Anti-Cheating.com - Study Edge

Anti-Cheating.com

This website is a resource for students, parents, educators, and institutions to shed light on the increasing prevalence of cheating and academic dishonesty and to provide insights and recommendations for overcoming this issue at home and at school.

The New Reality of Cheating

Traditionally, cheating at school meant copying another student’s homework before class or reading test answers over the shoulder of a classmate. The 21st-century reality is far more nuanced; there are hundreds of websites used for cheating every single day. While some of these websites will write a graded paper for you (outright cheating, by anyone’s definition), there are also sites, initially created for legitimate purposes, that are used by some students for cheating.

Students today face a predicament that other generations didn’t have to deal with: not knowing an answer to a question on a quiz or test while simultaneously knowing that the answer is only one website URL away. Studies show that when faced with the opportunity, most people are willing to cheat in some way, especially if they believe their peers are also cheating.

So why exactly do students cheat?

  • Cheating is contagious:
    For our hyper-connected students, it’s easy for them to notice how their peers are cheating; a simple Reddit or TikTok search reveals students bragging and showing off their cheating methods. This glorification of cheating means that students can feel like everyone else is doing it, so they should too. This also prompts the fear for some students, that if they don’t cheat, they won’t succeed in comparison with their peers, or that they will fall behind everyone else. This thinking leads to a race to the bottom and makes cheating ever more frequent.
  • Cheating is seen as low-risk, high-reward:
    Access to websites and tools that enable cheating has unfortunately grown more rapidly than the solutions to prevent their use, so it is easy for students to cheat online. Students can Google test answers, text their friends for help, or hire companies to write their papers with a surprisingly low risk of being caught. Many students have seen their peers cheat in these ways without consequence over time, and as students begin to feel like all their peers are cheating, there’s a confidence that teachers can never catch them all. Students may come to believe that the downside to cheating is low, the upside is relatively high, as it means passing, or even acing, courses with minimal effort. Whether the academic stakes are relatively high (a final test, for example) or low (a simple homework assignment), if students can save time by cheating and they face very low risk of being caught, they are likely going to cheat.
  • Cheating allows students to cover up gaps in their learning:
    It doesn’t feel good to be academically lost or confused, and it is upsetting for students when they struggle to understand or succeed on a given assignment or subject. Cheating is seen by many students as a way to circumvent these unpleasant feelings in the short term, despite not solving the issue of understanding in the longer term. For students who feel unsupported in their learning or feel that they don’t have the resources they need to succeed, cheating can seem like the only way to succeed.
  • Cheating is a way for students to cover up learning difficulties:
    Students may have undiagnosed difficulties in learning and/or processing information. This may mean that students put in as much effort as they possibly can, and they still don’t understand the coursework to a level sufficient to be successful. In this instance, if cheating is seen as a low-risk, high-reward way to bypass the need to learn content, students will be more inclined to cheat.
  • Students don’t think they’re actually cheating:
    We think most students would agree that peeking at another student’s answers during a test is cheating. However, cheating is not all black and white. Is it really cheating if you’re just asking your friend what topic was covered on the test? Is it really cheating if you’re just copying notes from the reading while taking an online quiz? Often, clear expectations aren’t established about what cheating means for each piece of assessment. Because the adults in the room are just starting to have the important conversations about cheating in online education, most students have not had “online cheating” defined for them. As a result, students who cheat may not think they’re actually cheating, or they may use this uncertainty to justify their dubious actions.
  • Consider this scenario:
    You’re in a college course where 10% of your final grade is an online homework assignment that must be turned in each week. You know that most of the answers for the homework are available on a website and most of your peers in class are already using this website each week. This means that the class average on this homework assignment is very high, with many students getting 100%. You are pretty sure that your professor is aware that students are using this website, as it’s very well known. However, you and your professor both know that if you don’t learn the content at some point, you will fail the final exam for the course. You want to do well on your exam, so you study the course content anyway, but when it comes to the weekly homework assignment, what do you do? Submit without searching the answers, and risk coming in much lower than the class average if you miss even one question? Perhaps you answer the questions authentically, but perform a quick answer search to confirm before you click submit? It seems unfair that you would study for the test just to be disadvantaged by not cheating, when so many students get 100% without studying at all.

