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Academic Integrity Course

What is contract cheating?

Contract cheating is a form of academic misconduct in which a student uses a third party (usually an online company) to help them produce academic work for money or favour.

Using contract cheating sites to get answers to exams, quizzes or homework assignments is a breach of the Camosun Academic Integrity policy in a variety of ways including:

  • acting unethically/dishonestly in a test or examination
  • cheating
  • improper access
  • unauthorized co-operation or collaboration/collusion


Warning!  If a student shares instructor created materials on these sites they are using copyrighted materials without permission.

Do you think you might have used a contract cheating company? Are you worried about the consequences or feeling at risk? Contact the Camosun Counselling Centre if you need help.

Contract cheating companies

Typically contract cheating is arranged by a student online and involves a company that is paid. These companies may be called:

  • essay mills
  • auction platforms
  • tutoring services
  • homework support sites that are paid to complete an assignment or test

Contract Cheating Companies to be cautious of:

  • Chegg
  • Course Hero
  • Docsity
  • Campus Buddy
  • StuDocU
  • Thinkswap

In the last number of years there has been a rise of contract cheating companies, with many "homework" support sites popping up on the internet. These companies offer many services including answer keys to publisher materials, low-cost textbook rentals, study guides and "tutoring" services where answers are given to questions posed. To get answers to questions a student may upload a question set or assignment provided by their instructor, which can be a violation of copyright. It is well known that some students upload exams and get answers in real-time. It is common that in order to fully access the services students need to pay a monthly subscription fee--typically around 15$ a month.  These sites enable contract cheating-- a violation of academic integrity.

Risks to students using contract cheating companies

There can be a number of risks to students who engage with these companies.  Students using these sites risk:

  • being blackmailed by the contract cheating service provider so that the student continues to pay to complete their assignments or risk being exposed
  • violating copyright law by uploading Camosun instructional materials, assignments or tests
  • violating Camosun's Academic Integrity policy
  • not learning the skills or gaining the knowledge their programs require

Read these articles about students caught cheating using contract cheating companies, being blackmailed and extorted:

Informal contract cheating

Outsourcing academic work may also involve students asking or allowing people they know to write their assignments and does not always involve formal contracts or the exchange of money (Bretag et al., 2019). This kind of cheating, also considered a form of plagiarism, may involve students asking or allowing the following people to write their assignments:

  • classmates
  • parents
  • siblings
  • former students
  • tutors
  • students in similar programs at other educational institutions

This may be done in exchange for favours or stopping bullying. 

Sometimes these incidents of academic misconduct come from confusion or lack of awareness. At other times, students actively and deliberately seek to outsource their work to third parties.

Contract Cheating Tip Sheet