Mar 24, 2010
12
0
0
Status
Hey guys,

So I am being falsely accused of cheating in an exam and I am currently waiting to go through the process from the Provost's office. The instructor gave me a 0 on the exam, making it near impossible for me to get anything higher than B regardless of how I do in the next two exams. However, I talked to my advisor and she suggested that I either withdraw from the course or stick in and shoot for a C-, so I can retake it later and replace my grade. So these are my options:

1. Take a W (withdraw) and retake the course later.
2. Take a F (withdraw) and retake the course later.
3. Intentionally get a C- and retake the course later.

Now here's the catch: If I choose to withdraw, the professor can either give me a W or an F. Because I'm not on good terms with him, it's more likely that he'll give me an F than a W.

So, what do you guys think? Should I take the F (W, if I get lucky) and retake the course? Or should I shoot for a C- and retake the course? No matter what the decision of the Provost is, his zero on my exam will stand.

Thank you,
DemenJ
 

cliffhuxtableDO

Hand sanitizer on deck
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2008
6,224
9
91
Status
Medical Student
Pray for a W.
 
Jan 8, 2010
50
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
how did this happen if you dont mind?



Hey guys,

So I am being falsely accused of cheating in an exam and I am currently waiting to go through the process from the Provost's office. The instructor gave me a 0 on the exam, making it near impossible for me to get anything higher than B regardless of how I do in the next two exams. However, I talked to my advisor and she suggested that I either withdraw from the course or stick in and shoot for a C-, so I can retake it later and replace my grade. So these are my options:

1. Take a W (withdraw) and retake the course later.
2. Take a F (withdraw) and retake the course later.
3. Intentionally get a C- and retake the course later.

Now here's the catch: If I choose to withdraw, the professor can either give me a W or an F. Because I'm not on good terms with him, it's more likely that he'll give me an F than a W.

So, what do you guys think? Should I take the F (W, if I get lucky) and retake the course? Or should I shoot for a C- and retake the course? No matter what the decision of the Provost is, his zero on my exam will stand.

Thank you,
DemenJ
 
Feb 10, 2010
147
0
0
Status
how could his 0 stand, regardless of the Provost's decision? what's the point of taking it to the Provost at all then?
 

amoiliz

10+ Year Member
Mar 3, 2008
42
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
You should withdraw from the course if you are 100% sure that you will get a W. That seems unlikely given your situation, so I would recommend go for a C- and then get an A+ with a different professor. Or take something similar and ace it. C- is always better than having a F thats permanently there to cheer you for the rest of your life.


Hey guys,

So I am being falsely accused of cheating in an exam and I am currently waiting to go through the process from the Provost's office. The instructor gave me a 0 on the exam, making it near impossible for me to get anything higher than B regardless of how I do in the next two exams. However, I talked to my advisor and she suggested that I either withdraw from the course or stick in and shoot for a C-, so I can retake it later and replace my grade. So these are my options:

1. Take a W (withdraw) and retake the course later.
2. Take a F (withdraw) and retake the course later.
3. Intentionally get a C- and retake the course later.

Now here's the catch: If I choose to withdraw, the professor can either give me a W or an F. Because I'm not on good terms with him, it's more likely that he'll give me an F than a W.

So, what do you guys think? Should I take the F (W, if I get lucky) and retake the course? Or should I shoot for a C- and retake the course? No matter what the decision of the Provost is, his zero on my exam will stand.

Thank you,
DemenJ
 
Mar 24, 2010
12
0
0
Status
Thanks for the advice. And to answer how his 0 will stand: well at my University, if the Provost thinks I'm clear, they won't take any action against me. But they cannot change the decision of the instructor (meaning his academic sanction), so that's why his zero will stand.

If I end up with a C- and then go on to get a better grade with another professor, my grade will be replaced. But the C- will still show on my transcript, but won't be calculated in my GPA. Do you think it will affect my application to Med School?
 

