Questions tagged [exams]

Questions about test-based evaluation of student progress and achievement.

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108
votes
18answers
301k views

I was caught cheating on an exam, how can I minimize the damage?

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. ...
124
votes
17answers
134k views

Is it okay to report classmates cheating on exams?

Is it acceptable or ok to report on students cheating? Many times during a test or an exam, I have seen students in front of me either passing notes, or otherwise collaborating whenever the professor ...
11
votes
1answer
3k views

Psychiatrist from whom I requested documentation doesn't believe in accommodations for adults with ADHD/“hyperkinetic disorder” taking meds

Update (October 24/25): You were approved for 50% extended time, breaks, water in the testing room, separate room, pens for scratch work, and extra scratch paper Update (October 12/13): Please ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

Do students have the right to see how their papers were graded?

Note: You may refer previous revisions for more context. I read Academia varies more than you think it does, but in any school or university I've been to or heard of, students can always see how they ...
69
votes
14answers
37k views

How should bathroom breaks be handled during written exams to avoid cheating?

It seems to me that it is impossible to prevent cheating (as in: communicating and getting help from outside) if one allows students to use the restroom during written classroom tests. Excluding ...
49
votes
5answers
5k views

Is it unethical to accept extra time on exams when I still do well?

I have ADHD (real, diagnosed ADHD, not just "I-say-I-have-ADHD-because-it's-trendy" ADHD). I have never taken the extended time exams that are offered for ADHD students, because I have never needed to,...
25
votes
8answers
5k views

Is it wrong to impose a challenging time constraint on exams?

I've noticed that many professors seem to impose extremely tight time limits on their exams, even though the subject in question would never have such extreme time constraints in real life. For ...
34
votes
9answers
90k views

How to detect cheating when students take online quizzes or exams from home?

I am currently teaching a basic R programming course with about 80 students. Under normal circumstances, a core course assessment component is a programming exam, which is done in the computer lab ...
50
votes
12answers
24k views

Student missing exam for “medical reasons”

I have a student who failed an exam I gave three months ago and was supposed to show up for a remediation exam this week. The date was announced long in advance, and the student neither showed (all ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Are Identical Make-up Exams Fair?

I recently took an exam, and our professor told us that we should submit our question sheets since 2 other students in our class are going to take a make-up exam. We were also told that we were not ...
4
votes
7answers
10k views

Accused of Cheating during an online exam

Today, I got accused of cheating on an exam I took yesterday. It was a lockdown browser exam, my exam as well as several other students exams were also flagged because of the following reasons. This ...
87
votes
12answers
14k views

How to help reduce students' anxiety in an oral exam?

Oral exams can have various pedagogical benefits in certain circumstances, but can also make some students feel anxious. After watching several students nervous-sweat their way through such an exam, I'...
64
votes
13answers
19k views

What are the benefits of an oral exam?

A recent question about reducing stress in oral examinations asserted that Oral exams can have various pedagogical benefits in certain circumstances Based on the reputation of the poster I'm ...
41
votes
7answers
12k views

What methods can be used in online exams to genuinely test the students' knowledge and capabilities?

There has been a lot of talk about online teaching in relation to covid-19 and campus shutdowns. This question isn't about that though: my question is about what ways online examinations should be ...
64
votes
8answers
9k views

Should a student be penalized for using a theorem outside of the curriculum?

I am taking an abstract algebra course and I am really interested about the topic. So much so that I spend most of my time reading supplementary materials. I consequently know a lot more theorems ...
63
votes
13answers
32k views

Other students can easily cheat on a test and the grading system is relative - should I cheat, and what else can I do?

Amid the pandemic, a test that has traditionally been in-class is now planned to be held as follows: The examiner starts a Zoom conference. The students join the conference from their homes, turning ...
20
votes
7answers
5k views

How to calibrate the time constraint of an exam for a new course?