Study Edge and Academic Integrity

Study Edge exists to increase student success. Because of our origins and guiding principles, we create resources that can’t be used as cheating aids.

We provide a variety of educational products and services to our clients and partners. When it comes to content development, we create our own engaging concept videos and follow-along study guides, as well as practice problems with video explanations that align to state standards (for K-12) or to specific college courses. There are no resources available from Study Edge that were not created by Study Edge — thus, Study Edge can’t be used to cheat.

When it comes to answering questions from students about course material, we never answer anything from an unknown source. Specifically, if we did not create the item and if the item is not explicitly included in a list of instructor-approved practice problems, we do not answer student questions about the item. Why would a student be asking about a practice problem that doesn’t show up in the Study Edge or instructor-provided resources? The answer, of course, is that the practice problem must have come from closely-guarded test banks, graded homework, quizzes, or exams. At Study Edge, we believe a good tutor should work through similar problems in such a way that their students are empowered with the tools and knowledge they require to answer their own homework questions themselves, having established a true understanding of the concept.

Beyond cheating prevention, we aim to address one of the fundamental motivations that can lead students to cheat: a lack of subject mastery. Study Edge materials build student confidence and competence, which can reduce the temptation to cheat in order to pass a test or course.

Study Edge’s founder, Ethan Fieldman, worked as a tutor at a large university athletic association while in college. In fact, one of the goals of Study Edge is to bring the elite tutoring found in the upper echelon of collegiate athletic programs to the general population of students of all ages. Among other things, Ethan became an expert in the stringent institutional controls put in place by NCAA programs to ensure academic integrity among student-athletes. Our anti-cheating ethos has remained foundational to our values as we have grown to support students from various age groups and backgrounds.

In recent years, the internet has enabled the explosive growth of certain providers of academic resources. In many cases, these companies do not adhere to any sort of academic integrity standards. As a result, cheating has become more widespread. To combat this worrying trend, Study Edge is 100% dedicated to providing students with the tools and resources they need to learn effectively and honestly. Among other things, Study Edge has created two technology tools to help combat cheating. You can read more about them in the Anti-cheating bot section of this webpage.

In recent years, the internet has enabled the explosive growth of certain providers of academic resources. In many cases, these companies do not adhere to any sort of academic integrity standards. As a result, cheating has become more widespread. To combat this worrying trend, Study Edge is 100% dedicated to providing students with the tools and resources they need to learn effectively and honestly. Among other things, Study Edge has created two technology tools to help combat cheating. You can read more about them in the Anti-cheating bot section of this webpage.

About Study Edge

Study Edge is a national leader in digital content delivery, providing innovative online educational resources to students and educators across the country. Each of Study Edge’s four core products – Math Nation, Lecture PAL + Edge Prep, Tutor Matching Service, and GoBoard – is student-centered, designed with the needs of teachers in mind, and made to impact students at scale.


Based in Gainesville, Florida, Study Edge has received more than $40 million in federal and state research grants and contracts, and works with works with 1,000,000+ students, 50,000+ educators, 750+ school districts, and 400+ colleges/universities. Study Edge has secured more than 15 patents for our cutting-edge solutions.

Cheating Websites in the Press (and websites that can be used for cheating):

There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of websites used for cheating. Luckily, most students don’t know very many. It’s important to realize that while some websites will write your paper for you (outright cheating, by anyone’s definitionsee writemypapers4me.org and essayservice.com), there are also sites that were initially created for legitimate purposes and are used for legitimate purposes by some students, while other students use the sites for cheating. Study Edge makes no allegation that the sites below are “cheating websites” or that they are used for cheating often or even at all. Instead, we are simply posting links to articles so that parents, educators, and institutions can make more informed decisions. 


Blocking Cheating Websites (and websites that can be used for cheating):

While there are many Chrome browser extensions (such as Block Site) that will block certain sites, it’s relatively easy to get around them — students simply open a different browser such as Firefox or Safari. Below are solutions that block the websites across internet browsers for a user-defined period of time. Please note this is only for informational purposes. We do not endorse these companies, get paid any type of referral fee from them, or work with them in any way. 

