Poll: Exam Cheats?

  1. in your opinion, what action should be taken if it is determined that students cheated on this exam?

    exam results raise red flag

    unusually high scores on a nursing test first brought joy, then roused spc's suspicion.
    by nicole hutcheson
    published april 22, 2007


    st. petersburg college administrators are investigating what they suspect could be a widespread case of cheating on a nursing exam this month.
    administrators said friday they are trying to determine whether students got a copy of the test before it was given. they have not determined what the consequences of any cheating could be.
    the test, administered april 9 to 130 students, is given twice a year as a final step before nursing students graduate with an associate's degree.
    the state of florida does not require the test, but the college makes students take it before they graduate to help prepare them for the required national licensing exam.
    of the students who took the test on april 9, 51 percent scored 90 percent or higher, according to the college. that's nearly three times as many as scored that high previously.

    http://www.sptimes.com/2007/04/22/so...raise_re.shtml
  2. Poll: What action should be taken if it is determined that students cheated on this exam?

    • They should not be allowed to finish at this school.

      70.41% 69
    • They should be reported to the BON and barred from nursing.

      13.27% 13
    • They should be allowed another chance, despite a zero-tolerance for cheaters policy.

      8.16% 8
    • Nothing should happen to them.

      3.06% 3
    • Other. Please discuss.

      5.10% 5
    98 Votes
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    About UM Review RN, RN

    Joined: Aug '04; Posts: 9,279; Likes: 4,302

    18 Comments

  4. by   justme1972
    If it is found that the students used material during the exam, I consider that cheating, and they should not only receive an F for the class, they should be suspended from the college for a minimum of a year. That's punishment enough and would send a clear message.

    However, if it is discovered that the exact same exam was given in December and copies of it were floating around, given back to students, whatever...then I blame the college for being too lazy to come up with a different test. I have never considered using past exams as cheating...that's research.

    Just my .02
  5. by   danh3190
    Quote from Hopefull2009
    If it is found that the students used material during the exam, I consider that cheating, and they should not only receive an F for the class, they should be suspended from the college for a minimum of a year. That's punishment enough and would send a clear message.

    However, if it is discovered that the exact same exam was given in December and copies of it were floating around, given back to students, whatever...then I blame the college for being too lazy to come up with a different test. I have never considered using past exams as cheating...that's research.

    Just my .02
    I agree with Hopefull, assuming that this is the first time they cheated. At my school, getting an F at that point in the program is a big time punishment since it gets you kicked out of the Loan Forgiveness program and you get a bill for about $15,000.
  6. by   DutchgirlRN
    I think they should have to take another version of the test as a "pop quiz", if they are all so smart then they should have no problems with it. I think those results would only help reveal who cheated (like leaving egg on their faces) and who didn't. That's the only problem I have with failing all of them. I'm sure there are those who did not cheat. How about lie detector tests?
    Last edit by DutchgirlRN on Apr 22, '07
  7. by   Tweety
    I know some of these students as they have clinicals on my unit. Many of them didn't realize the "study guide" their peers gave them was the actual test. They thought it was some sort of review taken off the internet, like practice study questions. Many of them DURING THE TEST, walked up to the proctor and said "I've seen these answers before. I need another test.", but were told to continue with the test.

    This mess was devasting to many students. Hindsight is 20/20 and it shouldn't have come to this, but I decline to judge harshly each and every one of them, as there are some innocents. In this particular case, the only fair thing to do was to make the entire class.....all 200 of them take it over. Which ultimately is what the school, lawyers in tow, decided. They all took it on Thursday, but unlike the previous test didn't get results instantly.
    Last edit by Tweety on Apr 22, '07
  8. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Quote from Tweety
    I know some of these students as they have clinicals on my unit. Many of them didn't realize the "study guide" their peers gave them was the actual test. They thought it was some sort of review taken off the internet, like practice study questions. Many of them DURING THE TEST, walked up to the proctor and said "I've seen these answers before. I need another test.", but were told to continue with the test.

    This mess was devasting to many students. Hindsight is 20/20 and it shouldn't have come to this, but I decline to judge harshly each and every one of them, as there are some innocents. In this particular case, the only fair thing to do was to make the entire class.....all 200 of them take it over. Which ultimately is what the school, lawyers in tow, decided. They all took it on Thursday, but unlike the previous test didn't get results instantly.
    As usual, the journalist didn't get all the facts.

    Thank you Tweety for the rest of the story. There needs to be an investigation. The students who went to the instructor because they realized there was something wrong need to be congratulated. The students behind the shenanigans need to be dealt with.

    As for reporting them to the BON so they can never practice, there's no way to insure the BON would take that position, so I think that choice is iffy anyway.

    Honor goes a long way in nursing. I don't want to work with or be cared for by a nurse who is anything but scrupulously honest. Honesty is a habit. Cheating is dishonest.

    The bad ones need to be removed and something permanent on their record. The good ones need to be recognized and allowed to do whatever it takes to complete the requirement of their program.

