woman placing bathroom mirror in living room for test


‘I had to do mine in my bathroom cus it’s the only mirror in the house’: Student shares the lengths she goes to in order to take online proctored exams

‘I once did a proctored exam with my friend under my desk to give me the answers.’


Braden Bjella


While cheating has always been a problem in education, the pivot to online education that took place during the pandemic provided students with brand-new opportunities to cheat.

With in-person classes, proctors could thoroughly monitor students to see if they were secretly reading notes or using their phones to look up information. With online education, however, proctors are limited to monitoring only what is visible via a student’s webcam.

There have been multiple attempts to reduce cheating in online testing. Universities often require students to scan their rooms to show that there were no cheating devices present. A federal court last year ruled in favor of a student who said a room scan prior to an exam violated his Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches.

Some universities even demand that students use a webcam during their exams—and place a mirror behind them showing that their monitor is free of additional notes or cheating devices.

While this may make sense in theory, in practice, it can lead to some humorous situations, as TikTok user Abby (@aabigail.nicole) recently shared in a video with over 3.8 million views.


“the only room in my house that has a big enough mirror is my bathroom. should I sit in there?”- an actual email i sent to my professor this afternoon.

♬ Virtual furniture by carter – Original Carter Pewterschmidt

In the video, Abby shows herself preparing for an online-proctored exam. This involves removing the mirror from her bathroom, replacing her normal table with a higher table, then positioning the mirror behind where she will be taking the exam.

“‘The only room in my house that has a big enough mirror is my bathroom. should I sit in there?’- an actual email I sent to my professor this afternoon,” she writes in the caption. She added in the comments that the exam also required her to scan her desk.

In the comments section, several users shared their stories about online-proctored exams.

“I once had a proctor tell me to cover the dirty dishes in the sink from my roommates because I was at risk… So I put napkins on top of it,” recalled another.

“Lmao I remember I had to show my depression pit of a room every exam,” a third user added.

Despite this effort to combat cheating, some users admitted to using innovative methods to continue to cheat.

“I once did a proctored exam with my friend under my desk to give me the answers,” confessed one user.

“I literally did a proctored final with sticky notes around the laptop screen,” stated a second.

But for Abby, she says the effort of cheating simply isn’t worth it.

“Honestly at this point it’s easier to not cheat,” she joked in a comment.

We’ve reached out to Abby via Instagram direct message.

Correction: The Daily Dot originally misstated which court ruled in favor of one Ohio student’s claim that scanning his room via video before an exam violated his Fourth Amendment right. It was a U.S. District Court.

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