LuciusVorenus

Bad Medicine
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 14, 2009
2,952
614
181
Status
Medical Student
The fact that it doesn't count towards your GPA is exclusive to your school and how they calculate your GPA. If it still shows up on your transcript med schools WILL average the first and second grade into a B. So why would you intentionally get a C- then retake it and get an A when you could just get a B the first time around?

If you do win this thing, then you have grounds to go talk to the professor and ask if he'll give you a W. Make him sign something :laugh: and take the W. That would be the best route.

If you think it's that easy to clear yourself then you must have some sort of evidence. If that's the case then ethically you are capable of taking this as far and high up as you can take it in order to get a W. It's not fair for you to get a 0 for absolutely no reason, just because some guy thinks you cheated. Unless you really did cheat...
 
Mar 24, 2010
12
0
0
Status
Shoot, I didn't know Med Schools will average the grade out. I guess W would be the best option. Deadline to withdraw from a course is within a week and I doubt I'll have the hearing by then. As for the evidence my professor has against me, I showed it to my Department Chair, and she was not convinced. That's why she is encouraging me to challenge it.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
22,250
29,071
281
Status
Academic Administration
The grade is the least of your worries. If there is any chance that this could result in an "institutional action" it is GAME OVER. Institutional action, regardless of whether it appears on your transcript or whatever, must be reported on the AMCAS and if it is related to academic dishonesty you are toast.

If there is any chance to you would lose your appeal to the provost it would be better to take the zero and work for the grade of B and keep your head down.

If you did it, and there isn't enough evidence to prove it, change now because it will catch up to you eventually and it will permanently end any chance you have of entering med school.
 

futureIDdoc

Removed
Dec 18, 2009
40
0
0
Texas
Status
If you are innocent, fight
As you fight, remain

A) Persistent, proactive.
Speaking with/emailing the provost, requesting that the prof consider the provost's and department head's decisions, speak off the record with anyone else who might have influence (dean of students, university ombudsman)

B) Cordial, appreciative, courteous: Don't want to irritate anyone. Be humble, end every email with a line appreciating the time and consideration of the person with whom you are corresponding, etc etc

This has gotten me out of a number of administration-related...issues...
 
May 22, 2009
23
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
If you are innocent, fight
As you fight, remain

A) Persistent, proactive.
Speaking with/emailing the provost, requesting that the prof consider the provost's and department head's decisions, speak off the record with anyone else who might have influence (dean of students, university ombudsman)

B) Cordial, appreciative, courteous: Don't want to irritate anyone. Be humble, end every email with a line appreciating the time and consideration of the person with whom you are corresponding, etc etc

This has gotten me out of a number of administration-related...issues...
i agree, if you really didn't do anything wrong fight (respectfully) like hell
 

RogueUnicorn

rawr.
7+ Year Member
Jul 15, 2009
9,746
1,595
181
Status
Resident [Any Field]
The grade is the least of your worries. If there is any chance that this could result in an "institutional action" it is GAME OVER. Institutional action, regardless of whether it appears on your transcript or whatever, must be reported on the AMCAS and if it is related to academic dishonesty you are toast.

If there is any chance to you would lose your appeal to the provost it would be better to take the zero and work for the grade of B and keep your head down.

If you did it, and there isn't enough evidence to prove it, change now because it will catch up to you eventually and it will permanently end any chance you have of entering med school.
if lizzym is using this strong language, i would heed it...
 
Jan 4, 2010
257
1
0
Status
Pre-Medical
So you're saying that you were just sitting at home, enjoying Pawn Stars with some ice cream and decided to check your email. At this point, you receive your notice from your office of student conduct that you've been turned in by a professor for cheating? Just out of the blue as in that scenario? Or...what happened?
 
Nov 4, 2009
44
0
0
Status
The grade is the least of your worries. If there is any chance that this could result in an "institutional action" it is GAME OVER. Institutional action, regardless of whether it appears on your transcript or whatever, must be reported on the AMCAS and if it is related to academic dishonesty you are toast.

If there is any chance to you would lose your appeal to the provost it would be better to take the zero and work for the grade of B and keep your head down.

