Is using quizlet to study Nclex questions cheating?

  1. 0
    Hey everyone, I'm new here. I have a problem at my school.

    I just finished my 3rd semester of nursing and I been studying really hard. I been reading books, listening to recorded lecture, practicing NCLEX questions using NCLEX books. Anyways, I been using Quizlet.com to supplement my studies and found that some of the questions on my test are exactly word for word. Because of this, I was able to do well on some of my tests and even managed to get 100% on one of them.

    My nursing program is saying that I'm using a test bank and that I am cheating. I had to meet with a person that deals with the student code of conduct. Obviously I denied having some kind of test bank. I was told that just a presumption of cheating is grounds for being removed from the program and I have to go in front of board members or some kind of ethics committee to explain myself.

    The thing is, I don't have a test bank nor did I know the the questions prior to the test. I did not know that questions I found on quizlet would be exactly the questions used on the test. Some questions were also pulled from some of the NCLEX books I've been reviewing.

    So my question is.... do you think using quizlet is cheating?

    Quizlet has lots of great questions in flashcard format. Maybe they are pulled from a test bank, I wouldn't know. All I know is that I used it to study and there were question that matched what were on my exams.

    I really don't know what to do at this point. I don't believe I cheated but the school thinks otherwise.

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  2. 35 Comments...

  3. 0
    Uhm...I don't know what to tell you. Just explain to them what you told us and give real hard evidence like
    maybe show them the site url.
    I've never been to that website but if its like a peer-sharing website where people post questions from their exams that could be a problem.

    Anyway, good luck. I would also compile all of my learning materials and show them exactly what you studied, how you studied it, etc.

    I also had some questions on my exams pulled from the various NCLEX-RN books I would use from Barnes and Nobles (without paying lol) but that was only like maybe 3 questions out of the entire 50-80 question exams...
  4. 0
    I would second jngo91's post about showing them the site. I would bookmark the exact pages so I could find them right away and I would take screen shots of the whole screen of each question that was on the test. Also, bookmark and bring in the NCLEX study book on the questions that were on the test. Those books are for public eye's and you should not be punished for utilizing outside resources that are legal for you to have and study from.

    If anything, the blame should be placed on Quizlet for allowing test bank questions and answers to get by a feed monitor. (I would not say this in the meeting, but make sure you express that you had no idea the questions you were studying for NCLEX would be on a nursing test).

    Also, if they haven't already figured out that you knew some of the questions on Quizlet matched your tests, I would fail to mention that to them in the meeting, but I would stop using Quizlet for the future. If they know you knew questions from Quizlet were on previous tests and you continued to use it, they may have reason to dismiss you since you knew you could be cheating by going on Quizlet.
  5. 0
    I don't know Quizlet, but are they part of a company that perhaps supplies test item banks ... to nursing schools? Where does your school get its questions? I have worked in schools where I wrote my own, and in schools where they had a huge bank of questions in a test-construction software package. I predict this conversation will go on in the department long after your meeting with the faculty.
  6. 0
    Quote from GrnTea
    I don't know Quizlet, but are they part of a company that perhaps supplies test item banks ... to nursing schools? Where does your school get its questions? I have worked in schools where I wrote my own, and in schools where they had a huge bank of questions in a test-construction software package. I predict this conversation will go on in the department long after your meeting with the faculty.
    Quizlet is a flash card making website/app. You can make your own digital flash cards and print them or use them digitally. The kicker is that you can share your cards with other people. There are other study modes but thats the gist. I've used it as a way to find extra practice questions. Didn't even occur to me that people who buy test banks would be using it that way. I've never seen any of my test questions on there, though.
  7. 0
    There are several sites/apps that give practice NCLEX questions. It is not cheating to practice questions. Would it not be the same if you were using an NCLEX study book? Those are questions with answers.
  8. 2
    Quizlet has had issues with people sharing copyrighted material from text bank and copyrighted prep resources such as Kaplan. Their site terms of service is compliant with the DMCA in that when you upload flashcards you state that your material is original and not from another copyrighted source without permission. From Quizlet's terms of use "Prohibited Content includes, but is not limited to, Content that, in the sole discretion of Quizlet:...
    • includes information about another person that you have posted without that person's consent;
    • violates the privacy rights, publicity rights, copyrights, trademark rights, contract rights or any other rights of any person....
    • constitutes or promotes an illegal or unauthorized copy of another person's copyrighted work;"

    Source: Terms of Service | Quizlet

    So yes, it can be considered cheating even if you did not realize that the questions you were using from an online open source were in fact from a test bank that happened to be the one your school used. (Ignorance of the law is not always a valid defense)

    How did they know that you were previously aware of the questions? Did you tell another student that the questions were the same you studied from an online source? Are they just basing this on your grade vs. grades of other students?

