Academic dishonesty—ahem, cheating—has only gotten easier in the digital age. Students have Wolfram Alpha, Google, and crowdsourced question-and-answer sites like Quora at their fingertips. Students have cameras on their phones that let them take pictures of a test in an instant. Even Microsoft Word has built-in functionality that helps them game the system.


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On the flip side are teachers, who are using their technological know-how (and sometimes just their common sense) to catch students who try to cheat. Tech-savvy professors, younger teachers, and instructors with online social lives don’t have much trouble keeping up with all the ways students use the Internet and mobile devices to try and cheat. It’s happening both in traditional face-to-face classrooms and in online distance education or e-learning programs, where instructors have to be even more vigilant and tech-savvy about proctoring exams, verifying IP addresses, and monitoring how and when work is submitted.

There’s an old saying that students who cheat in their academic work are only cheating themselves. Today’s professors still largely agree with this statement, with one telling me that it’s like weight-training: “I can give them the information and I can coach them through the process, but if they don’t put in the work, they will never see results.”

Several college students confessed to me how they or their friends are pulling a fast one on their teachers. But after talking to even more professors than students, I’ve found there’s little that’s actually getting past them. Page through our slideshow to see the top 10 ways students are cheating today, and how their professors are catching them.