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I was taking the exam and our professor was letting everyone go to the bathroom for some reason. I had my phone in my bag during the exam so I’m not even allowed to take my bag. When I went to the bathroom, two other students from my class were going all out with cheating on their phones. As I’m washing my hands, the professor walks in to the bathroom and saw them cheat with their phones in their hand while I’m washing my hands. He then wrote down their names, including mine for some reason. I will be honest I got caught cheating two years ago for an online class which is probably on my academic record and learnt my lesson. Who should I talk to trying to explain what situation I just went through? Currently I am waiting for the email of the professor to see what he’s going to accuse me of.

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    What is your question?
    – kmm
    Nov 28, 2023 at 2:46
  • Maybe he wrote your name because he needs a witness?
    – Nick S
    Nov 28, 2023 at 2:49
  • @NickS: It would be really horrible from the prof to not mention this ;)
    – user111388
    Nov 28, 2023 at 8:52

2 Answers 2

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I assume you are worried about being accused of cheating. If this is the case, who to talk to is really dependent on where you are and what institutions your university has. I'd say go to your student union (if any). If there is any person you trust among the faculty, ask them what you can do. Talk to the professor and ask them if they saw you did not cheat.

However, if the prof claims you cheated, the situation looks not good for you..

If you trust the two cheating people (and they saw you did not cheat), ask them if they can vouch for you.

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    I do not think OP should involve the cheaters initially. Only if there is no other way. OP does not want any connection to the cheaters. If accused (and only if!) OP should insist that they washed their hands. Being present when some offense happens does not make you guilty and you should insist on that. Remind them that you did not have a phone open (hardly possible when you wash your hands) and that this was a coincidence, which was unfortunate for you. If not believed, you should escalate. Nov 28, 2023 at 12:04
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Being accused of cheating can feel super scary and nerve-wracking, especially with the suspense of waiting on your professor's email. I would encourage you to talk with your family and friends (if you are comfortable with sharing this with them, and if you need moral support. To me, it sounds like you were at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Or, you could head to your school's counselling office or student union to sort out your feelings, the situation, and how to move from there. I want to make a reminder that sometimes, anxiety and feelings can cloud judgment.

If your professor does make an accusation, you should ask for proof. Is there proof that you didn't have your phone with you? And if you saw the other two students on their phones, would you have reported it to the professor?

Since you mentioned that you cheated in the past, reflected and learnt from it, is there a chance that you may think of the possibility of your professor writing down your name based on your past actions? I'm not too sure about that, but I don't think professors should be judging based on past cheating.

I'm not sure how your institution works, but if you are confident enough, perhaps you can ask to have a re-sitting of the exam to prove you didn't cheat.

But best of luck and I hope for the best for you.

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