Questions tagged [exams]

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

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144
votes
22answers
78k views

A student in my course does well on exams, but doesn't do the homework: Go easy on them, or make them “pay the price?”

I have a student in my course that does well on the exams, and his answers to the exam questions show a deep understanding of the material. However, this student has not been handing in the assigned ...
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 ...
120
votes
26answers
105k views

Slept through final, professor is giving me a zero and failing me – is there anything I can do to change this?

I slept through my 8 am final last Thursday, and I didn’t wake up until 11:50 am. By the time I scrambled to remember what day it was, it was already noon. I frantically sent the professor an email ...
115
votes
11answers
30k views

Fellow student asked question from take-home exam on Stack Exchange

In an advanced university course on computer science and problem solving, one of my fellow students asked for a solution to a home exam on one of the Stack Exchange sites. The question he asked is ...
112
votes
13answers
66k views

Only one student answered an exam question - and I strongly suspect he cheated

Today we (professors + teaching assistants) proctored a midterm exam for a class of about 80 students. There was undoubtedly a "hardest" question on the exam, since nearly the entire classroom of ...
108
votes
18answers
302k 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. ...
106
votes
14answers
16k views

How to handle requests for a race-based exam structure?

A colleague of mine is a non-tenured teaching-track faculty in a neighboring university. We work together frequently through our joint outreach and REU projects. He is currently teaching a summer ...
104
votes
9answers
34k views

What to do if I have seen an exam before I have taken it?

Today I saw a photograph of an upcoming exam at my university. At first I thought it was last year's exam; so I took a closer look at it as I think it is okay to see last year's exams even if they ...
102
votes
15answers
30k views

I lost my students' quizzes due to a theft, what should I do?

I am a teacher assistant for a big course and I am expected to conduct weekly quizzes. Last week, my bag containing a week's worth of quizzes got stolen. My question is what should I tell my students ...
100
votes
10answers
34k 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 ...
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 ...
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'...
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 ...
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 ...
77
votes
10answers
12k views

I found an error in my exam that caused me to lose time on other questions, resulting in a lower grade. How can I appeal?

I'm a student in college, and while I was taking a linear algebra exam, I noticed that there was a mistake in the last exercise. Our exam is composed of two parts: multiple questions and exercises. ...
71
votes
11answers
16k views

I used a solution that I happened to already have on my laptop on an exam. Did I cheat?

In a programming in-class test, one of the problems was to write up a certain famous program in Maple. However, I had already written up this program prior to the test just as a hobby, and it was in a ...
70
votes
14answers
26k views

Is my approach to discouraging whiners from taking my class acceptable?

I am writing a syllabus for a Calculus for Business class. When I taught the last year, I had some very weak but vocal students whine that the tests were tough (despite other students doing fine), the ...
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 ...
69
votes
4answers
11k views

Didn't pay attention to rules and created an illegal note card for exam?

For final exam in my university chemistry class, a note sheet, 8 by 11, was allowed. You could put anything on the sheet, however it was to remain 1-sided. Of all things, I forgot about the last rule, ...
67
votes
6answers
17k views

3 3-hour exams in a row with no time in between. What can I do?

I am currently studying computer science in a University in Canada. I have just received my Schedule for the semester, and I have noticed that, during the finals week, 3 of my 6 courses put their ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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, ...
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 ...
56
votes
5answers
15k views

Teacher takes pictures of students during exams and posts them on social media

There's this teacher who takes pictures of his students during exams, and posts them on social media, with the knowledge of the students. A lot of people enjoy these pictures (including the students), ...
53
votes
7answers
13k views

I grade exams together with a colleague but disagree with their grading. What should I do?

Recently, I have graded exams (50 pcs.) together with a colleague from another department. I felt like my colleague was awarding too many points for wrong/incomplete answers. For example, awarding ...
53
votes
8answers
14k views

Is it acceptable to put the blame on an instructor during an oral exam for a mistake?

During class, I asked my instructor about a certain thing that didn't make sense to me. Basically, there was a problem that I couldn't figure out how to solve using the methods we've studied. The ...
52
votes
13answers
13k views

Nice vs. ugly numbers in homework and tests

This question revolves around using integers (−1, 0, 1, 2, 3) or simple fractions (½, ⅓, ⅗) vs. real numbers (−1.254, 42.72) in teaching concepts, assigning homework, and preparing tests for math, ...
50
votes
13answers
15k views

What can I do about undergraduate students cheating?

So I lecture at a university on the department of mathematics and statistics, and this year I am teaching calculus for future mathematicians. One good thing about the mathematics course is that very ...
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 ...
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 ...
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,...
49
votes
12answers
23k views

What do universities usually do with a student's graded final exams?

Personally I do not recall ever having seen any of my final exams I have taken during my undergrad (except in my nightmares). Midterms, quizzes and homeworks are usually returned to the students ...
48
votes
10answers
13k views

Should non-native speakers get extra time to compose exam answers?

Today I met with a student who had plagiarized answers on an exam from online sources. She explained to me with apparent honesty that she had spent too long answering the first two questions and then ...
47
votes
13answers
12k views

Exam design: give maximum score per question or not?

When designing an exam, would you mention the maximum score per question or not? Is it common practice? In my view this promotes cherry-picking. This could be seen as a way to prioritize or to ...
46
votes
10answers
9k views

Asking an exam question that requires a specific technique

This question Inadmissible theorems in research mentioned a scenario in which a student was not allowed to use a theorem that he knew because it wasn't in the course. I've administered exams in which ...
46
votes
6answers
10k views

How to respond to an upset student?

My finals were held recently. Due to some timetabling issues, I had to organize for some students to take the finals early, but still within finals week. The dates were mutually agreed. One of these ...
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 ...
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....
44
votes
2answers
10k views

My professor changed a take-home test to an in-class test with no notice. Can I fight the grade?

I’m a college student. For a recent test, the professor originally said that the test was extremely difficult and long and therefore they were going to send us a picture of the exam an hour and a half ...
43
votes
11answers
13k views

Is it unethical for a professor to misrepresent the format of an exam?

If a professor at a university explicitly states an exam will contain "multiple choice questions and true/false questions" and then administers an exam with several short answer and essay questions, ...
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, ...
42
votes
7answers
11k views

Test answer rejected for saying more than asked for

this is about a phenomenon often seen, but I came across a probably more prominent example recently, so I thought I'd ask for the community's opinion. Here's the situation: In the past semester's ...
41
votes
12answers
12k views

Academic Misconduct with alternate exam? Minimizing damage?

An individual I know is in an interesting situation and I was just wondering what you guys thought about it. This individual had an exam conflict and emailed the instructor to arrange an alternate ...
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 ...
41
votes
1answer
5k views

How does academia handle those with test anxieties?

Suppose you truly know the material but cannot perform well in a testing setting because you have real diagnosed anxiety or testophobia. How is it accommodated? I was considering this for someone who ...
40
votes
8answers
12k views

Why are examinees often not allowed to leave during the start and end of an exam?

I notice that, quite often, exams have a rule similar to this: You may not leave the exam theater during the first ten minutes and last ten minutes of the exam. I'm wondering what the purpose of ...
40
votes
14answers
11k views

What are strategies for minimizing student questions during exams?

Context: I am an assistant professor of mathematics at a small liberal arts college in the US. I generally find student questions during tests and quizzes to be somewhat annoying. I disliked them ...

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