Question about test banks

  1. So the first time is ever even heard of a test bank was on this site. I'm just curious what exactly it is about them that is considered cheating. Do the professors who write the tests not have to release them in order for them to all be complied onto websites? I've read that some universities actually keep a test bank as a resources for practice questions or tests for students. I'm not looking to start a debate, just confused with what I'm reading on here and on other sites. Like I said, I'd never heard of them before so I started googling. I wouldn't use them, I'd rather study the material and know that I understand what I am being tested on. But I can see how they could be useful to students who maybe want practice with specific types of test questions or have a lot of test anxiety. Just asking wether or not it's a moral line or a legal line and why it is whichever line it is. Thanks
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    About donk

    Joined: Feb '13; Posts: 157; Likes: 78


  3. by   NurseKis
    Some professors are lazy and make tests out of them. This is why If the professor is taking the questions out of test banks is cheating, if not then it isn't. But it really depends on the situation.
  4. by   JBudd
    Test banks are provided by text book editors to instructors using their text books. It has nothing to do with being lazy, it is a resource being provided to overworked faculty. Test bank questions from a good company have been researched and tested for usability, and are written with NCLEX style critical thinking in mind. There are some designated as critical thinking, concrete data, inference, etc. The instructor can pick and choose among them, selecting questions that reflect what she considers important.

    Good test questions are hard to write, what seems clear to the author may not be so clear the test taker. In my master's ed classes, we had entire chapters on just writing test questions. And, the test has to be given several times to weed out or revise questions that turn out to be misleading. Writing hundreds of them for each class, especially when you have more than one text, takes many hours; and salaried faculty aren't really compensated well for all the hours spent outside of the classroom, preparing lectures, grading papers, advising students, attending mandatory meetings. I'm only adjunct, yet I can spend anywhere from 10 to 30 hours just grading papers for one of the classes I teach (a 2.4 credit course) every week.

    OP: if you try to access a test bank for your textbook, without being an instructor; yes that is cheating. Practice banks and mock tests set up by the university are not the same thing; that resource is knowingly being provided to you. However, most test banks have far more questions than actually get used, by the time you've memorized all of them, you may have well have just studied the chapter and learned the information to begin with.
  5. by   donk
    Thanks for the clarification. Somehow it never crossed my mind that someone would bother trying to memorize that many questions instead of jut learning the material.