exist even if a testing authority is using physical credentialing of the exam takers.

According to a recent survey by Babson Survey Research Group, in 2013, at least 7.1 million Higher Education students took at least one online course. A year ago that number was 5.5 million. The indisputable rise of online courses in popularity inevitably means more cheating attempts by students.

Stricter technology driven measures need to be enforced to ensure the integrity and credibility of universities and other certification-granting institutions. ProctorFree provides anti-cheating technological solutions that ensure students are credentialed, the identity of the exam taker is continuously verified, and students are discouraged from cheating.

The teacher, who contacted the student as her to-be-impersonator, reported the student to the college and even provided their email conversations as evidence of her cheating intentions. The college revealed they would not promise to put more than a hold on the student’s admission process should she attempt to enroll.