If blue-books or green-books are used, some students may be tempted to bring in ones that have already been written in prior to the exam. This can be prevented by insisting on blank blue- or green-books, collecting all of them before the exam starts, and redistributing them randomly among the students to use during the exam. Alternatively the exam proctor can tell all students, just before the exam starts, to X out a particular page in their blue- or green-books and not write on it during the exam.

Students have been known to recruit others who are better versed in the exam topic to take their test for them (“ringers”). To prevent this, advise students in advance that they will be required to show identification on the day of the test. When students arrive to take the test, check their identification. Or ask students to sit in groups according to discussion or lab section, and have each GSI take roll for their own section.

A very worrisome scenario is when a student claims to have turned in a completed exam but the GSI does not have it; the student will then say that the GSI must have lost it and either ask to retake the exam or insist on some other kind of credit. This puts the GSI in a very difficult position, since there is no proof of either the student’s story or the GSI’s proper handling of the student’s exam. To prevent this, collect exams from students personally (rather than having them all rush at you at the end of the period), and make a record of who is turning one in at the time you collect them. Another safeguard is to announce in advance that if you don’t receive an exam from a student, that student will automatically fail the exam.

Addressing Cheating

If you determine that a student very likely did cheat, you need to follow through to some kind of resolution. This is dealt with on the Teaching Guide page If You Encounter Academic Misconduct.