During the Exam

Faculty are not required to confront students suspected of cheating during the exam and may choose to simply observe the behavior (sometimes, it may be impractical to take immediate action because it would disrupt the exam or other students).  If you decide to intervene, the following suggestions can help you deal with such situations.

During the Exam:  Recommended Steps for Responding to Suspected In-Progress Cheating 

*  Do not stop a student from completing an exam, even if you believe he or she is cheating.   If students are talking or appear to be exchanging information (copying, passing notes, text-messaging, etc.), if you see wandering eyes, or if there are other suspicious activities, get the names of those involved and take the following steps as appropriate.

* Approach the students and talk to them directly.  Use a low voice to avoid disturbing other students. Quietly instruct them to stop talking and/or tell them that they must not look at or towards others' papers.

*  Do not simply assign the student a grade of zero or "F" on the test or a grade of "F" in the course – campus procedures call for suspected misconduct to be reported to OSSJA. Academic Senate Regulation 550 provides that students must admit to cheating or be found in violation after a disciplinary process before a grade penalty can be imposed. 

*  If you suspect cheating, you may collect (or photocopy) what the student has done so far and give the student a blank exam or the copy of his/her exam to complete the test.

*  Remind the class that no talking is allowed during exams and that students must keep their eyes on their own papers.  

* Separate the students by asking the student(s) or their neighbors to move to new seats. If they protest/refuse to move, calmly state that you will not debate the issue during the exam, that you have authority to make such requests, and that they will be permitted to finish the test. 

*  If a student appears to be using unauthorized materials (e.g., crib notes, books, or unauthorized electronic devices such as cell phones, PDAs, etc.), or has unpermitted materials out or visible, instruct the student to give these items to you.  

*  If you learn a “ringer” may be taking an exam for a student, ask that individual for ID.  If you learn before the exam that there will be a ringer, but you don't have a name (and if you have assistance from TAs), ask all students for IDs. If the ringer does not provide ID, take the exam and write down a description of the individual.  It is recommended that you do not grab or chase anyone.