While preparing for the upcoming midterms, it is helpful to also become familiarized with testing policies and the possible consequences of violating them. Student conduct during testing is a relevant topic that will be explored in the following scenarios.
A student was referred to Student Judicial Affairs (SJA) for using an unauthorized calculator on a math exam. The proctor confiscated it within the first 10 minutes of the exam. When the student met with the Judicial Officer, she said that she did not hear the professor announce that calculators were not allowed during the exam and was therefore unaware that they were prohibited. In addition, she pointed out that she was using a scientific calculator, which cannot do complex calculations or store data. After considering the circumstances of the incident, the Judicial Officer and professor agreed that although the student did violate the rules by using an unauthorized calculator for the first few minutes of the exam, it appeared to be a genuine misunderstanding on the student’s part, and one from which no unfair advantage was gained since scientific calculators are very limited in their functions. As a result, the matter was settled by sending the student a non-disciplinary “administrative notice.” This is a letter putting the student officially “on notice” about a specific university policy (in this case, the policy against using unauthorized materials during a test).
Copying during an exam
A professor referred a student for suspected copying during an upper-division chemistry exam. The professor noticed the student constantly glancing at a neighbor’s work during the exam, and later compared the two tests. The professor noticed that several of the suspected student’s answers were quite similar to the neighbor’s exam but tended to be incomplete. When meeting with a Judicial Officer, the student admitted to cheating and explained that she had panicked during the exam. She agreed to deferred separation, which means that if she is referred to SJA again, she gives up her right to a formal hearing, and if she is found in violation in an informal hearing, she will likely be suspended.
A student was referred to SJA for suspected cheating during a math exam. Throughout the exam, the proctor noticed that the student was suspiciously looking at other students. When the student met with the Judicial Officer, he denied to have cheated, and claimed that he was just fidgeting. Later, however, he admitted to having wandering eyes and creating the appearance of dishonesty. He stated that he did not know that simply having wandering eyes, even if a student has no intention of cheating, is prohibited during an exam. The student agreed to accept a censure, which is a written notice informing the student that if he is found in violation on another case, the student will receive more severe disciplinary sanctions, such as disciplinary probation, deferred separation or suspension.