In a multiple-choice test at my nursing school, our teacher accidentally left the right answers in bold; not super dark bold, but dark enough for people to figure out. To add insult to injury, the week before, she had given the same exact exam to another class, who had spread the word to some people in my class that the answers were in sight. I, of course, was livid because I got an 88 and 95% of the class got a 100. You would think the instructor would find it a bit odd that so many people got the whole exam correct. Anyway, I am really tempted to notify her, but I know that my friends would hate me, and we may have to retake another and more difficult exam. Should I just take the 88 or speak up about the mass cheating that occurred?

So far, the school really emphasizes on ethics and doing what is right. I am one of those people who covers the answers with my scantron before I make my choice, hence, I do not laser focus on the answers.

  • What kind of person does the instructor seem to be? Reasonable or unreasonable?
    – user105595
    Mar 15, 2019 at 20:50
  • 2
    Also, would you mind sharing your location? Cheating issues are very culture-dependent.
    – user105595
    Mar 15, 2019 at 20:51
  • What does it mean to cover the answers with your scantron before making a chioce? Mar 15, 2019 at 21:00
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    @AzorAhai - sounds like this is a multiple choice test, and the OP is covering the choices without reading them until after formulating an independent solution.
    – cag51
    Mar 15, 2019 at 21:26

1 Answer 1


My guess is that it would be appropriate and pretty safe to note to your instructor that "some students" noticed that the correct answers were printed in bold. Sort of a "heard it on the grapevine" comment during an office visit. You could add "didn't notice it myself, hence the lower grade."

The instructor will take some action or not, but you will have done your duty.

You might, of course, know more about personalities that would make this unsafe for yourself, in which case, possibly let it go.

But if the instructor doesn't know about it then it will probably happen again.

I think this is a more serious issue in a medical related field, where people need to know things, not just get good grades.

It might also be a judgement call as to whether this is "cheating". The others just noticed an anomaly.

  • If you feel unsafe, then you can notify it anonymously --- just create a burner e-mail account and send one. Mar 15, 2019 at 22:17
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    I understand what you mean, but the sentence where you imply that in some other fields it's OK to "just get good grades" instead of knowing things sounds a bit awkward... Mar 15, 2019 at 22:19
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    @FedericoPoloni Structural engineering comes immediately to mind.
    – Bob Brown
    Mar 15, 2019 at 22:55

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