Widespread cheating on job exams unearthed

Widespread cheating on job exams unearthed

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 24 July 2008, 11:32 Hrs
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Washington: One in each 200 candidates, who are taking job tests globally, is a proxy, not the real enrollee, says a secret international investigation into job certification test fraud conducted by Cisco Systems in association with Pearson VUE, a test administrator, reported boston.com.

The fraud was unearthed when Cisco conducted a trial run of its anti-cheating system intended to identify and crack down on 'proxy test takers,' people who impersonate others to take exams for them. The two companies monitored thousands of exams given in eight countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America during an eight-month span ended in June 2008 to reach this shocking conclusion.

Randall T. Trask, Vice President at Pearson VUE, suspects the numbers to be 'the tip of the iceberg' as they only measured a limited number of one company's tests.

During the pilot program, test security officials identified high rates of proxy test taking at centers in China, India, Hong Kong, and Pakistan. Out of 200,000 tests given in all eight countries, 1,400 possible cheaters were identified. Follow-up investigations confirmed approximately 1,000 people trying to take a certification exam for someone else.

The data would be used to pursue charges against suspected cheaters, officials at the company said. Although laws vary, the punishment for exam cheating can range from a lifetime ban from Cisco's certification program to criminal prosecution.

Cisco has disclosed plans to launch this new test-security system in all of its worldwide testing locations. Company officials describe it as a combination of measures that include new software that analyzes 'data forensics,' including tracking a test taker's performance to spot abnormalities. Additionally, those taking tests will have their photos taken and digitally stored with their test scores in a database, which allows potential employers to match results with the photo.

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