Classmates Using Test Banks

Updated | Posted
by Pot8rsk8r Pot8rsk8r (New) New Student

report-nursing-students-using-test-banks.jpg.a5577292a54a29cf5cd1cd4559a20fcb.jpg

Looking for a little guidance here. Several of my classmates in my BSN program are sharing test banks. I know everyone has their opinion on test banks and I'm not here to debate that. My program has made it clear that test banks are not allowed and said they have dismissed students for using them. The classmates have shared it in our group chat, so we all have access to it. I personally see test banks as cheating and have not tried to access them. But I feel I'm in a tough position. Should I try to report it anonymously? I feel like if I do, they might punish the people who haven't used them but didn't report it, which they obviously don't deserve. If I don't, then I feel like I'm working my a** off studying while some people are getting A's just by memorizing answers. 

Should I just put my head in the sand and let it slide? I honestly wish they had just kept it amongst themselves and not said anything. Ignorance is bliss LOL. I really don't want to be a huge tattle tale, but I've worked so hard to be where I'm at and they're making me nervous by doing this. 

I appreciate your input! 

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 44 years experience.

On 10/26/2021 at 6:32 PM, Pot8rsk8r said:

The classmates have shared it in our group chat, so we all have access to it.

Remove yourself from the group chat room pronto. 

On 10/26/2021 at 6:32 PM, Pot8rsk8r said:

My program has made it clear that test banks are not allowed and said they have dismissed students for using them

If the faculty are so against test banks then they should write their own questions, which is what they should be doing in the first place. 

Eventually those students who rely on test banks will fail miserably..either now or later. Just keep adhering to your own personal ethics and you will outshine the cheaters....!

I’m just curious to know about this rule and how far it reaches?  I assume you mean they are talking about the online review questions that you can purchase from various companies?  Does that extend into NCLEX review books?   Does that extend into end of chapter review questions?  EAQs?
 

Edited by FiremedicMike

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 44 years experience.

5 hours ago, FiremedicMike said:

 I assume you mean they are talking about the online review questions that you can purchase from various companies?  Does that extend into NCLEX review books?   Does that extend into end of chapter review questions?

I think I can answer this. Most publishers create an 'Instructor' only test bank to accompany the textbooks. These test banks, given to faculty by the textbook rep can get into general circulation for sale on eBay etc. Here's the 'how' and 'why':

As a faculty member you often get 'complimentary' copies of books and their accompanying resources to sway you to require that book. There are book buyers who advertise to come to the faculty's offices to buy the 'complimentary' copies to sell on. Amazon has a specific policy that Instructor copies cannot be sold but EBay does not. Some sellers just put a sticker over the "For Instructor's only..Not to be sold". I was on a committee to discuss the price of textbooks we require and was surprised at some faculty who chose a book without reading it or never thought twice about selling it.  (I never heard of someone selling 'Instructor copies of test banks'.) I just assumed since a textbook and resources were sent to us as members of an institution (a college) the books belonged to the college. (Just an aside, a college library can only hold so many 'complimentary copies' I believe as an accreditation standard. 

What to do with so many unwanted but received books as a faculty member? The book company says to save them to give to the book rep when they come. Frankly I did not need another job. I didn't ask for the book.  When I retired I put some out for students to take (no selling and no test banks) and took the rest to the incinerator. 

Edited to add: whenever I got an email from a book seller "we're going to be in your office building and are looking to buy books" I called the Academic Dean who let Security know to try to get them tossed out.

This issue increases the price of books students pay and created problems such as the OP mentioned with the test banks.

As a nursing faculty we were not to use text bank questions provided by the book publisher. 

NICU Guy, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 6 years experience.

17 hours ago, londonflo said:

If the faculty are so against test banks then they should write their own questions, which is what they should be doing in the first place. 

The basis of the publisher's test bank is they are designed to be quality questions. I have had numerous questions in nursing school that were poorly written and ended up being thrown out because the instructor wrote them.

On 10/27/2021 at 5:52 AM, FiremedicMike said:

I’m just curious to know about this rule and how far it reaches?  I assume you mean they are talking about the online review questions that you can purchase from various companies?  Does that extend into NCLEX review books?   Does that extend into end of chapter review questions?  EAQs?

I love using the Saunders NCLEX review book practice questions and EAQs to study, and these are encouraged by my professors.  But those questions aren't exactly what's showing up on the exams. My classmates use test banks to memorize the answers to questions. Basically, it's having access to the answer key. 

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 44 years experience.

56 minutes ago, NICU Guy said:

I have had numerous questions in nursing school that were poorly written and ended up being thrown out because the instructor wrote them.

