Understanding anti-cheating measures

To help provide every candidate a fair chance, we’ve included numerous proctoring measures.

We like to believe that all candidates will follow the guidelines. Yet there is always the potential for some to try and bend the rules. To prevent this, we include anti-cheating settings on all plans. This article is relevant to all users of all plans.

Approx. reading time: 6 minutes

Warning: While we employ a number of anti-cheating measures to monitor candidate’s activity, we cannot say for certain that a candidate has attempted to cheat. These measures are meant to highlight potential areas of concern, and should not be used on their own as grounds to disqualify or reject a candidate.

 

In this article

  1. Anti-cheating measures
  2. Anti-cheating monitors
    1. IP based location tracking
    2. Snapshots
    3. Full-screen tracking
    4. Mouse in window
  3. Common questions

    Anti-cheating measures

    We implement the following anti-cheating measures to protect our users and the integrity of our tests:

    • Disable copy-paste. We disable the ability to copy and paste text from the question screen, minimizing the risk of test questions being shared online.
    • Cycled questions. Every test in our library has a question bank numbering in the hundreds. We have an algorithm in place which ensures that different questions are selected and presented every time a test is used in an assessment. This makes it highly unlikely that candidates will face the same questions again — even if taking the test for a different company.
    • Questions have a maximum exposure count. To further protect our test content, all questions have a maximum exposure limit of 10,000 times. After this, we retire the question and bring a fresh one in to replace it.
    • Study prevention - this comes in two parts:
      • Candidates won't know ahead of time which tests are in their assessment. Candidates only learn which test they're taking at the start of the test. At that point, a timer begins and a candidate won't be able to leave the assessment without you knowing.
      • We prevent candidates from registering as new customers so they can't practice tests ahead of your assessment. We only allow the users with business emails to sign up for accounts —  personal and educational email addresses are blocked from signup. This prevents candidates from practicing tests or using TestGorilla as a study aid.
    • Questions and answers are hidden. We keep the questions and their correct answers hidden to protect the integrity of our tests. While this means our customers can’t see the information, it also means anybody who might bypass our account creation filters can’t either. Additionally, if this information was easily accessible, it would increase the risk of the test content finding its way onto the general internet. At that point, a simple Google search would provide your candidates with all the answers they need.
    • Multiple-attempt prevention. We detect if a candidate is trying to register for another attempt, and block them from doing so — one attempt per email address is all we allow.
    • Timed tests. Timing tests lets us compare all candidates equally, while also adding a bit of pressure. Our tests are designed to be completed based on knowledge candidates already have. Adding time pressure means the candidate risks being unable to complete a test should they try to search for answers they don’t know. Once a test starts, the timer will continue running — even if the candidate closes the test window.

    Tip: If you wish to provide extra time for the tests, you can do so in Step 4 of the assessment creation process. See our guide on advanced assessment settings for help with this.

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    Anti-cheating monitors

    In addition to the measures above, we also monitor candidate activity during the assessment, through:

    Warning: While some of the below information has humorous intent, they are all possible scenarios. A red flag is not conclusive proof that somebody has attempted to cheat, and we don’t intend it to be taken that way. These flags merit further investigation — the candidate may have a perfectly valid excuse.

     

     

    IP based location tracking

    We record the approximate location of the candidate using their IP address. This is designed to help you identify candidates that may have made it past our email filters, allowing them to take the assessment more than once.


    How it appears

    • A teal Yes or a red No flag, next to the question, Filled out only once from IP address?


    How to interpret
    A red flag means that the assessment was taken multiple times by computers that are using the same IP address. This could mean any of the following:

    • the same candidate attempted the assessment more than once by using two different email addresses
    • The same candidate failed qualifying questions the first time, and tried again
    • Multiple-candidates used the same device from the same internet connection to take the same assessment
    • Multiple-candidates used different devices that share one internet router to take the same assessment, such as two people in a library or cafe

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    Snapshots

    We take snapshots every 30 seconds using the camera of the candidate's device. We do this to verify that the candidate is the one taking the assessment without any outside help. You can disable this setting if you want — see our advanced assessment settings guide to find out how.


    How it appears

    • A teal Yes or a red No flag, next to the question Webcam enabled?
    • A timeline of snapshots you can scroll through, if the camera is turned on.


    How to interpret
    A red flag here indicates that the candidate did not allow access to their webcam on their end. This could mean:

    • Their webcam is not working or doesn’t exist.
    • Somebody is with them, providing help.
    • They haven’t got their makeup on and don’t want to be on camera.
    • Their cat has a sixth sense, acutely aware when cameras are active so they can display their butt to the entire world, and the candidate wants to prevent you from that horror. 

    You can scroll through the snapshots to see the candidate in action. Be prepared for cat butts and intense concentration faces, but please bear in mind:

    • While a second person in a shot could mean the candidate is getting help, it could also just be somebody simply asking a question, telling a joke, or declaring that dinner is ready.
    • The candidate looking at their phone could be them looking up an answer, but it could also be them responding to an urgent message.
    • If the candidate is not there for a screen? Nature calls sometimes…

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    Full-screen tracking

    We detect if the candidate exits full-screen mode at any time during the assessment. If this happens, we will notify you.

    Be aware: If a candidate is taking the assessment on a dual display or virtual second desktop, they can leave the window without leaving fullscreen mode.


    How it appears

    • A teal Yes or a red No flag, next to the question Full-screen mode always active?


    How to interpret
    A red flag here indicates that the candidate left full-screen mode at some point during the assessment. This could mean any of the following:

    • They left the test with the intention of completing it later.
    • They used another browser window/tab to search for answers.
    • You have requested information in a custom question that requires them to leave full-screen mode — their LinkedIn profile, for example.
    • They don’t like working in full-screen mode.

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    Mouse in window

    We also detect if the candidate's mouse leaves the assessment window. This is help determine if the candidate left the assessment screen, while still remaining in fullscreen mode.


    How it appears

    • A teal Yes or a red No flag, next to the question Mouse always in assessment window?


    How to interpret
    It is possible to leave full-screen mode but still have the mouse remain in the assessment window. A red flag here could indicate that:

    • The mouse was being used on a different browser window or second display.
    • They were closing a notification that appeared.
    • They answered an incoming video call.
    • They sneezed or coughed causing their mouse pointer to leave the screen while not in full-screen mode.

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    Common questions

    How do I know if someone cheated?
    The anti-cheating monitors are designed to highlight things that might be worth looking in to. We cannot say for certain that a candidate has attempted to cheat. For example, an IP location flag could be because they were taking the assessment on their mobile device while in a car.

    If any flags are raised, we recommend contacting the candidate first as they may have a valid excuse for it. We do not recommend rejecting candidates based on this information alone.

    How can I disable the anti-cheating settings?
    The only setting that can be disabled is the snapshot feature. Our advanced assessment settings guide explains how you can do this.

    How can I see the content of a test if you hide the questions and answers?
    The best way to see the questions is to invite yourself to take the assessment. You will be able to see the exact questions asked in your tests but you will not be able to view the correct answers. We take the protection of our test content very seriously — even TestGorilla staff don’t have access to it!

    Should I immediately disqualify someone who has cheated?
    None of the information provided in the anti-cheating monitor should be taken as conclusive proof of cheating or an attempt to cheat. For every red flag, there could be a valid excuse. 

    As mentioned in the table above, not enabling their webcam could simply mean that their webcam doesn’t work — or their device doesn’t have one. We recommend bringing this information up with your candidate first. 

    TestGorilla never recommends using the information from the anti-cheating monitor as grounds to immediately reject or disqualify a candidate.

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