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314 votes

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

I apologize in advance for my frankness. What can we do in this situation, in which I strongly suspect that this student went to the bathroom to look up a definition on his phone, so that he could ...
Massimo Ortolano's user avatar
281 votes

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

It feels like one of the deadly sins but it's actually a physiological need... If it's a physiological need because you were sick at the time of the exam, then your school should have a policy about ...
aeismail's user avatar
  • 174k
277 votes

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

Call him in. Ask him how he solved it. Don't imply that he cheated. Just ask how he solved it with genuine curiosity and interest. If he asks why you're asking, tell him he was the only student in ...
Wildcard's user avatar
  • 4,324
255 votes

A student forgot to answer an exam question

You should give zero for the answers in question. You are grading what the student handed in, not what s/he potentially could have handed in. The logistics are just as much part of fulfilling an ...
nengel's user avatar
  • 8,351
252 votes

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

Let's be clear here. From your description, the student clearly cheated by violating the take-home exam's stated policy that (quoting from your comment on @user2768's answer) "it is prohibited to ask ...
Dan Romik's user avatar
  • 191k
238 votes

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

Frankly, the whole thing seems like a terrible idea - a guaranteed way to sabotage your rapport with your students and ensure complaints on your evaluations. If you're trying to get tenure, this ...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
228 votes

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

Have each person grade different questions, not different students. Consistency in grading is important, and it is unfair to the students if their grades depend substantially on the allocation of ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 69.2k
226 votes

Should I give full credit for a correct answer different from the expected one to an exam question?

If the answer is correct it should get full marks, even if it wasn't the answer you expected. The student can't know what you expected, of course. Yes, concede, though I don't see it as a technicality....
Buffy's user avatar
  • 370k
210 votes

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

Speaking from personal experience, I advise you to accept the consequences of the events that occurred and move on. There are, and will be, many important situations in life that require you to be in ...
heropup's user avatar
  • 1,996
180 votes

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

It sounds like you're still in finals, so the first part is containment – you likely have other exams to be ready for and should probably focus on them. Next, as from @aeismail's answer, it's ...
Nat's user avatar
  • 6,237
174 votes

How can I prevent students from writing answers on an assignment, then claiming I didn't see their answer?

Use placeholders You can use a sign or an indication that you would never use in any other circumstances (red cross, three question marks, etc.), a short sentence ("No Answer Given", "I'm sure you ...
Clément's user avatar
  • 4,033
164 votes

How can I prevent students from writing answers on an assignment, then claiming I didn't see their answer?

I scan my student's assignments. There is a big printer with scanning function in our department where you can just put in the papers and it scans all of them at once. Moreover, I do warn them ...
user82630's user avatar
  • 1,247
154 votes

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

In a situation in which you would suffer no matter what you do, you can also work to protect yourself. An anonymous note to the professor that the exam has been compromised and that there are ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 370k
145 votes

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

As a professor, one has to assume that all past exam questions are available to students. Some student organizations debrief members after exams and capture the questions for such an exam bank. Some ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 370k
140 votes

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

You haven't said whether you were actually accused or not. I'm assuming that you are just worried about what might happen in the meeting that hasn't happened yet. The most honest way to proceed, ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 370k
139 votes

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

I would suggest offering something in response that makes the students feel like their concerns are heard, without compromising the academics of the course. For example: I understand that this is a ...
ff524's user avatar
  • 109k
135 votes

Why are low pass rates (below 50%) for exams considered acceptable in Germany?

My background I studied physics and maths in Germany where such failure rates (50% in the first exam, 90% in the make-up exam) were common. I also organised one first-semester physics course with ...
Wrzlprmft's user avatar
  • 61.9k
132 votes

Should I cheat if the majority does it?

I don't want to report them, I probably don't have the guts to do it, especially because it's such a socially accepted practice. A "Snitches get stitches" mentality will not solve your problem. ...
Patrick's user avatar
  • 1,034
132 votes

Exam design: give maximum score per question or not?

Examinations are time-limited, so time is a scarce resource that students need to economise. Stipulating the marks allocated to exam questions has three main purposes: Objectivity: The stipulated ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 69.2k
131 votes

Some of my students cheated. Should I give them the opportunity to turn themselves in?

Punishments for academic misconduct should be standardized across your university. Check the university policy and follow it. If you are still unsure, ask your academic dean. Instructor discretion ...
Anonymous Physicist's user avatar
125 votes

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

I would say no, unless this was explicitly prohibited beforehand. Look, what's the purpose of a test? To gauge the extent to which one has comprehended the material. The fact that you did the work ...
HEITZ's user avatar
  • 10.2k
124 votes

Is it unethical to take a photograph of my question sheets from a sit-down exam I've just finished if I am not allowed to take them home?

Taking a photo is effectively equivalent to taking the question sheet home. For either of these: it’s not inherently a bad thing, and (as your friend said) it can be good for personal study, and so ...
PLL's user avatar
  • 10.3k
122 votes

Accused of cheating due to the time accounted by Blackboard

Unfortunately you can't prove a negative. You have been "caught" by a system that is insufficiently accurate to properly evaluate your actions (and those of many others). All you can really ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 370k
121 votes

How to gain strength for an exam I have been studying for 2.5 years which is only 15 days away?

Take a two week vacation. Do things you enjoy. Relax. Exercise. Watch TV. Sleep. The gain from any studying you can do in two weeks will be minimal, compared to the previous three years. The gain from ...
Patricia Shanahan's user avatar
120 votes

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

This is a question to the programme leader. Frankly in a scenario where cheating is just waiting for an invitation, relative marking is grossly inappropriate. It is not just giving cheaters an ...
Captain Emacs's user avatar
113 votes

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?

How could I tell him to upgrade my grade and explain to him that I really deserve it and that I really need to have (19/20) so I can pass my semester? Don't tell him how to fix the error, and don't ...
Azor Ahai -him-'s user avatar
110 votes

Academic Misconduct with alternate exam? Minimizing damage?

If the facts are as you report them, your "peer" has engaged in academic misconduct. I have fellow peers who have done the exact same thing and not face a single threat of being reported to the ...
Bob Brown's user avatar
  • 27k
109 votes

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

Report it to the police. Report it to the department. You don't have anything that requires making up to the students. Of course you should be fair to them and not let this hurt them (e.g., no grade ...
Austin Henley's user avatar
109 votes

What if a student doesn't understand a question because of differences in dialect?

During the test, the student can ask about the exotic non-technical word, and the proctor can clarify on its meaning.
Daniel R. Collins's user avatar
105 votes

Realizing possible academic misconduct after degree award

What you should do, is precisely nothing. Take a deep breath. Have a culturally appropriate beverage and celebrate your finishing. We are human. None of us is perfect. We fall. We get up. We move on. ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 370k

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