Proctor accuses me of cheating on final exam "By looking at others computer screens" on multiple choice exam with randomized answers. Cheating complaint states "matched 10 of 20 questions on the exam". I had 4 incorrect answers. Average for exam was 5 incorrect answers. I was one of the first 10 students to complete and turn in exam in an examination room of 200 students. Professor asked me to write down name after exam stating "you are not in any trouble or anything". One student (who I didn't know) 2 seats away from mine was moved during the exam (I was 3/4 done with exam at this time). The first I heard of cheating accusation was 5 months after exam when Academic Integrity office notified me of charge. Neither professor or proctor made any attempt to contact me prior to formal charges. Professor states in charge he "did not witness me cheating only TA proctor did" although both were present in the room. Two other students are mentioned and accused of cheating. I have no knowledge of and have never met either student -but assume one is the student mentioned above because Professor states "they moved one student suspected of cheating during the exam. He was two seats away from me, with another student I barely know (and not named in complaint) between us.
I was the second student to arrive prior to the exam. I chose an end-of-row seat (on the aisle). Professor asked me to move to the center of the row to make it easier for other students to access seats and I complied with his request.I ended up in the center of the row--therefore no predetermined seating could have been set up for me to cheat. I only needed a 30% on exam to maintain my grade in course. GPA was 4.0. I did not and would never cheat (especially off people I am unaware of their knowledge in a course). How do I defend my word against the proctor before an Integrity panel?

  • Could the downvoters please explain? – user114084 Sep 18 '19 at 15:00
  • Your country, please? – user114084 Sep 18 '19 at 15:40
  • Thank you for your comments. They will be quite helpful. I am in USA. – Bird Sep 19 '19 at 1:04

I think the evidence is weak unless you were extremely obvious about looking at other screens. Matching answers is almost never evidence of wrongdoing. In fact, matching incorrect answers can be evidence of poor question statements. And matching correct answers is just evidence of knowledge gained.

I would state what you have here. I didn't cheat. I had no need to cheat. I finished early. The proctor was simply mistaken.

Part of the problem in such situations is that no matter what we are doing or thinking, unless we have closed our eyes, they point somewhere. It is easy to misinterpret a look.

And a five month delay before being informed seems to be disqualifying to me. Presumably the proctor didn't have enough "evidence" to call you on it during the exam.

Sadly, no one can guarantee fair treatment in such cases.

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