2020 has been a really difficult year for everyone and has changed learning and teaching at the University in many ways. Last semester the University introduced online open-resource exams for the first time. Lots of students got confused about what was ok to do and ended up being accused of academic misconduct.
So how do you know what is acceptable and what isn’t?
The easiest way to think about this is to imagine what would be ok if the exam was being held in person with an exam supervisor. If it isn’t ok in that situation it probably isn’t ok for the online exam unless your course coordinator says that it is.
So, to be sure you are ready for the next exam period, here are our top tips for doing the right thing and avoiding any problems with academic misconduct.
Tips for succeeding in your final exams and assessments
Don’t copy and paste answers to your exam questions from lecture notes or the internet without proper referencing.
This is plagiarism.
For an online exam you should still try to write the answer in your own words. Many of the questions you will be asked will look for you to interpret, analyse or synthesise information not just remember key facts/definitions etc. so copying from your notes won’t help that much anyway.
Don’t work with anyone else during the exam.
Whether you are in the same room or you get together in an online chat room this is not OK. It is collusion.
The same applies to asking someone in your house for help to answer any of the questions.
Studying with other people is a great way to learn and helps you to develop collaboration skills which are good for career readiness. But you should always make sure that you keep your own work separate from other students you are studying with and definitely don’t work together during the exam.
Don’t use homework help or file-sharing websites to get answers to the exam.
The answers that are provided by these sites are frequently wrong and are a red flag to your markers that you might have cheated.
Uploading exam questions to one of these sites or getting your answers from there is cheating in exams and also contract cheating. The penalties can be severe including failing the exam, failing the course and even being suspended or excluded from the University.
Don’t pay anyone to do your assessment or exam.
You should never pay anyone else to do your work.
Companies that offer to write your assignment or do your exam are not legitimate sources of academic support.
Students that use these services are at risk of serious consequences. Research shows that a lot of the work done by these companies is poor quality and doesn’t result in good marks.
The University is getting better and better at detecting when these services have been used. If you get caught you will likely face serious penalties including failing the course or even being suspended or excluded from the University.
Even worse, if you don’t get caught some of these services have been known to blackmail students by threatening to tell the University. And after all of that, by using these services you won’t have learned what you needed to progress in your degree.
It is just not worth it.
Access legitimate sources of support and prepare properly for your exams.
The University provides a whole range of academic support that you should use to help you prepare for your exams and assessments. These include:
- Writing Centre
- Maths Learning Centre
- Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS)
- Studiosity Online Study Help
If you are feeling stressed or having problems affecting your study you can also access support from the University’s wellbeing services.
Get involved in Academic Integrity Awareness Week, 19-23 October.
Learn more about what you need to do in exams and assessments, visit our new Academic Integrity website and drop in to our Hub Pop-Up to play our “Is this OK?” Academic Integrity game and score a free donut!
You can also ask us your questions about academic integrity online by following our event on Instagram.