If you did it, and there isn't enough evidence to prove it, change now because it will catch up to you eventually and it will permanently end any chance you have of entering med school.
He said he was falsely accused, yet you obviously do not believe him. You realize things like this happen all the time. It actually happened to my friend on an English paper, but they threw it out.

School admins judging and jumping to conclusions is all too present in the application process. It sickens me, and I am soooo glad I got through it. I hate how a small issue like this can override years of hard work and dedication.

I want to be a school admin just to argue against people like you and give students a fair chance.
 
Jan 4, 2010
257
1
0
Status
Pre-Medical
School admins judging and jumping to conclusions is all too present in the application process. It sickens me, and I am soooo glad I got through it. I hate how a small issue like this can override years of hard work and dedication.
I'm not saying the OP did anything wrong, but you do realize that for students who actually do cheat, this isn't a small issue, right? The ones who cheat do it over and over again, kinda like Tiger Woods.
 
Nov 4, 2009
44
0
0
Status
Obviously cheating is a big issue, but that is not my point.

My point is that Lizzym scolds him, implying that he is a cheater. Saying that it is a bigger issue. He said he didn't cheat, give the man a break!

My point is that most school admins have zero compassion and that they rarely believe students who plead their cases. It is funny how they say that as a doctor we must have compassion yet they have none themselves.
 

cher25

10+ Year Member
Apr 29, 2004
734
21
251
Status
Attending Physician
FYI, for AMCAS, a W 'F' is calculated as an F, I believe. Make sure that if you take the W, it's a straight W.
 

URHere

10+ Year Member
Nov 20, 2007
1,775
546
281
Status
Resident [Any Field]
My point is that Lizzym scolds him, implying that he is a cheater. Saying that it is a bigger issue. He said he didn't cheat, give the man a break!
I don't think that LizzyM is scolding anyone...all she's saying is that it is going to look very bad if the OP ends up with a big blemish on his transcript for academic dishonesty. Professionalism and trustworthiness are huge in med world...and an academic dishonesty charge is not the right way for an applicant to prove that they possess those traits. Schools have no lack of qualified applicants to choose from...so why would they waste time reviewing the accuracy of every institutional action that comes their way? Even if the OP is innocent, if it ends up on his record his odds of being accepted will go way down.
 
Nov 4, 2009
44
0
0
Status
@ URhere

"If you did it, and there isn't enough evidence to prove it, change now because it will catch up to you eventually and it will permanently end any chance you have of entering med school. "

Sounds like implication and scolding to me. BTW you are missing my point again. I'm out, can't take these people anymore. Peace and good luck OP
 

loveoforganic

-Account Deactivated-
10+ Year Member
Jan 30, 2009
4,222
12
0
Status
No. She offered advice for all situations.

1) You didn't do it, do this.
2) You did do it, don't do it anymore.

That's it.
 

LuciusVorenus

Bad Medicine
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 14, 2009
2,952
614
181
Status
Medical Student
Apparently a lot of schools out there don't take this very seriously??
At our school if a TA sees you cheating during the final he/she has to notify the professor so he can come and witness it first hand. There's a lot of paperwork/evidence providing/or witness providing before something like this becomes an actual issue. Then there's an appeal process before the F can be submitted. It kind of scares me that there are schools out there than can just accuse you of cheating just because the professor "thinks" you did. :scared:

Shoot, I didn't know Med Schools will average the grade out. I guess W would be the best option. Deadline to withdraw from a course is within a week and I doubt I'll have the hearing by then. As for the evidence my professor has against me, I showed it to my Department Chair, and she was not convinced. That's why she is encouraging me to challenge it.

"Records relating to academic dishonesty will be maintained by the Associate Deans and the Offices of the Deans of Undergraduate Education and the Graduate Division to promote consistency of penalties for a given offense and to ensure appropriate action against repeat offenders. Records will normally be destroyed after five years, unless the Associate Dean determines in any particular case that there is good reason to extend the period of retention. In order to ensure that minor and nonrecurring infractions do not negatively impact a student's career beyond UCI, any student may petition to the Associate Dean of his or her academic school to have relevant academic disciplinary records expunged after the record is two years old or upon graduation, whichever comes first."

does your school have anything like that?
 
