Levitt on Preventing Cheating on tests

Document created by Solina Lindahl on Oct 15, 2015
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Hat tip: Bill Goffe at Penn State



Steven D. Levitt

Ming-Jen Lin

Working Paper 21628



We develop a simple algorithm for detecting exam cheating between students

who copy off one another’s exam. When this algorithm is applied to exams

in a general science course at a top university, we find strong evidence

of cheating by at least 10 percent of the students. Students studying

together cannot explain our findings. Matching incorrect answers prove to

be a stronger indicator of cheating than matching correct answers. When

seating locations are randomly assigned, and monitoring is increased,

cheating virtually disappears.