    For what it is worth, there are places on the web where you can find people's best recollection of Excelsior's exam items too. (Excelsior is a school recognized for excellence in nursing ed, with a large nontraditional program--distance learning.) I moderate a yahoo group of Excelsior nursing students and about once every couple of months, some fool with post either asking for the URL or quoting from it.

    I'm not going to "punish" the other 1600 members of the group, but I do take care of the ones who argue if it's out there, take it.

    OK, enough from me on this.
  9. by   justme1972
    Quote from Tweety
    I know some of these students as they have clinicals on my unit. Many of them didn't realize the "study guide" their peers gave them was the actual test. They thought it was some sort of review taken off the internet, like practice study questions. Many of them DURING THE TEST, walked up to the proctor and said "I've seen these answers before. I need another test.", but were told to continue with the test.

    This mess was devasting to many students. Hindsight is 20/20 and it shouldn't have come to this, but I decline to judge harshly each and every one of them, as there are some innocents. In this particular case, the only fair thing to do was to make the entire class.....all 200 of them take it over. Which ultimately is what the school, lawyers in tow, decided. They all took it on Thursday, but unlike the previous test didn't get results instantly.
    Thanks Tweety...that's sad that everyone got punished. It's nice to hear the "inside scoop".
  10. by   Tweety
    Quote from Hopefull2009
    Thanks Tweety...that's sad that everyone got punished. It's nice to hear the "inside scoop".
    One student I precepted said it was practically a mob scene when they announced everyone had to take it over. People yelling and screaming at the instructors, threatening to sue the school, people who studied many many hours sobbing. It's maddening that the entire class had to be punished, but I'm not sure what they could have done. It would have taken weeks to weed out the cheaters from the innocents from the ones who never got the study guide. It was a mess. Hopefully, the people that passed before, passed again, and the test weeded out those that truly needed to be weeded out.

    Lesson learned. Someone hands you a study guide, run fast!
  11. by   UM Review RN
    Wow, Tweety, I had no idea.

    It is a shame that everyone had to take it over again, but I have to wonder how this happened in the first place.

    Who got the "study guide" and from where? I hope they get to the bottom of it so that no other students need to go through such an ordeal.
  12. by   Lisa CCU RN
    Ok, it said in the article that the questions were on a "practice test" and that some students told the instructors that they had seen the questions before, so no one was being sneaky.

    I don't get why having a practice test should EVER be an issue. For one thing, a new test needs to be made every semester. Don't you think that out of an entire class, enough people can remember the test questions and tell the future classes what the right answer wa even if they didn't have the test in print. At the very least, they could tell you what to study for. Is that cheating if it comes from memory and someone asks you, "So what was on the test last semester?"

    I personally want to learn the material on my own, so I don't participate in all that, but so many do.
    There is a fine line between practice test and getting the answers to the actual test.
    It sounds like this was a practice test. Of course only the person who circulated this test really knows.
  13. by   EmerNurse
    One of the ways I studied really tough material was by making up my own tests. Other friends did the same, and we'd share our "fake tests". These were based soley on the material to be learned, not on old tests or whatever.

    That said, if we'd have given one of these to someone not in our group, they'd have had no way of knowing where the test originated. Original work? Official practice test? Copy of real test?

    Sounds to me like plenty of people were honest during the test and realized their study guide was more than that AND reported it. Shame they all had to take the test again, but what else could the school do? I hope the ones who really did work hard studying passed it. And that the person who KNEW they were cheating, didn't.

    I had a micro instructor who told us to keep our tests from her class and we could sell them to her next semester students since she didn't change her tests! I was shocked. She told us her class was hard (it was) and that if we could find a former student of hers to get the test, we'd do better. Needless to say, I didn't (and I don't know if anyone did) but geez louise!

    Now if you want to rely on my memory to tell you what I think might have been on a test I vaguely remember taking in my first semester, do so at your own risk. I'm getting old.
  14. by   Tweety
    Quote from CRNASOMEDAY25
    Ok, it said in the article that the questions were on a "practice test" and that some students told the instructors that they had seen the questions before, so no one was being sneaky.

    I don't get why having a practice test should EVER be an issue. For one thing, a new test needs to be made every semester. Don't you think that out of an entire class, enough people can remember the test questions and tell the future classes what the right answer wa even if they didn't have the test in print. At the very least, they could tell you what to study for. Is that cheating if it comes from memory and someone asks you, "So what was on the test last semester?"

    I personally want to learn the material on my own, so I don't participate in all that, but so many do.
    There is a fine line between practice test and getting the answers to the actual test.
    It sounds like this was a practice test. Of course only the person who circulated this test really knows.
    This is why I'm supportive of the students, most of them thought exactly that. They didn't think they were cheating, they thought they had a practice exam to study.
  15. by   Tweety
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    Wow, Tweety, I had no idea.

    It is a shame that everyone had to take it over again, but I have to wonder how this happened in the first place.

    Who got the "study guide" and from where? I hope they get to the bottom of it so that no other students need to go through such an ordeal.

    The students I talked to didn't use the study guide and they are unsure where they it originated from. Probably someone was doing some cheating somewhere that made it bad for everyone as the "practice test" spread.

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