The day before, I had been studying with my sister for our AP Exams, and we usually go walking to quiz each other on exam content. During those walking sessions, we usually write down notes on our arms and visible parts of my legs, especially our ankles, so that we can look at it whenever and therefore not be burdened by flashcards or textbooks. This is also a superstition we picked up from TikTok-- people wrote Grabovoi numbers to “manifest” what they wanted. I don’t believe in it, but my sister and I do it as a little weird bonding thing. Anyway, I erased the content on my arms this morning, and while I had erased content from my legs, I had neglected my ankles.
I walked in to take the test, forgetting that I still had it on my ankles. I only realized after one of the exam proctors asked me to stay after the end of the test to ask about the writing. I explained to them the issue, and they also acknowledged that I never looked at my ankles even once. I didn’t even go to the bathroom during the break-- my friends can verify that. I was always in public view, and I never looked down at my ankle. Ever.
I would really not like this ludicrous mistake to result in cancellation of the rest of my AP scores, or even worse, have this permanently on my record, being sent out to colleges, or result in me not being able to take other College Board tests such as the SAT. I understand that cancellation of this particular AP test score is inevitable.
After doing some research, this is what I have seen:
“College Board will prohibit individuals from taking the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, CLEP, or AP Exams when we conclude they have deliberately gained or attempted to gain or share an unfair advantage on any College Board test, or otherwise threatened the integrity of the test. Examples include viewing or capturing images with a cell phone on test day or being caught with a “cheat sheet” containing test content, answer keys, or other content that would provide an unfair advantage.”
The part I am focusing on is the word “deliberately” and “attempted”. I have done neither of those; this happened due to neglect. I have not shared any information, I have not used the written information to gain an advantage-- moreover, it would have been extremely impossible to look at the writing on the ankle. Had I even attempted to cheat, I would have been caught looking at my ankle at a very unnatural position. There is absolutely no possible way that I would have written very obvious Calculus formulas with thick sharpie on a bare ankle with short socks, all the while contorting my body while sitting in the open around multiple proctors roaming around. Cheating while looking at the writing would have been impossible.
Moreover, I found this article, and it says this:
If you’re accused of cheating on the SAT or ACT, don’t worry: your life is not over. You will not be banned from retesting, and colleges will not be told you cheated. You can still get into college! I repeat, the College Board and ACT don’t tell colleges you are an accused cheater or tamper with your college application process in any other way.
The worst case scenario is that your score is canceled, and you have to pay to retest (which would likely only happen if you were accused of cheating at the test site). The more likely scenario is your score is canceled, and you have a free retest. Both of these scenarios are not ideal, but both are a lot better than being banned from testing and having colleges be told by the College Board or ACT that you’re a cheater.
Does this apply to AP Exams?
The fact of the matter is that this is so out of the blue for me. I have never cheated on or been accused of cheating on tests before in my entire life. I’m a good student. I’ve never had a history of breaking the rules or being a generally immoral person. I’ve taken multiple AP Exams before. I’ve scored well. I am an academically honest person and am known for being good. I do not do stuff like this. All the people who’ve known me can vouch for this. Many teachers I know will also stand up for me, because they know that I am many things but NEVER a cheater.
How do I prove that I did not attempt to cheat? Will this ruin my whole life?