Pearson VUE and Online Cheating

Online and onsite proctoring solutions are a way for colleges, universities, and businesses to monitor their academic or professional programs. While they do have their benefits and save both time and resources, they also cause undue stress. When it comes to online cheating, even the most innocent of actions receive violation flags and end the testing session.

Although universities acknowledge that online proctoring platforms aren't perfect, they continue to cause trouble and, in some cases, make headlines for inhumane practices. One example of this is Pearson VUE, one of the world's most trusted companies for administering proctored exams.

Despite its rigid rules and strong reputation, Pearson VUE is causing some students to push back – especially since their degrees are on the line. Despite multiple complaints, the company continues to administer tests to millions of people every year. Some, however, are failing for outrageous reasons.

No online proctoring system is perfect, but a violation by Pearson VUE can lead to failing an exam, a grade, or even a term. With the help of an Attorney-Advisor, you can fight the charges and avoid penalties that undermine years of studying and hard work.

Pearson VUE at a Glance

Pearson VUE is part of Pearson, an education company that reportedly helps monitor over 100 million test-takers and programs annually. Pearson VUE tests people perusing academic, government, and business programs, so its security policies are rigid. It has thousands of authorized testing centers in 175 countries and offers the OnVue option for online exams.

Security is at the forefront of Pearson VUE's marketing strategy to its clients. Thus, it approaches cheating from a fraud-prevention framework. The company employs fraud experts and cybersecurity personnelv to manage the exam process.

Securing Online Exams

Pearson VUE published a document explaining how they secure their online tests from test fraud and cheating attempts. Some of the methods they use include:

  • End-to-end encryption
  • Real-time authorization
  • Not allowing students to look away from the screen
  • Not allowing devices, earpieces, candy, and other items in the room
  • Prohibiting downloads during the exam
  • Multiple delivery models to discourage question memorization
  • Single item/question display
  • Electronic Audit trails

The system monitors these actions through OnVue, an online platform that uses both technology and proctors to detect cheating. Students who do not meet system and internet requirements cannot take the test.


OnVue is the online proctoring system that Pearson VUE uses, and it's available at any time of the day. Students who wish to register for an exam must ensure that their device meets system requirements. Test-takers must arrange their space as if it was a real testing center. Their doors must remain closed, the area must be walled, and no other person can be present.

While OnVue is convenient for students and allows them to take the test at a time of their choosing, some practices are intrusive and rigid. Although school administrations approve of the stringent rules, these practices also have their caveats.

During the test, a person cannot leave their seat, look around, use paper, or take breaks. Pearson VUE acknowledges that monitoring may be more challenging when not in a testing center, but the exams and processes are identical. Before students take the test, an online proctor asks them to show them their room and workspace.

The proctors have access to the test taker's system, screen, and audio. While OnVue records the session and the audio, some proctors may also ask to access a test taker's system to disable specific programs before they begin.

Press and Abusive Practices

Pearson VUE doesn't enjoy a positive reputation with test-takers, evidenced by their abysmal Trustpilot ratings. The company's online testing system is under attack by a group of medical students who spoke out about its abusive practices.

While taking situational judgment tests, a compulsory exam in the UK to qualify for work as a foundation doctor, some students wet themselves. They did this to avoid failing the exam, as they could not leave their seats during the 2-hour 22-minute session. The event prompted the BMA student committee's leaders to call for an urgent review of the system.

Another student claimed that the system failed her for using a blank notepad. One test-taker mentioned that putting on a sweater was the cause of her penalization, another because he stopped an alarm clock from going off.

Besides cheating, some proctors are also prone to fraud, like one Chandigarh-based rep who used proxy students to take tests to defraud immigration authorities. While Pearson VUE representatives answered questions regarding the allegations, they are not planning to change their process.

Fighting Online Cheating Allegations

Since the tests offered via OnVue are detrimental to a student's career path, failing an exam due to an innocent action jeopardizes their chances of success. Merely looking the other way or wearing clothing due to temperature changes shouldn't be why a student fails. Unfortunately, if you don't challenge these allegations, you may have trouble taking the test later.

When an online proctoring program is imperfect, it creates multiple problems for college administrations and test-takers. Despite Proctor VUE's popularity, the process is not beneficial for hundreds of students who suffer the consequences of overly-stringent policies.

Facing online cheating allegations will lead to penalization by the college or school. It may take a lengthy appeals process for a student to reschedule a new test. In some cases, the student fails regardless of the appeal because they do not have an aggressive defense strategy.

Call the Lento Law Firm

When you work with a knowledgeable attorney-advisor, your chances of successfully fighting an online cheating allegation increase. Along with evidence such as screenshots, emails, and text messages, knowing the multiple ways the monitoring process is flawed helps you identify what went wrong and how to address it.

Attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento helps students fight back against inconsistent online cheating allegations. Like most online proctoring platforms, Pearson VUE is not without its issues. Still, a proctor's incompetence or a system glitch shouldn't be the reason for failing an exam.

Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to speak to attorney Joseph D. Lento regarding your online cheating allegations using Pearson VUE.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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