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Is Using a Test Bank Cheating??

KcoolbyKcoolby Posts: 7Registered User New Member
edited December 2010 in College Life
Hey guys, so here's my situation....

Me and a couple of friends from class found this test bank online for the textbook that was currently assigned for class. So we all chipped in a few bucks and bought the test bank. We studied it the couple days before the exam, along with other class notes too. However, someone in the library saw us studying from it and informed the professor about it. He has called each one of us in to question us about it. So far everyone has denied it but today apparantly someone had confessed to the professor we were using the test bank.

So I'm not too sure if this is actually cheating or academic dishonesty. We did not steal the test bank and merely found it online. The exam had about 10-15 multiple choice questions from the test bank.
Post edited by Kcoolby on
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Replies to: Is Using a Test Bank Cheating??

  • binks09binks09 Posts: 937Registered User Member
    You're not cheating at all. If ANYTHING happens, you will have a clear case.

    If the dumbass teacher is retarded enough to not make up his own questions, thats his own fault. I've known teachers who wonder why students do so well on tests when half of there tests are problems exactly like (or slightly) different than the ones at the end of each chapter.
  • KcoolbyKcoolby Posts: 7Registered User New Member
    Thanks!

    The only thing is these weren't questions from the back of the text book. The test bank we got was one that publishers give to professors for that extra incentive to use their book. It was a bank of over 100 questions per chapter.

    Is there anything I should do before the professor tries to go to the dean or something?
  • futurenyustudentfuturenyustudent Posts: 5,366Registered User Senior Member
    Nope. That which is not explicitly is not allowed is allowed. It's not your problem your idiot prof doesn't write his own questions-you bought a set of questions you found online. It's the equivalent of buying a Barron's AP book for something and then the College Board accusing you of cheating because they took questions from the same Barron's book.
  • XptboyXptboy Posts: 321Registered User Member
    The professor is dumb for not making his own exams but you bought a test bank that was made for the professor to use to help him create exams and know how to grade them easily, which could be cheating I guess. I have a feeling that if he takes it to the dean you could be in trouble since he is the man with power.
  • 1 Sky Pilot1 Sky Pilot Posts: 558Registered User Member
    Cheating? To me, it depends on your incentive for buying the test bank. If you bought it as a study tool - fine. If you bought it thinking that it would provide possible exam questions....I consider that cheating. But no one, apart from you and your group of friends, will ever know what you were thinking. So, innocent unless proven guilty.

    If anything, you might get in trouble for lying about using the test bank.
  • soccerguy315soccerguy315 Posts: 6,665Registered User Senior Member
    why did you lie? you can buy whatever you want online.
  • Sean1218Sean1218 Posts: 148Registered User Junior Member
    You'll probably be fine, though lying in the first place doesn't help. Why did you lie again..?
  • SEA_tideSEA_tide Posts: 3,658Registered User Senior Member
    As long as you purchased the test bank legally, you did nothing wrong as far as I can see. It'd be the same to me as if you had bought the instructor edition textbook, which is perfectly legal. Even if your school has an honor code, I don't think you would be in violation of it even if you previously knew the professor used the test bank when making tests because the test bank was available for purchase by anyone who wanted to.
  • KcoolbyKcoolby Posts: 7Registered User New Member
    Honestly, I lied because I was caught off guard. I didn't exactly lie, i just said there was a lot of material being used by the group and I didn't get a chance to see everything. I played like i didn't know what he was talking about.

    Also, I didn't intend to use it because i knew it was going to be on the test. In fact, throughout the semester the professor would brag about his great ability to make extremely hard exams (this is an advance level class). However, i knew there was a slight possibility he could of used one or two questions.
  • justtotalkjusttotalk Posts: 939Registered User Member
    What do you think the chances are anyone here knows what they're talking about?

    Yeah...Good luck. I hope it works out, but I wouldn't base my expectations on these comments.
  • nontraditionalnontraditional Posts: 519Registered User Member
    Once you saw that the questions were on the test were ones you'd seen before, you should have spoken up.