I am preparing an exam for a course I'm running. It's an engineering course; the exam problems require students to apply conceptual knowledge and quantitative skills taught in lectures and labs. It's ...
13
votes
3answers
7k views

When is it wrong to look at previous exams?

It is clear that if I study for an exam in 2014, then it should be okay to look at previous exams from the previous semester of 2014, exams from 2013, 2012, etc. First question: Is it wrong, however, ...
5
votes
3answers
791 views

Should universities give extra time or related accommodations for students with mental illnesses?

Based on this question: Is it unethical to accept extra time on exams when I still do well? To my knowledge, I don't think my university or home department has a policy on extended time exams or a "...
34
votes
10answers
21k views

What does an optimal grading distribution look like?

Researchers on education must have thought about this, so I hope to find some directions here. Suppose that I am grading students on a scale from 1 to 10. If I have no prior knowledge of the ability ...
77
votes
15answers
24k views

Should I cheat if the majority does it?

I'm taking the last and hardest exams of my master degree. During the exams we aren't allowed to use anything else but our brain. Cheating is pretty easy though: one has the lecture notes and all the ...
66
votes
8answers
9k views

Can online recording of work area at home be made a mandatory criterion for passing exams midway through a course?

Right now with the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada I believe most Ontario universities and colleges have their classes online, and my university decided to do that as well. With this in mind, many of our ...
37
votes
22answers
14k views

Is it unreasonable to change the rules of a quiz/exam one week in advance?

I am the course leader for an undergraduate course. We have two quizzes each semester: one around the middle of the semester, and one at the end. For the first quiz, students were allowed to bring a ...
30
votes
4answers
56k views

How to Scale or Curve the Grades for an Examination?

I am the teaching assistant for a course in economics, and one of my responsibilities is marking examinations. I had just finished marking the midterm, and the grades were very poor. The details are (...
18
votes
3answers
1k views

How to measure entropy of exam results

In this answer to a quora question, the answerer mentions how the 'entropy' of a set of exam results can be used to measure how well the exam differentiates between students. Should I be computing ...
49
votes
11answers
59k views

How to prevent cheating on take-home exams

For certain undergrad classes, I assign a take-home exam, rather than the more familiar in-class exam. When I distribute the exam, I remind the students that this is an individual exam, and that they ...
21
votes
11answers
6k views

Is it good practice to let students consult their text materials during exams?

I teach undergraduate level courses in the humanities. Following practice in my department, I have let students take their texts for consultation during their written exams. They can choose a number ...
58
votes
7answers
8k views

Why do some tests have a (nonzero) minimum score?

Some tests have minimums in their possible score range. Cisco's 300-1000 point range, and the SAT's 200-800 point per section range come to mind. What purpose does this serve? I assume there is some ...
32
votes
7answers
5k views

How to prevent students from having an unfair advantage on exams, when they are held on different days?

I teach a writing course to different sections, across different days of the week. From the schedule, some students will take their mid-term exam early in the week, while others will take it later in ...
87
votes
10answers
17k views

Accused of cheating due to the time accounted by Blackboard

Since the exams this year for college is online, there is a timer. Usually, when I start an exam I click a random answer choice or what I think is right at that moment. Once I finish most of it, I go ...
39
votes
12answers
6k views

How to deal with cheating when university policy is ineffective?

I am co-teaching a relatively large class with two other colleagues in a big university. Each semester, most students are amazing, trustworthy, and well-behaved and it is a pleasure to work with my ...
19
votes
7answers
12k views

Why is it unethical to share the contents of an exam with students who haven't taken it yet?

Ever since I have known the term academic integrity, I have known that it is bad to breach it––I have known that it is in my best interest to maintain academic integrity and in the best interest of ...
6
votes
4answers
7k views

Should one cite during university exams?

As the title suggests, it's not a usual practice but should one do it? All I know that one can study for an exam and simply write the answers needed in order to succeed, no one tells us to include the ...
23
votes
7answers
44k views

Falsely accused of cheating in college [closed]

I finished up a final exam right before the holidays, it was 10 questions, fully mathematically explained questions, and just after the holidays, I got an email from my professor saying that I am ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

When and how should you talk to a professor if you think you deserve a different grade?

