Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

School and Cheating

  1. Oct 29, 2005 #1
    I just had the first paper of my Final Year Physics exam this morning, which will contribute 20% to our final grades. I came out of the examination room feeling quite satisfied with the paper. All the revision I had done previously helped me considerably, and there were very few questions that stumped me.

    After the exam, I saw one of my classmates (we'll call her #1)and she told me that she had seen another one of our classmates (we'll call her #2) reading an exact copy of the examination paper before the examination. This piece of news spread very quickly, and everyone was naturally very excited by it. As we walked pass the area where we deposited our files and books before the exam, everyone expressed intense desire in seeing the paper. #2 was not around, so #1 took the liberty of extracting the paper from #2's file. I admit that I was pretty excited at the time, so I don't remember if I encouraged #1 or anything. As all this happened, I didn't once think #2 had cheated since I knew she had access to a lot of past year examination papers from her brother who is a year more senior than us (his teacher gives them a lot of papers to do). So the paper was passed around for quite a bit, and when #2 came to collect her belongings, she was understandably irritated by all this.

    When I saw #2 a bit later on, she was furious at me for having not stopped the paper from going around (We're close friends). She told me that a lot of people were giving her a hard time.

    It turned out the paper that we had sat for was just a duplication of the GCE-A Level June 2005 Paper I. So #2 was in fact not in the wrong, and the blame should be put on the teacher, who had not bothered writing a new examination paper for us!

    I have a feeling that several people and not just #2 have seen the paper before. We'll be sitting for the second Physics paper on Tuesday (which will make up 30% of the final grade), and I think that it may be a duplicate of the GCE-A Level June 2005 Paper II. Certainly, the teacher is in the wrong and not the students. But can I do anything? Also, what can I do to make amendments with #2? I would like to ask her for the GCE-A Level June 2005 Paper II, but obviously that's not possible at the moment.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 29, 2005 #2

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    You cheated and got what you deseved.
     
  4. Oct 29, 2005 #3
    :confused: What do you mean?
     
  5. Oct 29, 2005 #4

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Don't cheat, just do what you're given. I suppose the girl is the one who actually got what she deserved for passing out the tests however. You are lucky the teacher was nice (probably detected the cheating) and didn't fail everyone for a few peoples mistakes.
     
  6. Oct 29, 2005 #5
    huh?? I didn't get that out of what he wrote. I thought recon was just saying that everyone thought that she had an advanced copy of the exam and was cheating, when in fact she wasn't. She was just looking at an exam to practice, but their teacher ripped off that exam paper. It isn't cheating if you just practice an exam man and then the teacher rips off that paper. It's just a coincidence.
     
  7. Oct 29, 2005 #6

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I got out of the story that she knew what the actual tests were going to be so no one should be pissed when they get tripped up.
     
  8. Oct 29, 2005 #7
    That doesn't make very much sense to me, but then again you are very small:tongue2:
    [​IMG]

    She didn't get tripped up...the teacher doesn't know. The teacher is using a ready made practice test from the year (or two?) before. I don't think cheating on a test is one of the great moral dilemmas...it hurts you more than helps you in the end, and there comes a point in education where you have to rely on your skills of analysis and presentation rather than your skills of memorization and reiteration. No biggie, the real problem is how to make amends with the friend. As for borrowing the test, why not just study! Or make a study group with her and then she'll probably bring it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2005
  9. Oct 29, 2005 #8
    Just asking a question upon this quote:

    Why were you excited when you knew that this was a past paper (notice, you said this was BEFORE the exam, and therefore you could not know what exam was that was coming up) that could have easily been a past paper that is not what were about to do?

    Is there something we should know about, which shows you KNEW that the paper #2 had was the paper you were about the be examined upon?

    If what I have wrote is true, then it is what peng said. Every one of you are guilty of cheating on the paper, and should be disqualified. You are certainly very lucky to have a teacher who will look over this action.

    No She/He didn't. But as i said, if what i have said above is correct, then you SHOULD be disqualified along with everyone else.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2005
  10. Oct 29, 2005 #9

    Chi Meson

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I agree with Recon. The teacher is lazy (that part is my assessment). It sounds like #2's paper is "available" enough to be considered study material. IF (and this is speculation) #2 KNEW that what she had beforehand would be the test paper, and IF she had planned to hold this information for herself alone, then she is the devious one. But now the secret is out. If she has further copies that she will not share beforehand, then she has slipped from devious to nefarious.

    I'd say, tell the professor. Tell him that some people have been studying papers that have turned out to be the exam. No deliberate cheating, per se, has occurred, but the exams are not correctly assessing the student's knowledge.
     
  11. Oct 29, 2005 #10

    Chi Meson

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I agree with Recon. The teacher is lazy (that part is my assessment). It sounds like #2's paper is "available" enough to be considered study material. IF (and this is speculation) #2 KNEW that what she had beforehand would be the test paper, and IF she had planned to hold this information for herself alone, then she is the devious one. But now the secret is out. If she has further copies that she will not share beforehand, then she has slipped from devious to nefarious.