Last edited:
May 22, 2009
118
0
0
Status
Medical Student
OP,
I would withdraw and get a W and retake the course later, assuming there would be no permanent record of the "incident". Otherwise, you chance of getting into med school will be seriously hurt.

You said you were "falsely" accused of cheating, but in reality there is no such thing in most cases. Regardless of what the truth is, I'm sure you must've done something to lead your instructor or TAs to believe that you had an unfair advantage during the test. I'm saying this from my own experiences as a TA, and we don't just go after people who sit quietly and mind their own business during an exam. Anyways, at this point do whatever you can to avoid an institutional action because you can always make up for a bad grade later. Best,
 
Mar 24, 2010
12
0
0
Status
LuciusVorenus: My school has the policy that if any action is taken, it shows up on your transcript until you graduate. But even after that, it remains on your "file". Now according to my Department Chair, most med or grad schools do not view your file. They just see the transcript and LORs and other stuff...but it might hurt my chances anyhow.

hewmanoid: You are right, and I am not blaming the professor of setting me up or anything. He says that I tried to cheat off my friend's paper and he thinks there's a solid evidence to back his claim. As a TA, you must have seen students sometimes glancing at other's paper, but I don't think that you will point that out as cheating. What my instructor says is that I did more or less half my paper by glancing at my friend's exam, which frankly is impossible because the papers are not in similar order. What I think is unfair is that he is taking action based merely on assumption. He questioned my knowledge of the material and I offered a retake of the exam (a different one of course) the next day when I met him, which he refused.
 
Mar 24, 2010
12
0
0
Status
Yes. No point denying that.

Also, I was sitting in the center of the second row, with no one in front of me, two feet away from where the instructor was standing. I know better than that to cheat under those circumstances.
 

apumic

Oracle of the Sheet
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2007
3,924
7
141
Denver, CO
Status
Medical Student
LuciusVorenus: My school has the policy that if any action is taken, it shows up on your transcript until you graduate. But even after that, it remains on your "file". Now according to my Department Chair, most med or grad schools do not view your file. They just see the transcript and LORs and other stuff...but it might hurt my chances anyhow.

hewmanoid: You are right, and I am not blaming the professor of setting me up or anything. He says that I tried to cheat off my friend's paper and he thinks there's a solid evidence to back his claim. As a TA, you must have seen students sometimes glancing at other's paper, but I don't think that you will point that out as cheating. What my instructor says is that I did more or less half my paper by glancing at my friend's exam, which frankly is impossible because the papers are not in similar order. What I think is unfair is that he is taking action based merely on assumption. He questioned my knowledge of the material and I offered a retake of the exam (a different one of course) the next day when I met him, which he refused.
I was a TA for quite a few classes and depts over several yrs. This is often the very definition of cheating during a test. That's not to say it isn't normal to notice someone else finish or whatnot but looking at someone else's exam, even for just a moment, is most definitely a sign of cheating, especially if it occurs more than once. I'm not saying you cheated here but if you were glancing around a lot, esp. if at a neighbor's test, I can't say that I blame the prof for accusing you.
 

loveoforganic

-Account Deactivated-
10+ Year Member
Jan 30, 2009
4,222
12
0
Status
Yes. No point denying that.

Also, I was sitting in the center of the second row, with no one in front of me, two feet away from where the instructor was standing. I know better than that to cheat under those circumstances.
Well IDK what your school's policies are, but that is CLEARLY academic misconduct in my school's eyes.
 

riverjib

5+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Oct 30, 2009
639
3
141
NY
Status
Pre-Medical
My school automatically grants a "Q" to anyone accused of academic dishonesty. No zeros on exams, no withdrawals...the "Q" stands on your transcript and is an automatic F. Even if you can replace your grade for purposes of your school's GPA calculation, every grade you get is factored into your AMCAS GPA calculation.

