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I am in Nursing school. I can prove that 80-90% of students have cheated every semester. They pass test banks around in email, text or Instant Messenger. Every semester I've come forward (5 instructors) but nothing major has happened. In 3 semesters of nursing school the faculty has never condemned nor said a word about using test banks. This semester I tried to warn instructors before the first exam, but they didn't listen. Now a few of us simply can't pass the exam because we're not cheating. The exams are that hard.

Test banks from previous semesters were being passed down from the semester ahead of us. I looked back at these test banks after the exam and found 21 questions just in one chapter. That's when I emailed them the test banks that were being passed around. It's a fine example of how academic dishonesty cheats everyone including the ones being honest.

Every semester Instructor makes the exams harder and harder because "statistically" the instructor data shows statistically "These are good/not too hard questions". But I have the documentation to show WHY people are able to pass. Had I used these test banks I would be passing. Honesty is earning a few of us a 60.00% on each exam.

What can I do? I warned them; they didn't listen. I plan on filing a complaint and a grade grievance. My question is: can an instructor fail students who are being honest? When there is clear proof of compromised exams and academic dishonesty throughout the class. Is it our fault they can't catch it? Is it our fault they have no idea what a hard question really is? Can instructors really fail people for being honest and choosing not participate?

marked as duplicate by scaaahu, user3209815, Florian D'Souza, Buzz, Coder Oct 2 '17 at 23:51

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    "Test banks from previous semesters were being passed down from the semester ahead of us" Why would this a problem? It's pretty common that students even get these from the professors to prepare for the exam. Of course the Prof. has to change up the questions. – DSVA Oct 1 '17 at 18:19
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    Where I come from, it is taken as given that students are aware of previous exams and grading schemes are adapted to this. Just that this isn’t considered cheating. If this is not the case at your institution, this is indeed a problem, but it can only be reasonably solved by officially recognising and allowing that everybody is aware of previous exams. – Wrzlprmft Oct 1 '17 at 18:25
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    I agree with the previous comments: could you please explain why you feel that using the test banks from previous semester's exams are cheating given that "the faculty has never condemned nor said a word about using test banks" and that the faculty change the questions every semester? – Pete L. Clark Oct 1 '17 at 18:25
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    I agree that the policy seems to be that using previous years' tests to study is allowed. However, if this is the case, the faculty should say something and make sure that all students have equal access to previous tests. It is the unequal distribution of these tests that is a problem! – Dawn Oct 2 '17 at 1:25
  • Related: academia.stackexchange.com/questions/42841/… – Dawn Oct 2 '17 at 1:55
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I agree that the policy seems to be that using previous years' tests to study is allowed. However, if this is the case, the faculty should say something and make sure that all students have equal access to previous tests. The fact that some students are unaware that using previous tests to study is permitted is a problem, as is the unequal distribution of tests. I could easily see a student who was marginalized from the group for some reason (sex, race, nationality, etc) not getting these unofficial emails, and then it would be an issue of discrimination.

I would recommend the faculty post the previous year's tests to the website to make sure everyone has equal access and is aware that these are permitted study aids.

As a student, I would push for a clear statement in class on whether or not these aids were permitted. If faculty refuse to make a statement or take any action I would recommend speaking to your academic advisor about the issue.

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    I will add that this also happened to me as an undergraduate. When I complained to the teacher that some people were getting tests from older friends, he told me "you need to get better friends." I didn't understand that he was telling me that using previous years' tests was considered proper in his course, and went on to get a mediocre grade. As a first- gen student I didn't understand the norms! – Dawn Oct 2 '17 at 1:41

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