  1. For Mac users only:  SelfControl (free)
  2. For Mac users only:  1Focus (14-day trial, $9.99/year)
  3. For Mac or PC: Cold Turkey (free for websites. $39.00 one-time Pro version to also block messaging and other apps on your computer, and if you want to  use a password to unlock instead of just a schedule)
  4. For Mac or PC: Freedom (free for the first 7 sessions then various plans and discounts totaling approximately $30 per year)

You can also use your home internet router to block websites (free, but requires logging into your router and changing settings). 

  1. OpenDNS is used by tens of millions of people to block inappropriate content such as pornography, as well as malware and phishing sites. The free consumer version will block websites, but the Home VIP ($19.95/year) will let you block every website except your ‘allow list.’ This is much faster and easier than blocking every site you do not want. 
  2. Many routers have ‘blocked websites’ or ‘website blacklist’ functions. Typically, this is called ‘access control’ or ‘access restrictions.’  Unfortunately, every router is a little different. For instructions, you can google the brand and model of the router along with ‘user manual’ to find the manual online, or google the brand and name of the router, along with ‘block websites’ or ‘access control’ or ‘access restrictions.’  Here are website blocking instructions for 5 of the most popular routers:  TP-Link Linksys and Netgear   (Amazon Eero and Google Net Wifi don’t yet allow blocking specific websites).
  3. Perhaps the simplest method if you have a Windows computer is to use Microsoft Family Safety, which works on Windows computers, android devices, and Xbox.  You can allow only certain sites to be accessed by your student, or you can block certain sites. The downside is that students have to use the Microsoft Edge browser (the replacement for Microsoft Internet Explorer), which may not be optimized for some websites that your student needs to use for school. That is, Google Chrome is widely accepted as a better internet browser than Microsoft Edge, but it’s worth a shot. Here are good instructions for those with Windows 10 and here are Microsoft’s general instructions.  
  4. Perhaps the simplest method if you have a (relatively new) Mac with macOS Catalina is to use Screen Time, which is built right in.  Click Spotlight in the top-right of the screen, type in ’screen time’ and open the program. You can block individual websites, or only authorize specific websites. Here is Apple’s overview of Screen Time.

Parents and Families: Strategies to Prevent Cheating

What can parents and families do to prevent cheating while kids are at home?

  • Recognize that your student will face disciplinary action if they are caught cheating
    In December 2020, Texas A&M University officials told guilty students to self-report their use of a “homework help” website where they were obtaining assessment answers. If they didn’t come forward but were found in violation of the academic honor code, they could face suspension or expulsion. The disciplinary consequences of cheating can place students at a disadvantage in their academic future and should be taken seriously.
  • Have conversations with your student about cheating
    What does your student actually classify as cheating? What does cheating look like to them? Consider sharing some possible scenarios, asking what they think, and learning more about what your student (and their friends!) are thinking and doing when it comes to online education. Take this as an opportunity to realign expectations around online cheating and academic honesty. Explain that cheating is often something that hides issues that should be solved, and may get in the way of later success.
  • Remember that students cheat for a reason
    Ask your student how they are feeling about their studies. Do they feel prepared for their online assessments, or do they need more study support to help them succeed?
  • Monitor your student when they are taking online tests
    If possible, monitor your student while they complete online tests to help ensure that your student isn’t Googling the answer or sharing resources during an online assessment.
  • Ask your student to show their scratch work for accountability
    Ask your child to show you their work. They can show off their scratch work, explain their reasoning, or “play the teacher” — they can teach you how to go about solving the problem, which demonstrates their understanding of the work they are completing.
  • Get involved
    Ask your student what they’re learning, where they are confused, and how you can help them to achieve greater success.

K-12: Strategies to Prevent Cheating for Educators

How can K-12 educators prevent cheating?