    I'd say, tell the professor. Tell him that some people have been studying papers that have turned out to be the exam. No deliberate cheating, per se, has occurred, but the exams are not correctly assessing the student's knowledge.
     
  12. Oct 29, 2005 #11
    No, all this took place AFTER the exam, so none of us cheated. Now that I think about it, the word 'Cheating' in the title is actually very misleading.

    EDIT: I now see what caused the confusion. "As we walked pass the area where we deposited our files and books before the exam, everyone expressed.." The sentence is ambiguous. Most of what I outlined in my first post happened when we went back to the place where we had deposited our books and files before the exam.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2005
  13. Oct 29, 2005 #12
    I don't think I'm gonna borrow the test. I think I'll just study, but then again I don't really feel like studying anymore.
     
  14. Oct 29, 2005 #13

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Okay, so if I understand correctly, the excitement is that #2 had among her study materials an old exam, which turned out to be re-used by the teacher, and now the question is the temptation to obtain another old exam that you're predicting will be used by the teacher for your second exam.

    If the teacher is re-using old exam questions, I agree with Chi-Meson's assessment it is laziness. Unless these old exams are made readily available to everyone as practice exams, then there is a second issue aside from not actually testing your abilities, but that it gives an unfair advantage to some people who have access to those exams in advance, such as #2 whose brother had the same exam.

    It is not cheating if you haven't seen the actual exam in advance. This is because it would only be a guess that the next exam would be taken from the same source of exam questions. Instead, I would consider it a form of cheating if #2 is the only person with access to these practice exams and she does not share with everyone in order to give herself an advantage over the rest of the class. It would also be cheating if the students, after seeing the question, conferred with each other on the answers rather than working on your own answers.

    Now, here is the dilemma...do you tell the teacher that everyone now knows the source of the exam questions? Do you risk being labeled a "snitch" by the rest of the class to inform a teacher who is too lazy to write new questions?
     
  15. Oct 29, 2005 #14
    I'm sorry. I have had a lot of trouble in trying to express myself clearly lately. I think, Moonbear, that you have managed to understand most of my post.

    #2 was probably the only person with access to the practice exams as not too many people in my year have a brother/sister in the year senior to ours. However, I think those practice papers may be available at the school library, so this could have been a source of the papers for some other people.

    As far as I know, #2 didn't share her papers with anyone. As you said, she may have done this to give herself an advantage over the rest of us. Still, I don't think this is cheating as she could not have known beforehand that the teacher was going to give us that practice test for the exam. Besides, none of us knew she had any extra practice papers, and no one asked to see it so she wasn't under any obligation to let anyone know she had the papers.

    I don't know how most of the class feels about the exam. I do know that some of them are mad at #2 for not having shared her papers with us. This is just wrong as I think that the anger should be directed at the teacher. I really do think that the teacher needs to be informed.
     
  16. Oct 29, 2005 #15

    BobG

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    If she had no idea what the exam was going to be and was using her brother's past tests as practice, why would she even think of sharing the exam. It's no different than checking a book out of the library and practicing on questions from the library book.

    The teacher really should have more than one test. I imagine it's possible she could still give the same test two years in a row, even if she has more than one test, but at least it wouldn't be a particularly likely occurrence.

    By the way, I can understand her being mad at folks going through her things. People had no right to do that.
     
  17. Oct 29, 2005 #16

    JamesU

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    This is weird (look at the pound sign)

    Anyway. I think that the teacher should be told, 1, because of her laziness, and 2, so if she ever finds out, that she will know that it was her fault.
     
  18. Oct 29, 2005 #17

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    It doesn't sound like she had any way to know before the exam that it was going to be identical.

    I don't think it's fair to blame #2 for not sharing if nobody knew the exam would be identical. It is now a different scenario for the next exam if there is a good chance it will also be identical to an exam #2 has in her possession and she either doesn't share it or only shares it with some people.

    You can tell the teacher that the class knows the exam is identical to one from a previous year, and some people have access to old exams while others don't, without actually implicating #2 or accusing anyone of cheating. The teacher can then decide how she will handle this problem.
     
  19. Oct 29, 2005 #18

    Chi Meson

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I didn't realize this was high school. THis teacher should NOT be re-using exams that have been handed back to students. I'd go so far as saying that you have the responsibility to inform him that "old copies of prior exams are available, and some students have acess to them while others don't." An anonymous letter is fine, IMO. Again, no cheating has occurred but the whole situation is unfair and the result is unreliable grades.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: School and Cheating
  1. Cheat with SpreadTweet (Replies: 3)

  2. Is this cheating? (Replies: 63)

  3. Cheating or not (Replies: 21)

Loading...