If you're a good student, it won't matter. I got a D in a BCPM class after missing a final exam due to my father's hospitalization that morning...horrible situation that I didn't address quickly enough to get it corrected. My dad lived through insurmountable odds, so that one awful grade doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. I just calculated my overall BCPM GPA, and it's a 3.77 anyway. So the grade won't matter much if you're an A/A- student. I'd worry more about the academic dishonesty part of it.

If you don't mind me asking, what made him accuse you of cheating? If you weren't cheating, there might be more you can do. One of my classmates was accused of cheating in physiology, and while they didn't report it, he was forced to take exams in a separate room. He ended up with higher grades on the subsequent two exams, and based on this the dean told the professor that there would be consequences if she mentioned anything about her suspicions to anyone else. Obviously, he wouldn't ask her for a LOR, but she could have easily damaged his reputation.

If your professor accused you with no proof, you should take it to the highest level possible. You definitely don't want your reputation tarnished. The best thing you can do is look for alternatives (like taking exams separately and acing them) so that you have recourse. Withdrawing may look like an admission of guilt. But you need to provide more details before anyone can say anything definitively.
 
May 22, 2009
118
0
0
Status
Medical Student
Yes. No point denying that.

Also, I was sitting in the center of the second row, with no one in front of me, two feet away from where the instructor was standing. I know better than that to cheat under those circumstances.
DemenJ, I just want to make this clear for you now so that you don't have to go through this ordeal repeatedly in the future. You do not have ANY reason to look at others' exams no matter how far you think you're sitting from the closest person to you. Just like others said, the very action of doing so constitutes cheating. To a TA, wandering eyes are a huge red flag:eek:!

You mentioned that you were actually writing a paper, so it's highly unlikely that you could possibly cheat, right? But, is it possible that you and your friend had some prior exposure to the essay prompt before the test like from online sources....etc, leading to very similar essay responses on the test? Whatever the explanation is, the problem is you have admitted looking at your friend's exam and you instructor also knows this. So, all you can do now is damage control, meaning avoiding any mention of the cheating on your transcript. Good luck.
 
Mar 24, 2010
12
0
0
Status
hewmanoid: "DemenJ, I just want to make this clear for you now so that you don't have to go through this ordeal repeatedly in the future. You do not have ANY reason to look at others' exams no matter how far you think you're sitting from the closest person to you. Just like others said, the very action of doing so constitutes cheating. To a TA, wandering eyes are a huge red flag:eek:! "

All very understandable and I took full responsibility for that. However, I think there's a difference between looking and glancing. Glancing on my instructor's test will get you nowhere.

Also, I think you misunderstood me. By paper I meant the exam. There was no essay prompt. However, I'd like to point out that none of our responses were similar enough to raise a red flag. And that's coming from my Department Chair, not me.
 
Mar 24, 2010
12
0
0
Status
Riverjib: To answer your question, he suspects me of copying off my friend in the exam. I had a talk with him the next day where I immediately offered to retake another exam to show that I know my material, but he refused. He earlier told my friend that his main concern was whether I know my material for this exam or not. I have been seeking advise from other faculty members and they think the Provost will not view this as a serious offence. But the trouble is that he has given me a zero on this exam, and even if I ace the next two, the best I can get is a C+ or B-. This is why I am looking to withdraw.
 

riverjib

5+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Oct 30, 2009
639
3
141
NY
Status
Pre-Medical
Riverjib: To answer your question, he suspects me of copying off my friend in the exam. I had a talk with him the next day where I immediately offered to retake another exam to show that I know my material, but he refused. He earlier told my friend that his main concern was whether I know my material for this exam or not. I have been seeking advise from other faculty members and they think the Provost will not view this as a serious offence. But the trouble is that he has given me a zero on this exam, and even if I ace the next two, the best I can get is a C+ or B-. This is why I am looking to withdraw.
I understood your first post. But did you speak to the provost right away? Taking a test immediately after and acing it would prove you didn't cheat. From your description of your situation, there is still a chance at erasing any suspicion that you cheated.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
22,250
29,071
281
Status
Academic Administration
If anything goes in your file, you must report it on the AMCAS as an Institutional Action regardless of whether or not an adcom has access to your file or if the IA was expunged. If it happened then it must be listed. Otherwise, it is dishonesty.