    As far as the questions that match the NCLEX books. You could bring in the books that show that the questions on the exam happen to be duplicates of published resources that you had obtained through honest means (purchased, borrowed, etc.). (rather than focus on the online material from Quizlet) It is not uncommon for nursing students to use NCLEX prep guides to prepare for exams during school, in fact many schools encourage this practice. You may be able to appeal one time based upon the fact that you were not aware that questions/flash cards posted on quizlet by others were from test banks or other copyrighted sources, but you might be more successful bringing in the NCLEX prep books that show the similar questions.

    Its tough to be in this position when you were trying to use multiple sources to try and best prepare yourself for your exam. I will agree though, it seems a bit ridiculous to be considered guilty just because you are accused of academic dishonesty. I'd suggest you review your school handbook/policy manual on the subject to ensure you are well versed in their policies and discipline. If you have the opportunity for student representation before the board, consider availing yourself of such an opportunity.

    In the future, you might do better to stick with original sources to prepare for your exams (though yes, there is a cost to access some of them) such as Kaplan, Saunders, NCLEX made incredibly easy, La Charity PDA. You can get some of the prep books from your school or local library. You can use any online resources included with your textbook or study guide. This is a risk when using "free resources", that you may be using material that is not intended for public use, copyrighted, or was intended to be paid access (such as Kaplan QBank). (Think napster lawsuits from a few years ago where the lawyers didn't only go after those that uploaded copyrighted material but those who downloaded the copyrighted material)


    As an aside, in nursing school we were required to complete our study guide workbooks for credit by the end of the course. It was encouraged to complete the material as you went along as it was good companion to the classroom and textbook work. In one class we had an open book exam that we were permitted to use both our text and study guide/workbook. Many of the questions were taken right from our workbooks. Those that had completed the workbook in preparation for the exam finished quickly and scored very high. Those that never opened their workbooks spent the maximum allotted time on the exam, did not score as well, and complained that the questions were "so hard". It was an interesting experiment in sociology, especially since our instructor strongly emphasized that we "might want to complete the workbook pages that coincide with the chapter being studied/tested on". Of course those that did poorly called "unfair". (not the same as your situation but just to show that some use multiple sources to prepare and be successful, and others do the bare minimum.)
    dorkypanda and GrnTea like this.
  9. 2
    I'm so sorry, that's terrible. I use Quizlet all the time and would've never thought people would post test bank questions on there. I would think that as long as the title of the flashcard deck isn't "Questions that will be on GabrielstudentRN's Exam" then it shouldn't be a problem. This is not about you being ignorant of the law, it's the fact that you trusted that other people on the site would abide by Quizlet's Terms of Service. But like JustBeachyNurse explained, you can't just plead ignorance. Just as in the case with unknowingly purchasing stolen merchandise, just because you were unaware doesn't mean you won't get in trouble unfortunately.

    For next time though, I would recommend creating your own flashcards. This way you KNOW they aren't from a test bank and typing them out will help you to learn them so they stick.

    Good luck & I hope everything works out for you!
    newhospicern and dawniepoo like this.
  10. 3
    JustBeachyNurse,

    I really don't understand how the TOS of Quizlet has anything to do with the OP and her behavior being cheating. The "law" she may or may not have been ignorant of is that people may not upload copywrited material to flash cards. Someone else did that, not the OP.

    OP,
    The idea that you could be help responsible for accidentally coming across test questions is ridiculous. I'm so tired of the paranoid craziness brought on by school's using test banks instead of writing their own questions. We've gotten in trouble for discussing how we did on tests while still in the building because people who might be planning on applying to the program someday might overhear us and get a clue to a test. In trouble for writing an email after a test because the email might have contained test questions since they were still fresh. So much paranoia, but apparently not enough to take the effort to change up the tests once every decade. Ok, rand over.

    I think the idea of cheating came in, OP, when you knew you knew every question and said nothing. I highly doubt you'd be on the chopping block if you would have gone to your professor during or after the test and told him or her about Quizlet and what you accidentally found. They probably would have been grateful to find out. Instead you took advantage of the opportunity, and are being held accountable for that.
    1hotnurse08, newhospicern, and GrnTea like this.
  11. 1
    Technically speaking, no. BUT (and this is a biiiiiiiiiiiiig BUT) Quizlet has the text bank questions that instructors use on their tests!!!! DO NOT USE QUIZLET!!!! Whoever attached those questions on to Quizlet, somehow had instructor access to the test bank questions. The thing is, if you blindly stumble on it without realization that those questions are from an instructor's test bank, and then go and take the test and "miraculously" find the exact questions, YOU as student ARE RESPONSIBLE for letting your instructor, dean, whoever know that you found the Quizlet. If you don't the school CAN presume you cheated and WITHHELD that information. Nursing is based on integrity and honesty!

    This is a HUUUUUGE issue at my college as well. Some students found the Quizlet and used it for the exams. They did not report it, and very close to being kicked out of the program. Please, don't go on that website! It will only harm you in the end!
    dorkypanda likes this.


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