What are the consequences of cheating in exams?


  1. What is cheating?
  2. How to cheat in an exam?
  3. What are the consequences of cheating in schools?


Some will say that cheating in an exam is an art, that it takes talent and a great deal of courage to dare to cheat at exams. What are the consequences of cheating on an exam? How can you prevent your child from doing so? We have all your answers ready in this article!exams-cheating

What is cheating?


Cheating definition: 

Cheating is the act of obtaining advantages or rewards without following the rules that apply to others. Examples include cheating in a board game or in a test at school.

What causes cheating?

  • The problem is related to the issue of merit and rising competition. Students have to fight for the best possible grades in order to get into the most valued courses at university. Cheating in an exam is seen as an easy solution.
  • This spirit of competition usually translates into the idea that all is fair, that only the result counts. But this idea is challenged by well-known sportsmen and women who are regularly involved in doping cases, even though they are role models for the younger generation. 🚴🏼
  • When a child is under family pressure and is not allowed to make mistakes, or there is no room for failure, fraud and cheating may appear to be the only way to live up to expectations.
  • Finally, a student may start cheating to join a group of peers or friends who encourage this malpractice, to try and rebel or to challenge the school system. 


How to cheat in an exam?


But seriously, do you really think I'm going to encourage your child to commit a crime? Certainly not. 

  • We all know the trick of the scientific calculator on which it is possible to record formulas or even definitions (but this does not work in French  or English lessons!)
  • A cheat sheet can be written behind the label on the water bottle or hidden in the bottom of a pencil case
  • The mobile phone wallpaper acts as a notepad, which we pretend to use to look at the time 👀

All these tricks are well known classics that sometimes work during an assessment but are incredibly risky, and evidence of malpractice and cheating in exams.

Online tools

During school isolation periods in the past few years, even the most serious students enjoyed the thrill of cheating on online exams, which were much more difficult to monitor by teachers and schools. 

This may have been collaborative fraud via chat groups with classmates on platforms such as Snapchat or WhatsApp. Others even paid more advanced candidates to take the exams for them. Or, more simply, they took their tests online with a second computer open on the Google homepage.

But keep in mind that whether online or face-to-face, the cheating student still faces the same risk of punishment! 👮


What are the consequences of cheating in schools?


Cases of cheating in class 

If a student hasn’t managed to revise, wants to cheat and is caught in class, it can seriously damage his or her results, as well as reputation or even place at the school. They could get a zero on their assessment, contact home or even detentions and exclusion from the school. 

Parents and guardians even make an agreement with the school before their child starts to never cheat or be involved in any malpractice, which schools are serious about throughout their time there. 

What are the penalties for exam fraud?

National qualifications such as GCSEs, A-Levels and exams at university are all official exams recognised by the government. If an exam invigilator catches your child cheating in the examination room, a verbal and written report will be drawn up and an investigation will begin.

Depending on the seriousness of the situation and the exam board or school, cheating at the exam can lead to different types of sanctions:

  • Reprimand. This is a disciplinary sanction, a call to order without too serious consequences, usually reserved for internal school exams only (not National qualifications where consequences are more serious)
  • Removal from the course or overall diploma, sometimes resulting in having to restart completely
  • Immediate contact to the exams regulation authority, JCQ, who monitor most exam boards like AQA or Edexcel 
  • No awarded mark, grade, GCSE, A-Level or points for the course at university in that subject (usually named an ‘Ungraded’ or U)
  • Sometimes a ban on taking any National exams for a number of years
  • Sometimes, but infrequently, a ban on enrolling into a higher education institution for 5 years

Exam malpractice is rising; in 2019 Ofqual reported an 11% rise in malpractice reports, and this includes teachers and schools helping students to cheat!

Can you pass your driving test if you cheat at your exam? 

I've always heard that a student who is caught cheating on the exam is then likely to be barred from taking any other official exam, including the assessment to get their UK driving licence. 🚗

Today, I can officially tell you that this is an urban legend. As the driving licence is not linked with our education certification system, it is not affected by the sanctions. But, cheating in an exam (and getting caught) can change your mindset to all other exams you go on to sit for the worse. 

But rather than having to ask yourself this question, the best thing to do is to book some lessons online with our tutors. They will help your child to prepare well for challenging exams like GCSEs, without the need to cheat!