Also, it should be assumed that any academic infraction in your record will be disclosed in a commitee letter, if you use one. That's a reason that lack of a committee letter can be a red flag if students from your school typically have such a letter.
 
Mar 24, 2010
12
0
0
Status
Riverjib: I cannot speak to the Provost until they contact me and they haven't yet. Before reporting to the Provost, the instructor has to speak to the student about it so he called me in his office the next day, where I offered to retake the exam. I just hope that the Provost will not be biased towards the instructor (as I've heard in most Universities). If he/she is fair, then I believe I can get off the hook.
 
Mar 24, 2010
12
0
0
Status
Danae00: You are spot on. I am so glad someone here fully understands my position on this issue. This is exactly what happened with me. This is why I put "falsely accused" in my initial post, because his evidence is based more on assumption than anything. Also, he hands out two exams which have similar questions but in different order, so it'd be really hard to get anything from a glance.

You also said: I'm a kinesthetic recaller of memorized facts. On an exam when I'm struggling to recall a fact I fidget in my seat.

Similarly, I have this bad habbit of looking around (in no particular direction) when I'm trying to recall something. This habbit of mine has landed me in this position.
 

littlealex

little tiny alex
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 5, 2007
2,101
7
141
Status
Resident [Any Field]
If you were looking around and you got caught, no matter the reason, you shouldn't be surprised to be accused of cheating. There's simply no reason to look around. None. Fidgeting, curious, bored, etc. No excuses.

Pray for the provost to not take institutional action. Keep talking with the professor. Work hard to earn a B in the class.

In this case I think you're lucky to walk away with a B and still have a shot at med school.
 
Mar 15, 2010
56
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
At my school I would say that looking around or "glancing" would be defined as cheating. I don't think that the professor would be crazy to think you were cheating. I think that if you're nervous or fidgety; just close your eyes for two seconds and breathe. If you need to use the restroom; take your exam and close it or cover it--or better yet hand it to the professor to hold while you step away. You don't want to have any loose ends on academic honesty! It's not worth it to cheat because you'll screw any chance of getting into medical school; just take the low grade.

Also, I think LizzyM wasn't being harsh; just realistic. I don't think she was attacking the OP or assuming anything.
 

z31

7+ Year Member
Jun 26, 2009
123
0
141
Status
Pre-Medical
I was falsely accused of cheating (my working was incomplete). I fought like all hell and the professor ended up apologizing once in person and again in writing.

But in the OP's case, he might just be better off keeping his head down and eating a bad grade. And I hate, hate, hate to say this because people should change what's blatantly unjust, but the people he's dealing with don't sound rational. Even if he's cleared, the 0 remains? The hearing can't be expedited / the withdraw deadline pushed back so that he can protect his future? What the heck is this?

((Of course, this is all assuming he's innocent. If he's not, then he's a moron.))
 

NYR56

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 16, 2008
632
5
151
Status
Medical Student
If I were you, I'd fight it until there was NO ONE I didn't speak to. I don't care what all these people say on here, you didn't cheat. Many people's eyes wander, I do it all the time. Sure I try to not look at other papers but it happens from time to time; that doesn't mean I deserve an F. That zero shouldn't remain and it's your right to fight it. Offer to do anything to prove to the professor that you didn't cheat (and explain the glancing, if you haven't) but if that doesn't work, talk to the admins and get that either totally wiped from your transcript or have them force the prof to change it. These schools think they are God and can do anything they want and that's the problem.
 
Mar 24, 2010
12
0
0
Status
Thanks for the advice. The provost has not contact me yet so all I am doing is just sit and wait, which is a terrible feeling. But I have decided to challenge the decision and also ask him for a withdrawl. My advisor says I can have legal representation at my hearing, while he can't, but I don't think I want to take this that far. But then again, whatever for my future.

To NYR56: I explained the glancing when we met the next day. Also offered to retake the exam (a different one of course) on the spot. Didn't work. This is why I am going to ask for a W. If he doesn't give me a W, I'll challenge it with the Provost.