  • Academic Honesty Pledge
    Research has shown that if students sign an honor code before taking an exam, they are less likely to cheat. Here’s a Sample Academic Honesty Pledge you can download, edit, print, and have your student sign before an exam (or at the beginning of the course).
  • Generate unique test problems for each student
    When all students are assigned the same test or quiz questions, it is easy for them to share their answers or collaborate with other students instead of completing the test individually.
  • Practice questions with EdgeXL
    EdgeXL is a tool incorporated in Study Edge’s Math Nation project for middle and high school math. EdgeXL allows teachers to create unlimited practice or assessment questions, generating different iterations of similar math problems for each student. This eliminates students’ ability to share their test answers online with websites that store the tests for future students. It also eliminates the ability to work together on tests, since each student has a slightly different form of the test.
  • Shorten the time allowed for assessments
    When students are given extended periods of time to finish take-home or online assessments, they have more opportunities to cheat. If a student has one week to complete an online test, they have plenty of time to obtain external help in answering those test questions, such as by posting them to an online forum or requesting private tutor “help” with the exact questions in their assessment. While we advise teachers to be somewhat flexible with time allocated due to the potential for technology failures or resource constraints at home, evaluating those situations on a case-by-case basis is better than a blanket amount of time for assessments. One option for online tests is to allow a certain time frame to complete the test, but include an automatic countdown so that the test must be completed in one sitting once opened. This affords students flexibility when they choose to complete the test but prevents them from obtaining external help when the test is actually underway.
  • Clearly define expectations for each assessment
    Consider the intent of each assignment and establish boundaries for those assignments accordingly. Which assignments would be better suited to students having free rein to research their answers online? Which assignments can benefit from student collaboration? Which assignments should be done strictly independently? Ensure that students (and their parents) are informed of the expectations surrounding each piece of assessment.
  • Lock web browsers to minimize cheating in a testing environment
    Respondus delivers a LockDown Browser that integrates with learning management systems to prevent cheating by altering browser functionality for the duration of the online exam. For example, Lockdown Browser prevents functionality such as messaging, screen sharing and remote desktops. Students are unable to minimize their testing window, take a screenshot or print the page, or use the copy and paste functionality until they have submitted the assignment for grading. The first year of a Respondus license is $3950, regardless of the size of the institution, for the first 100,000 proctoring sessions.
  • Proctor exams if possible when students are working from home
    Using Zoom, Teams, Skype, etc., it is possible to monitor and proctor test-taking. While it may not be possible for teachers to proctor every class for every assignment, choosing a few to proctor (potentially randomly, after letting students know that this is always a possibility!) may help educators get better insight into student behavior during assessment completion.
  • Mix it up!
    There are a lot of things that online education allows that are harder to do in-person. For example, there are resources that are adaptive to a student’s skill level that can be incorporated into assessments. Consider adjusting the formatting of the assessments so there are more formative assessments. Ask students to record video responses for a few questions. Use online tools that may help fill in gaps in student knowledge, so students depend less on cheating to overcome their perception of falling behind.

Higher Ed: Strategies to Prevent Cheating for Faculty and Staff

How can professors and TAs prevent cheating?

