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Maintaining Your Integrity & Ensuring Success

Protect Yourself from Getting involved in Cheating

  • Be prepared for exams and assignments; preparing for a test can be an anxiety-producing experience.  It may help to study over a period of time and not cram the night before the exam.  
  • Take the time to produce quality work of which you can be proud.
  • Do not allow others to use your computer programs.  Keep computer passwords secret to avoid unauthorized access.
  • When using class notes for an assignment, ask yourself: Did this information come from me?  Always document where and from whom you got your information (e.g., other students, professor, journal article, textbook, web site).
  • Refuse to allow others to copy your answers or assignments.
  • Ask each instructor for a statement on academic misconduct.  Refer to the class syllabus for course expectations.  
  • Cite all source materials used in written assignments. Please visit the University of California, Berkeley Library for more information on citing sources.
  • Obtain permission before working collaboratively or re-using an assignment written for another course.
  • Always do and turn in your own work.  Instructors may allow or even encourage working in groups; however, it is crucial that the work you submit be unique and exhibits your own thoughts.  

Preparing for an Exam

  • Review and/or rewrite your notes after each class.  Reading them soon after class will make remembering them easier.
  • Try condensing your notes to one page.  This exercise will help you to organize the main ideas and to select the most important concepts and facts.
  • If you do not understand the material, see your professor or the teaching assistant(s) during office hours or make an appointment.  The longer you wait, the less time you will have to prepare.
  • Prepare for the style of exam being given.  Multiple choice, matching, and true-false questions tend to test for recollection of facts; short answers and "fill in the blank'' questions tend to test your ability to recall material; essay and oral exams tend to test your ability to recall material, synthesize material, and create your own conclusions (from Karen Martin, "Organizing Examinations," UCLA, 1987).
  • Write some questions as if you were the professor.  This exercise may help you to focus on the most important material under examination.
  • Budget your time.  Include time to watch your favorite television program as you schedule your time--chances are you'll watch it anyway.  If you budget time for it, you'll be able to watch it and still have adequate time to study (suggested by the Learning Resource Center, Miami University).  

Taking an Exam

  • Avoid looking in the direction of anyone's work during the exam.
  • Take the initiative to shield your work to prevent other students from copying.
  • Do not sit next to friends or study partners.  Choose a desk in the exam room that is as remote as possible from other students whom you know.  It decreases distraction as well as the chance that copying may occur or be suspected.  This is particularly important if you studied together.
  • Bring into the exam room only those materials, if any, that the instructor has expressly indicated as allowed.  Bringing in unauthorized materials, whether utilized or not, leaves you vulnerable to an allegation of cheating.

After Taking an Exam

  • When your exam is returned, see what you can learn by reviewing your incorrect answers.  If you wish to submit your exam for re-grading, do not alter the original answers, since that could be interpreted as a dishonest attempt to receive additional credit.  Remember, instructors often photocopy your original exams and quizzes before returning them in order to compare them with those submitted for re-grading.