I am not sure of the quality but if  may be more than one set of eyes looked at them they might be better. Maybe, maybe not. Our faculty instituted a process for new questions to be reviewed by 3 faculty (different levels) before use.  It was wieldy but at least more than one pair of eyes looked at the question. 

58 minutes ago, NICU Guy said:

The basis of the publisher's test bank is they are designed to be quality questions

These questions are usually not the best in determining quality of the students learning. ...do you think some backroom publisher's writer is writing the best analysis level questions?  They would go to NCLEX and get better pay! No they are usually knowledge/comprehension based for the first semester or two of nursing school. Writing a test question that no one can read into it is very hard. I took graduate courses in test writing and many workshops. Multiple choice questions are the hardest to write. The easiest to write are essay questions. But basic nursing does not operate in the essay world.

 

lifelearningrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 7 years experience.

This happened in my cohort several years back. They MADE a huge deal about it.  The person that turned the group in was just like you, he, along with about 6 other people, got sent the document without having asked.  EVERY person copied in the email were reprimanded, had to take an ethics course, write a paper and had their permanent record flagged for 1 year (whatever hurt that'll do).   When it all went down, we were brought into a large theater, told we couldn't having books or phones while we waited to be taken one at a time and interrogated.   The top student in our class, who wasn't part of the group actually self reported that she too used test banks to study. 

The student who reported went to the provost and lodged a complaint because he had not asked for the document, and turned it in as soon as he knew what it was, but still had be punished as if he was using it along with the others. 

In the end, nobody got kicked out of school. 

Mr.Lollercoastr, CNA, LPN

Specializes in LTC, Rehab.. Has 3 years experience.

On 10/26/2021 at 7:16 PM, londonflo said:

If the faculty are so against test banks then they should write their own questions, which is what they should be doing in the first place. 

This!! The instructors at OP's school probably haven't gone through a test-writing workshop. A test-writing workshop helps instructors in developing their own questions and relying less on questions from test banks.

Edited by Mr.Lollercoastr
forgot to add something

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 44 years experience.

On 10/27/2021 at 3:32 PM, lifelearningrn said:

They MADE a huge deal about it.  The person that turned the group in was just like you, he, along with about 6 other people, got sent the document without having asked.  EVERY person copied in the email were reprimanded, had to take an ethics course, write a paper and had their permanent record flagged for 1 year (whatever hurt that'll do).

And the real cause was the faculty not writing their own questions.

Here's an unforgettable question I once wrote: (And I did this all on my own)

A 63 year old patient, who has a permanent trach is being discharged. 

What teaching should be included in his/her home plan?

(I cannot remember the other options including the right one except this one..)]

Cover the stoma with plastic wrap when showering. 

The majority picked this one. They explained they were thinking of covering IV sites with gloves/wrap when showering. Well. I realized that I had never effectively  taught for these students to internalize the stoma as the only airway. Of course I credited the question as 'FireMike' experienced but actually used this as a teachable moment for test taking in this and later years.. Here I am 'warts and all'. 

BTW, I heard from a different school  faculty member that her student was instructed to shower a patient with scalp sutures but "not to get the scalp wet". The student put a plastic bag over the patient's head and opened holes by the nose and mouth. The patient fainted in the shower and when the Rapid Response team arrived the truth came out. 

I wish all test questions were scrutinized by everyone and found to be unbiased, fair and actually measuring what they should.  It is a hard task, shouldn't be by trial and error but if we want to really want to measure it must be done. NCLEX is able to trial their questions with a captive audience.  

sleepwalker, MSN, NP

Specializes in Occupational Health. Has 17 years experience.

When I was teaching I used test bank question as an initial base then developed my own question and then blueprinted it. Some of my questions went through multiple revision due to feedback I obtained on test analysis (I.e. discrimination, reliability coefficients, etc.)

IMHO...my test questions and exams were vastly superior than the test bank questions and I knew my exams covered material taught in my classes. 

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 44 years experience.

On 11/2/2021 at 2:06 PM, sleepwalker said:

I knew my exams covered material taught in my classes. 

On 11/2/2021 at 2:06 PM, sleepwalker said:

I used test bank question as an initial base then developed my own question and then blueprinted it

Blue printing just means you categorized the questions as knowledge/comprehension, analysis etc. Actually the test bank questions always have the difficulty level such as this already stipulated, so you did nothing that was already done. Multiple revisions are the key but you did start with an already fabricated test question. 

The NCSBON does have some really good courses to help you start with a questions from its inception to delivery without being dependent on test bank questions. How about asking your college to sponsor a test writing workshop (s)? There is no perfect writing workshop...develop a plan to revisit this are every year...after all there is so much riding on the outcome of good test questions..so much!