  • Academic Honesty Pledge
    Research has shown that if students sign an honor code before taking an exam, they are less likely to cheat. Here’s a Sample Academic Honesty Pledge you can download, edit, print, and have your student sign before an exam (or at the beginning of the course).
  • Generate unique test problems for each student
    When all students are assigned the same test or quiz questions, it is easy for them to share their answers or collaborate with other students instead of completing the test individually.
  • Shorten the time allowed for assessments
    When students are given extended periods of time to finish take-home or online assessments, they have more opportunities to cheat. If a student has one week to complete an online test, they have plenty of time to obtain external help in answering those test questions, such as by posting them to an online forum or requesting private tutor “help” with the exact questions in their assessment. While we advise educators to be somewhat flexible with time allocated due to the potential for technology failures or resource constraints at home, evaluating those situations on a case-by-case basis is better than a blanket amount of time for assessments. One option for online tests is to allow a certain time frame to complete the test, but include an automatic countdown so that the test must be completed in one sitting once opened. This affords students flexibility when they choose to complete the test but prevents them from obtaining external help when the test is actually underway.
  • Shorten the time allowed for assessments
    When students are given extended periods of time to finish take-home or online assessments, they have more opportunities to cheat. If a student has one week to complete an online test, they have plenty of time to obtain external help in answering those test questions, such as by posting them to an online forum or requesting private tutor “help” with the exact questions in their assessment. While we advise teachers to be somewhat flexible with time allocated due to the potential for technology failures or resource constraints at home, evaluating those situations on a case-by-case basis is better than a blanket amount of time for assessments. One option for online tests is to allow a certain time frame to complete the test, but include an automatic countdown so that the test must be completed in one sitting once opened. This affords students flexibility when they choose to complete the test but prevents them from obtaining external help when the test is actually underway.
  • Clearly define expectations for each assessment
    Consider the intent of each assignment and establish boundaries for those assignments accordingly. Which assignments would be better suited to students having free rein to research their answers online? Which assignments can benefit from student collaboration? Which assignments should be done strictly independently? Ensure that students are informed of the expectations surrounding each piece of assessment.
  • Use Browser Lockdown to minimize cheating in a testing environment
    Respondus delivers a LockDown Browser that integrates with learning management systems to prevent cheating by altering browser functionality for the duration of the online exam. For example, Lockdown Browser prevents functionality such as messaging, screen sharing and remote desktops. Students are unable to minimize their testing window, take a screenshot or print the page, or use the copy and paste functionality until they have submitted the assignment for grading. The first year of a Respondus license is $3950, regardless of the size of the institution, for the first 100,000 proctoring sessions.
  • Proctor exams if possible when students are working from home
    Using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Skype, etc., it is possible to monitor and proctor test-taking. While it may not be possible for professors and/or TAs to proctor every class for every assignment, choosing a few to proctor (potentially randomly, after letting students know that this is always a possibility!) may help educators get better insight into student behavior during assessment completion.

Other Resources and Articles about Online Cheating and Academic Integrity

  1. https://journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/index.php/ai/article/view/70256
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10508422.2017.1373648?journalCode=hebh20&
  3. https://www.elsevier.com/books/psychology-of-academic-cheating/anderman/978-0-12-372541-7
  4. https://wcetfrontiers.org/2020/10/15/spectrum-of-threats-to-academic-integrity/
  5. https://www.chronicle.com/article/the-new-cheating-economy/
  6. https://thepienews.com/news/institutions-take-steps-to-tackle-contract-cheating-boom-during-covid/
  7. https://edintegrity.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1007/s40979-019-0042-4

Anti-Cheating Bot

Study Edge’s Math Nation program includes thousands of state-standards-aligned assessment questions. In order to quickly and easily find and remove these copyrighted assessments from the web, Study Edge needed an internal technology-based solution. This solution is also now available to teachers, schools, school districts, professors, and colleges/universities.

Individual teachers/professors:  After selecting either daily or weekly searches, you simply upload your assessment items into the web app. Each item will be searched once a day or once a week, and you will receive an email whenever your work is detected on Chegg. You are then able to preview the copyright infringement and select ‘ignore’ or ‘report.’  If you click to report the potential infringement, a takedown request will be sent to Chegg on your behalf, automatically. The cost is $20 per month and includes up to 30 assessment items being searched once a day OR up to 250 assessment items being search each week.

School/Districts/Colleges/Universities: Faculty and staff are each provided with their own accounts. They simply upload their assessment items into the web app. Each item is searched once per day and an email is sent on any day that an infringement is detected. The faculty or staff member can then preview the potential infringement and select ‘ignore’ or ‘report.’ When the user clicks ‘report,’ a takedown request is sent to Chegg on their behalf, automatically. The cost is $4,000 per year and includes up to 10,000 assessment items being searched each day. There is no setup fee.

Tech Roadmap: websites other than Chegg will soon be added to the bot’s search results at no additional cost, as will automated takedown requests for those websites. There are other enhancements also on the horizon, as guided by the bot’s working group.

For more information or to sign up now, please email anti-cheating@studyedge.com.

Free Chegg CSV to PDF Tool

For institutions receiving student usage reports from Chegg (which institutions then use to identify academic integrity violations), Study Edge has opened up its tool to convert the CSV file from Chegg over to a PDF file (with images instead of URL’s). You can utilize this quick and easy tool by clicking the button below to select your CSV file for conversion.