• Support PF! Buy your school textbooks, materials and every day products Here!

Students Cheating from Past Exams

  • Thread starter Anonymous_
  • Start date
  • #1
10
1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Hello, I just recently found out that my classmates cheated throughout the semester by passing around old exams and quizzes. This semester is over but it turns out that the professor recycles old exams and quizzes year after year. He’s too lazy to change them. What I was wondering is if this is anything new to you guys? I was sickened by this because this means many of these people in my class also cheated throughout all their calculus courses because this is an advanced physics class where you need to have taken diff eq and calculus 2.

Any thoughts on this?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
10
1
Hello, I just recently found out that my classmates cheated throughout the semester by passing around old exams and quizzes. This semester is over but it turns out that the professor recycles old exams and quizzes year after year. He’s too lazy to change them. What I was wondering is if this is anything new to you guys? I was sickened by this because this means many of these people in my class also cheated throughout all their calculus courses because this is an advanced physics class where you need to have taken diff eq and calculus 2.

Any thoughts on this?
Also, when I say "Classmates", I mean more than half of the class. About 80%.
 
  • #3
gleem
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
1,656
1,011
One of my professors also used past exams but we all knew that he did so there was no advantage. He knew we knew and the questions where not easy and his grading was exceedingly strict. I personally do not approve of this method.
 
  • #4
symbolipoint
Homework Helper
Education Advisor
Gold Member
5,960
1,074
Hello, I just recently found out that my classmates cheated throughout the semester by passing around old exams and quizzes. This semester is over but it turns out that the professor recycles old exams and quizzes year after year. He’s too lazy to change them. What I was wondering is if this is anything new to you guys? I was sickened by this because this means many of these people in my class also cheated throughout all their calculus courses because this is an advanced physics class where you need to have taken diff eq and calculus 2.

Any thoughts on this?
Those students seem to have just used available resources to prepare and to help study. If you also passed, C or better, then you win.
 
  • Like
Likes atyy
  • #5
phinds
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2019 Award
16,184
6,193
Hello, I just recently found out that my classmates cheated throughout the semester by passing around old exams and quizzes.
How is that cheating? They obtained information through fully open and legal means. Life is an open book test. Get over it.
 
  • Like
Likes atyy
  • #6
8
5
This would be a violation of many schools academic integrity policy and hopefully your own morals.

Those students seem to have just used available resources to prepare and to help study. If you also passed, C or better, then you win.
How is that cheating? They obtained information through fully open and legal means. Life is an open book test. Get over it.
 
  • #7
Andy Resnick
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
Insights Author
7,452
1,966
Any thoughts on this?
I often recycle questions with minor changes to numerical quantities for the exact reason you state- it helps me find cheaters b/c those students are too lazy to check their answer.
 
  • Like
Likes DEvens and symbolipoint
  • #8
10
1
This would be a violation of many schools academic integrity policy and hopefully your own morals.

I wasn’t cheating
 
  • Like
Likes symbolipoint
  • #9
Orodruin
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Insights Author
Gold Member
16,817
6,625
First of all, it needs to be established that it is actually cheating: What is the policy of your university regarding the availability of old exams? What is the university policy regarding re-giving the same exam over and over? What is the university's definition of cheating in an exam?

Without specifying these, in particular if you do not know them, we cannot establish that cheating has taken place, which to me seems to be the first thing to do in this situation.

For example, in my country (Sweden), most universities are state institutions, which means that they have to follow the principle of public access to official records - that includes old exams. A student (or anyone else for that matter) can get hold of old exams simply by asking the university for them. They can even get access to (anonymised) student solutions to the exams. They can go to the course office and ask for "5 student solutions for course X that was graded with the top grade" and they will get it (for a minor administrative fee). Some teachers here still give the same exam problems or slightly modified exam problems year after year, but in no way is a student here cheating if they ask to get copies of the exam. Of course, bringing these copies to the exam would be cheating (in most cases).
 
  • Like
Likes atyy, Vanadium 50 and phinds
  • #10
phinds
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2019 Award
16,184
6,193
I wasn’t cheating
And you have not established that anyone else was either.
 
  • #11
phinds
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2019 Award
16,184
6,193
First of all, it needs to be established that it is actually cheating
what he said (very small).jpg
 
  • Like
Likes atyy
  • #12
Choppy
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
Insights Author
4,575
1,666
A lot of schools keep records of past exams. It's not considered cheating to read them.

Specifics aside, there isn't much point in worrying about other people cheating. It's going to happen, and not all of them will get caught.

But what will happen is that the cheating student who didn't get caught will have to live with all the stress of not having earned the position they're in. Eventually they will realize that the material is cumulative and they don't understand any of it and will have to drop out of the program. Even worse, they just might keep going until they're in a situation like a candidacy exam or a thesis defence where they can't cheat and end up in a flaming spiral of academic death.

Work hard.

Don't cheat yourself.

Learn very well the rules of the game.
 
  • Like
Likes DEvens, vela and Vanadium 50
  • #13
15
5
Hello, I just recently found out that my classmates cheated throughout the semester by passing around old exams and quizzes. This semester is over but it turns out that the professor recycles old exams and quizzes year after year. He’s too lazy to change them. What I was wondering is if this is anything new to you guys? I was sickened by this because this means many of these people in my class also cheated throughout all their calculus courses because this is an advanced physics class where you need to have taken diff eq and calculus 2.

Any thoughts on this?
Hey, cmon, do you really care about that? Only our Goddess Physica should bother you.
 
  • #14
MathematicalPhysicist
Gold Member
4,288
202
Yes, people cheat.
Life sucks and then you die...
 

Related Threads on Students Cheating from Past Exams

  • Last Post
Replies
8
Views
2K
Replies
24
Views
3K
Replies
5
Views
143K
  • Last Post
Replies
8
Views
1K
Replies
1
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
2K
Replies
3
Views
2K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
30
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
0
Views
1K
Top