Posted by Kristin Bernor, Head of External Relations

It’s vital that these decisions be made based on valid, reliable, fair and defensible data. To ensure your assessment results meet these objectives, Questionmark is offering a Forensic Analysis service that identifies anomalies which might indicate test fraud or cheating.

Problem – A recurrent problem for organizations delivering tests and exams to employees, contractors, and other personnel is test fraud and cheating. Not only does it compromise the validity of the assessment results, but it can cast doubt on the integrity of all the participants.

For certification organizations and awarding bodies, someone who cheats at a test is awarded a qualification unfairly, and prevalence of cheating devalues the qualification or certification with stakeholders. It could also unleash someone who is incompetent or unsafe into an important role in society.

For organizations who deliver tests in the workplace, cheating nullifies any data drawn from the assessment, so that it’s difficult for organizations to judge the efficacy of training or level of employee understanding. This can lead to an underprepared workforce that makes mistakes, doesn’t adhere to regulations, and prevents organizations from unlocking their potential. Poor data can, therefore, have dire business or financial consequences.

There are other implications too. If an employee cheats in an assessment, they may be willing to cut corners elsewhere in your organization, which could lead to reputational damage and regulatory fines.

Solution – Questionmark Forensic Analysis can investigate:

  • Resemblance: It’s possible to analyze how closely test-taker responses match with one another to determine the probability of cheating, or whether the matches were coincidental.
  • Timing: By studying the time taken to answer each question, it’s possible to identify a pattern that could indicate cheating, for example, if someone answers difficult questions rapidly.
  • Test center anomalies: Statistical analysis can determine the likelihood of proctors or administrators assisting candidates at test centers, by detecting suspicious location and response patterns.

Forensic Analysis is a supplemental service to the Questionmark OnDemand service offering. It permits statistical analysis of test results to detect cheating, presented in a report which identifies and explains inconsistencies.

To provide this service, Questionmark has partnered with industry leader Caveon. The service is usually run once a month, with data downloaded and a report produced. It can also be run quarterly or on a one-off basis. In order to deliver the service, Questionmark extracts data from the Questionmark OnDemand data center, and passes it to Caveon (with candidate names removed) for them to analyze. Questionmark’s Consulting team will then interpret the data and share a report with the customer and explain threats and inconsistencies.

You want to ensure the data behind your decisions is reliable and valid. When in doubt, Questionmark Forensic Analysis service can help build confidence in the integrity of your exam results.

Please reach out to your Account Manager or for details.