Online vs Paper Examination in University EFL courses


  • Marija Stevkovska International Balkan University



online examination, pen-and-paper tests, test design, academic dishonesty.


Universities have long been struggling with academic dishonesty in both online and pen-and-paper examinations. Different authors have suggested various deterrents to decrease cheating during exams. The aim of this study is to investigate how the online environment affects academic dishonesty during online exams and to compare students’ behaviour during written and paper exams. The hypotheses tested is that there is a significant difference between mean values of the results achieved on pen-and-paper tests and online tests. The research adopted a cross-sectional study design. The Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test confirmed the hypothesis as it showed that the scores on the online exam (mean rank = 35.9) were statistically higher than the ones on the pen-and-paper test (mean rank = 28.3), Z= -3.311, p=0.001 with a small effect size r = 0.29. This could be due to the test format and insufficient proctoring technology. Online cheating could be minimized by giving priority to formative assessment, by raising students’ awareness of the negative consequences of academic dishonesty, and implementing more sophisticated technologies to track students’ behavior during online exams. Additionally, multiple-choice questions should be replaced by open-ended questions. Finally, a speaking section could be added to online tests, which is to be passed successfully in order for students to receive a passing grade for the EFL course.


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How to Cite

Stevkovska, M. (2023). Online vs Paper Examination in University EFL courses. The International Journal of Applied Language Studies and Culture, 6(2), 11–22.