    Up until then, according to your version of the story, you'd obtained something you thought was a study aid. But every academic integrity policy I've ever seen has indicated that passing something off as wholly your own work when it isn't is cheating. And when you turned in the exam without saying, "I've seen these questions before, and I've seen the answers," you represented your answers on the test as entirely your own work.

    Even if you had cheated by turning the exam in with the questions answered, if you'd talked to the others and then gone to the professor before he had a chance to call you in, I think there's still a good chance you could have gotten off. Not everybody handles surprises well under pressure. But by waiting until he questioned you and then lying, you left no doubt that you were prepared to accept a grade for work you didn't do by yourself. And that's cheating.
  • estrat1estrat1 Posts: 365Registered User Junior Member
    No, it is not cheating and it would be stupid to think otherwise. Suppose your professor was lazy and he bought another textbook and pulled the questions for the test out of those. Is it cheating if you happened to buy the same textbook (with or without the knowledge that that's where he gets his questions) and did those questions as extra practice for your exam? Or suppose you happened to have gone through that textbook when you were in High School; is it your responsibility to tell him that?

    It would've been cheating if you had hacked into the professor's computer and stole tests that he'd written. Doesn't sound like what you did came even close - hence, it's not cheating. I don't know how your college functions, but it seems to me that the only person who could possibly get into trouble is your professor (I don't know whether it's a no-no to copy test questions off a site, but doing that is a lot more questionable than what you did).
  • MushaboomBlueMushaboomBlue Posts: 1,715Registered User Senior Member
    What was the consequences OP? Did you guys get in trouble for it? While it is kind of wrong that you guys didn't mention anything to the professor, it is not your fault that he/she couldn't conjure up their own questions for the exam. That's just carelessness on the teacher's part. I really hope you guys get off with a warning or maybe a different version of the test (if you guys didn't take it already), but nothing drastic like a mark on your record or probation. You should just tell the truth with everyone present.

    There is something similar happening in a psychology class that I am in. We have these online open book quizzes that we can complete to help improve our grades, but apparently some guy uploaded the answers to the quizzes online for purchasing and the teacher found out. Initially, the teacher sent out an email reprimanding all of us (even if you weren''t involved) and stating that she will not count the quizzes that we did for the last part of the semester. I freaked out! I needed these quizzes to count because it will help my grade immensely if I get a 94 or higher on the final. The teacher changed her mind (for the time being -- she's still angry) and decided to let it count after people flooded her email begging her and saying that their grade was on the line. I guess it was illegal in terms of the selling and buying part. I can understand why the teacher is ticked off, but for some reason, I think desperation played a role in this too -- with students needing to boost their grades, esp. if they are on the edge of failing. =\

    I think this is just academic dishonesty. I would say that this seems to be the case with your situation, OP. Maybe the denying part didn't help either. But I hope things work out for you. Finals are hectic and stressful. I hate them. But, good luck =\
  • hops_scouthops_scout Posts: 3,898Registered User Senior Member
    Up until then, according to your version of the story, you'd obtained something you thought was a study aid. But every academic integrity policy I've ever seen has indicated that passing something off as wholly your own work when it isn't is cheating. And when you turned in the exam without saying, "I've seen these questions before, and I've seen the answers," you represented your answers on the test as entirely your own work.

    So would you agree that the professor should also be in trouble for "academic dishonesty" since they copied the questions?
  • KcoolbyKcoolby Posts: 7Registered User New Member
    The situation has not been settled yet..... however, the professor did inform us he will be out of town for a few days. I checked today and our grades were posted officially through the school. I'm afraid that he might bring the issue back up again with the judicial board after he comes back from his trip however.

    And the "passing something off as wholly your own work when it isn't is cheating", it was my own work during the exam. I did not bring the test bank into the exam. Some professors use a few multiple choice questions they had given previously in past small quizzes. So is that academic dishonesty then if you restudied the quizes he given a few weeks before?
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