I recently was returned a midterm I wrote. One question I interpreted differently than what was intended. As a result I got 0.5/3 marks, which isn't a big deal but considering the test was only out of ...
5
votes
4answers
870 views

What would a good written policy for scaling exam grades look like?

I'm not in the habit of scaling exams, although I'm aware that the practice is widespread and highly recommended in some circles (such as grading on a curve). To my recollection, none of my college ...
1
vote
1answer
321 views

Accused of cheating on online final exam [duplicate]

Last month I took my final exam for accounting online. My grades in the class are very good as I have a tutor for the class. I got an email from my professor telling me that she had to talk to me and ...
-5
votes
5answers
3k views

Why would my teacher's dean care when I took the final?

The class was scheduled to take the final next week. I wanted to take the test this week, because there's some place I was planning to be on the day of the final. My teacher said that doesn't count ...
43
votes
9answers
12k views

Are there tools to prevent students from cheating on a programming exam administered on computers?

I'm teaching an Introduction to Computer Science Course, where we mainly do C programming. I've been assigned a lab for teaching the course, but there are more students than available computers. Also, ...
35
votes
15answers
16k views

Is it professional for a professor to ask “surprise” questions on a test?

To clarify, I am asking if it's professional to ask questions that while relevant to the subject/course, and are related to the topic, but have not been discussed in class, assigned as homework, ...
100
votes
10answers
33k views

Is having access to past exams cheating and, if yes, could it be proven just by a good grade?

I studied for three weeks straight for an exam because I was really anxious to pass it with a high grade, while everyone else didn’t study much. Now the problem is, I had access to the exam from the ...
83
votes
18answers
40k views

A student forgot to answer an exam question

A student in an undergrad class seems to have forgotten to answer the last few questions on a written essay. This student has achieved an average of A+ so far (over the term) The last few questions ...
45
votes
18answers
16k views

Should students have access to past exams or an exam bank?

Something I never understood is how in so many undergrad classes North America, the students are allowed to have past exams that they are allowed to study over. It never made sense to me because it ...
60
votes
10answers
27k views

Is there any way to detect high tech (e.g. cell-phone assisted) academic dishonesty?

Over the last few years, our university has seen a rise in high-tech academic dishonesty. We have a no electronics policy, except calculators when needed (even those now are provided by the school, ...
44
votes
11answers
21k views

Preventing leaking exam papers/cheating using phone cameras?

I work at an educational institution where exam papers are considered protected. Leaking the exam question sheet and taking photocopies or camera shots is considered illegal and is strictly prohibited....
35
votes
13answers
19k views

What can a professor do about an exam that was too long for the allotted time, after the students have completed it?

I just finished a midterm exam. It was very easy but I was only able to finish about 3/4 of it. And I rushed through some parts in the final moments. Talking with other students, there's a consensus ...
25
votes
7answers
10k views

Can I make an exam question for graduate & undergraduate students to find an idea in making a breakthrough in my research?

This question comes in two parts. If I am a lecturer in a field (say, Data Mining) and quite stuck in my research, am I allowed to make exam questions (for undergraduate & graduate students) ...
25
votes
11answers
11k views

Is it dishonest to guess on multiple choice exams?

I have never seen a thing, until recently, like someone not marking a cross on a multiple choice test just because he didn't know the answer. I wonder whether this is a East Asian right-thing-to-do ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Techniques to remain focused while marking examinations

Marking exams can be long, boring, and un-engaging. It is important one remain focused though to ensure that the evaluation is fair to each student. What are some methods one can employ to maintain ...
29
votes
6answers
12k views

Why are [some] professors ambiguous about material that is actually tested on exams?

I've noticed a majority of professors that I have had will tell students something along the lines of, the exam covers Chapters 1, 2, 3, or the exam covers topics X, Y, Z. Sometimes this is ends up ...