1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

In a dilemma

  1. Yes I would.

    2 vote(s)
  2. No I would not.

    14 vote(s)
  1. Feb 6, 2007 #1
    Okay, yesterday I went to write my physics test, but somehow they thought I was scheduled to write my calculus test. I had my graphing calculator ready to go for the physics test and they gave me my calculus test (I didn't know it was calculus at this point) and sent me off to the exam room. I then opened the booklet and noticed that it was for calculus but something surprised me, you are not allowed you have a graphing calculator for the calculus test, but the teacher supervising the exams does not seem to know this. Anyways, I just went and asked for my physics test and returned the calculus test since I wasn't ready for the calculus.

    Anyways, long story short, you can probably see my dillemma now. I have to write my calculus test in a week. I have worked really hard and am doing very well in the course, but if the teachers are too lazy to read the precautionary notes in the exam before handing me the test, it is their fault isn't it? The calculus mark goes towards my entrance in university(guaranteed anyway I think), plus scholarships(not quite guaranteed, but close).....

    Would you try to get the calculator in by playing it dumb a second time and seeing if it works? Or would you 'be the better man' and not even try... I am the type of person who tries hard to be honest over ensuring success for myself.... but I am very tempted here! :frown:

    Please vote, and explain your vote if you wish.

    I have never 'cheated' before and this feels way too much like cheating. Even though I could pass it off as if I didn't read the first page that said that no graphing calculators are allowed and probably not get into trouble, I know I don't have to cheat to do well on this exam, but it would help none the less. Lol, argggh!
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 6, 2007 #2
    Be the better man.
  4. Feb 6, 2007 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Then don't! Seriously though, there are many reasons not to cheat, there's no point in me listing them here as I'm sure you know them! I would be very suprised if anyone on here advises you to cheat!

    Besides, what happens if you decide to take the graphic calculator in, so then don't revise how to do some methods by hand, but then the invigilator is different; someone who knows you are not allowed the calculator and takes it off you. Then you're screwed aren't you!
  5. Feb 6, 2007 #4
    Well the only problems it would help for are graphing problems, limits as well but limits are pretty trivial and there is no way I would resort to using a calculator, lol. (So are graphing problems actually) The funny thing is that I was never even told that I couldn't use a graphing calculator on the exam, I read it for the first time when I opened the exam. So it truly is plausible that I wouldn't know.

    I guess I will be the better man, it will feel better anyway to know that I didn't need a calculator :-).
  6. Feb 6, 2007 #5


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    I'm not really sure what graphic calculators can do these days, I heard somewhere that they perform integrals, derivatives and basically anything you want them to!, and so though that you were intending to use it for this purpose-- which I would strongly suggest no-one does!

    You say, however, that the only place that having a calculator would be beneficial is in the graphing questions (I agree here, by the way, since that's the only time I used mine back in school). Think of it this way though; if the paper is non calculator, then will the graph questions be undoable by hand? No, they won't.

    I would suggest that you swot up on graph sketching, and then you won't need to cheat-- it's quite a useful skill to have at one's disposal.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2007
  7. Feb 6, 2007 #6
    Yea, the more I think about it the consequences start to outweigh the benefits. The calculator would best serve as a tool for checking answers for all sorts of problems such as related rates, min/max, etc which area all very easy but the thought of being able to check answers would be nice. But in reality I could check them in other ways such as for min/max just calculating values for f(x) 0.001 away from the x in question. And using the second/third derivative to double check everything.

    There is almost no chance that it will be a different person, I have wrote 4 tests already and it has always been the same. But I think that the graphing calculator would be useless anyways. I can have a normal run of the mill calculator with me and I think that will suffice. It would give me a small advantage but I think that you are right, it is not worth it.
  8. Feb 6, 2007 #7
    No, definitely don't do it. Forget the part about being a better man. Basically if you get caught cheating, you're toast. Most academics consider cheating to be the cardinal sin. So just follow the rules; it'll be easier on you that way.
  9. Feb 6, 2007 #8
    Its a pretty innocent form of 'cheating' though. I was never going to bring in a table of integrals or something. The calculator would just simplify the checking of answers, but that can of course trivially be done with second/third derivative tests and common sense. I do admit that it would be cheating though, but I originally did not really think of it that way.

    I wonder how many times she has let people write the calculus exam without taking away their calculator. Surely there has been over 40 people that have written calculus tests this month (they rotate around 5 exams to prevent cheating) and it is already pretty late to be writing exams so noone must have brought it to her attention so far. Does that possibly mean that the ~40 other students used their graphing calculator? (I can't imagine that the other students knew that they could not use a graphing calculator, since it was not mentioned in any of the information I received. I took calculus as an extra course through correspondence btw, that is why the final exam procedure is so odd.)
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2007
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook