Is asking practice exam questions released by a professor on the web cheating? If you asked questions from a past exam, that was already released, and graded, is that cheating?

  • 3
    Don't burn the practice questions by getting some other person to solve them. Buffy's response below is on point! You can sit down with a friend and try to solve them together, though if that helps. Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 20:39

1 Answer 1


No, if you aren't going to be graded on them it isn't cheating.

But it is foolish.

The point of the questions is to give you practice in solving them, not to obtain answers that the professor already has.

If you don't practice your craft you will never get very good at it.

Moreover, just seeing an answer will very likely give you almost no insight in what it takes to actually solve such problems when face with them in a more important context. You may actually be doing yourself harm by reading answers.

Much better is to work on the problems yourself, and, when you get stuck, ask the professor for help. They will, I hope, give you just enough of a boost to get you going again, rather than so much that it denies you the insight. Strangers on the web are not the best source of your education.

  • 3
    @Numbers: Having someone else do them is a bit like asking someone to practice basketball free throws for you or asking someone to practice tennis serves for you or asking someone to weight lift train for you. Of course, sometimes if you're completely lost (analogous to not knowing how to shoot a basketball free throw or serve in tennis or lift weights properly), then you should probably seek help, but because this is a much more mental activity than the sports analogies I gave, you should of course put forth more mental effort before seeking help in such cases. Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 20:53

You must log in to answer this question.