I got caught cheating in a two-hour engineering exam consisting of 100 multiple choice questions which was done online through the moodle e-learning software. I feel like my life is almost over.
Having not studied well and having no time to study, I decided to cheat. I know there are no excuses for cheating. Before the exam I dug up research about moodle exams, and it turned out you can take the exam anywhere you want to as long as you have the quiz password. Taking advantage of this, I went up to my engineering library and asked a close friend who was taking the exam to send me the quiz password before he starts.
What I had prepared:
- Calculator (was not allowed during the quiz).
- Printed material (consisted of more than 200 pages).
- Google search engine (on a laptop ready to help).
- Whatsapp (to ask questions for a friend who took the quiz last year).
As I sat down, I did the first 50 questions, suddenly the quiz froze and moodle told me:
you are not allowed to take the exam from this location.
While I was leaving, one instructor responsible for the course (there are 5) came and found me. She accused me of cheating, took my mobile and made come with her to a huge office where two instructors searched all my mobile (took the name of my friend who gave me the password), and started talking to me, asking for all details of this crime. They took and confiscated my phone and looked at everything: Whatsapp conversations, all my emails, and images. The instructor took the mobile from my hand without asking me and kept it with her. It seems that the instructors are going to report me as well as my friend who sent me the password for the exam.
The university's Student Code Conduct said that cheating will result in one of the following: a Dean's Warning, Suspension, or Expulsion. If any of that happens, my future is over. A dean's warning will cancel my financial aid. A suspension would be for at least two years, and coming back would require a lot of work. An expulsion will be definite.
I've learned the lesson about cheating, now how can I fix this? How can I prevent the five instructors from reporting me? It's obvious that I should speak to them, but what should I say? What can I do? My future is almost over, but many of you are teachers and instructors here, what can I do to fix this?
EDIT: Wow, it has been almost 3 years. I would like to update on how I dealt with the situation.
Lesson: It was obvious to never ever cheat under any circumstances, and it was not whether you'd get caught or not.
Consequences: I received a Dean's warning but the financial aid wasn't revoked. However, I couldn't stay in the department as engineering was not for me and I was even ashamed to stay in the university.
What happened next: I transferred to an ABET-accredited Computer Science institution and I graduated with distinction in 2.5 years. It was extremely stressful as I had taken 6 major courses (18 credits) in one semester, but I had to do it.
Future plans: I'm going for an MSc in Computer Science in St Andrews next year.