My professor has accused me of cheating on an online exam, which was proctored by a TA. My camera did fall a few times but I was constantly lifting it up. The class is a precalc class which I'm just retaking to get grade forgiveness for the time I took it during my first semester (serious health problems caused me to do badly my first semester). Anyway, I had gone on to retake precalc, pass, and had taken calculus and had gotten a B. So by retaking precalc, which I also took in high school, I just wanted to boost my GPA. I was not raised in the states so my basic understanding of math was not taught in the same system or approach that my professor is taking right now.

He asked to see me after class, and told me that my answers were suspicious and that he had to report me. I asked what questions seemed suspicious, and he proceeded to show me the middle of a very long question that was in the middle of the test and asked me how I got to that answer. I was taken off guard, my anxiety started peeking through, and I just kinda blacked out. I would answer the question, and be confronted with, “but how, and you’re the only student who’s answers stood out” and “its too many coincidences”. He then proceeded to tell me that the same exact steps were found on a math website. I asked which website, but was met with “you can’t even explain how you got the answers that you did”.

I am very confident in my work and offered to retake the exam, take a new one and even send my scrap pieces of paper (despite being proctored as well). I was just met with “I'm gonna report you”. I told her that I was being honest and if I was given a chance I could prove it with another test. I just get very anxious when basically I was given very random pieces of a problem and was kept being asked in the middle of me talking as well. I was told he wanted to talk to me first to ‘give me a chance’ but he said either way he was gonna report me.

There is literally no proof other than the fact that a website did it the same way I did. Can they say I cheated without any real proof?

  • 12
    You don’t actually say that you didn’t cheat. Did you?
    – Buffy
    Jun 26, 2020 at 22:08
  • At this point in the process, your professor will have escalated the complaint above themselves and it will most likely be out of the control of the professor now. So they will gather evidence, assess the claims, and you will need to provide a defence and help them to figure out what’s actually happened. In short, yes, the my can write you up, but you will be subject to trial to defend yourself. Jun 26, 2020 at 22:09
  • 1
    Please edit to focus on the accusation - it doesn't matter why you were taking precalc again. Jun 26, 2020 at 22:27
  • The exam was proctored by my TA. He had full view of my workspace as well as the website had a lockdown browser on it. I wouldn't be speaking up about it if I did cheat.. i brought up why im retaking it because the proffesor already knew me, and was expecting me to do bad again. As of now the chair of the math department wrote me a formal apology because the accusation came purely because I’m not white, and “the likes of me” are never that intelligent. I was literally written up because i gave a detailed answer that he wasnt expecting.
    – Sarah
    Jun 29, 2020 at 1:55

1 Answer 1


There is literally no proof other than the fact that a website did it the same way I did. Can they say I cheated without any real proof?

There's more proof than a website did it the same way you did. You couldn't explain how you got the answer you wrote. Besides, "real proof" is a vague term. From their perspective it could very well be real proof, even if from yours it isn't.

You probably should get ready to defend yourself. See the answers in this related question.

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