ChubbyChaser

Yummmy
10+ Year Member
Apr 14, 2007
13,168
7
Status
Medical Student
Hey, in one of my classes an older student just offered to give me his old tests, because he had the same class and teacher. I was just wondering whether or not this would be considered cheating, or if it was just a wise use of your resources. I dont really need the tests, i think i can do well without them, but still is this considered cheating or no?
 
1

154465

I know that at some schools old exams are archived, and at my school profs sometimes give em out. The exams are usually different but it gets you used to the type of questions a prof may ask.

However, if the exams are very very very very similar, as is sometimes the case, it may be a little sketchy.
 
About the Ads

sunnyskies

10+ Year Member
Aug 28, 2007
141
0
Status
Medical Student
not cheating. teachers know that fraternities and sororities have computerized databases for old tests (At least at my tech school). If they are too lazy to not change their tests, lucky you!
 

ChubbyChaser

Yummmy
10+ Year Member
Apr 14, 2007
13,168
7
Status
Medical Student
So even if they were very very similar, its not cheating??? Do any of you guys have some kind of evidence for this. The last thing i would want is an Fx in my Jr year.
 

ZagDoc

Ears, Noses, and Throats
10+ Year Member
Jul 12, 2007
1,411
26
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Agreed. All my undergrad professors who reused exams requested they be turned back in after we reviewed them. If they let students keep the exams, they must acknowledge that those exams will have the possibility of becoming "public knowledge" per se.
 

greg1184

10+ Year Member
Dec 9, 2006
1,942
164
Status
Resident [Any Field]
If the professor doesn't keep his exams, then that means he changes the exams from year to year. If on the other hand, the professor keeps the exam, then you are getting on the unethical side (ala Premed411.com).
 

ChubbyChaser

Yummmy
10+ Year Member
Apr 14, 2007
13,168
7
Status
Medical Student
well sweet! lol i should have realized this freshman year
 
1

154465

So even if they were very very similar, its not cheating??? Do any of you guys have some kind of evidence for this. The last thing i would want is an Fx in my Jr year.
Hey I never said you would get caught :laugh:

Unless you go up to your prof and throw an old exam that they think you shouldn't have in their face you're fine.
 

ChubbyChaser

Yummmy
10+ Year Member
Apr 14, 2007
13,168
7
Status
Medical Student
Hey I never said you would get caught :laugh:

Unless you go up to your prof and throw an old exam that they think you shouldn't have in their face you're fine.
Yeah but still, word can get around, and quick
 

st0w

plasticperineum syndrome
10+ Year Member
Aug 17, 2006
577
1
Central Ohio
blog.chrismcculloh.com
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
I agree with everybody else that if the prof lets students keep the tests, then he/she has no expectation of the confidentiality of those exams. Most profs at my undergrad give out at least the previous one year's exam as a practice test. Some even give out two.

Of course, the easiest way to be 100% foolproof is to.... ask the prof. :p If you're paranoid, create a new GMail account and use that to issue the request - that way you have it in writing if it is ever called into question.
 
About the Ads

ChubbyChaser

Yummmy
10+ Year Member
Apr 14, 2007
13,168
7
Status
Medical Student
No, but idk what if he offered it to other students too. Ya never know.
 

Bacchus

Staff member
Administrator
10+ Year Member
Apr 28, 2007
21,489
2,769
Status
Attending Physician
Its not cheating if these exams are public domain. If you manage to smuggle an exam out from a professor that collects them or you have possession of one, you're going to get bitten hard, more than likely. In that case, you not only have the professor's property (the exam, the grade is your only property), but you also have a case of unfair advantage over other students and that's an aid that can be considered cheating. Professors frown upon backtests floating around at my university but they know they are out there and they still don't change some exams. Others know the backtests are out there but randomly generate questions so the tests become nothing but a pricey review sheet that you could get from the back of the book.
 

MDperfection

10+ Year Member
Sep 11, 2007
24
0
Status
Pre-Medical
if you don't think you need those old exams, I suggest you study on your own and do your best to learn the material (the concept of learning seems to be rare nowadays)
 

blurry

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 19, 2007
148
6
Status
I wouldn't consider it cheating, but I also wouldn't use the old exams as a primary source for studying. I used to study all the lecture material and then do the old exams myself, just to gauge my strengths and weaknesses with the material.
 

baylormed

On the Search
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 4, 2005
4,286
50
Right behind you
Status
Post Doc
if the teacher lets students keep their old tests, I'd say it's fair game.
Agreed.

If the professor wanted to prevent such a thing, he wouldn't give the exams back to the students. So unless he explicitly forbids it, it's all fair.
 

ChubbyChaser

Yummmy
10+ Year Member
Apr 14, 2007
13,168
7
Status
Medical Student
Thanks guys, like i said this would be the first time ive done this, Im sure it will help somewhat, but im still gonna learn the material.
 

Wylde

10+ Year Member
Sep 23, 2007
693
1
Status
Pre-Medical
why don't you just ask your professor?

Safest bet imo, especially since you know you are more than capable of doing well on the exam.

Not worth the risk
 

MattD

Curmudgeon
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 9, 2003
1,444
2
www.yellow5.com
Status
Resident [Any Field]
why don't you just ask your professor?

Safest bet imo, especially since you know you are more than capable of doing well on the exam.

Not worth the risk
From what I gathered, he doesn't want to ask his professor, because if it's OK, he might offer the tests to others in the class. Even though he claims to be doing fine without using the old tests, he wants to make sure he keeps an edge over the other students by being the only one with the old exams.

Normally I think it's ok to use old exams for review, if the professor allows it. But because you want an unfair advantage over your classmates, while I don't think the action is cheating, I think YOU are wanting to be a big ole' cheater. If you're not ok with the rest of the class using it, you can't be ok with YOU using it.
 

ChubbyChaser

Yummmy
10+ Year Member
Apr 14, 2007
13,168
7
Status
Medical Student
From what I gathered, he doesn't want to ask his professor, because if it's OK, he might offer the tests to others in the class. Even though he claims to be doing fine without using the old tests, he wants to make sure he keeps an edge over the other students by being the only one with the old exams.

Normally I think it's ok to use old exams for review, if the professor allows it. But because you want an unfair advantage over your classmates, while I don't think the action is cheating, I think YOU are wanting to be a big ole' cheater. If you're not ok with the rest of the class using it, you can't be ok with YOU using it.
Ouch--- I highly doubt i will have an unfair advantage over the other students. Ive heard all this talk in most of my classes about ppl with old tests in this and old tests in that, and ive never thought about it cause i thought it might get me in trouble, and i never had the opportunity. Now i was just presented with this opportunity so i figured i would look into it. Honestly if i asked everyone in the classfor "who has old tests?" I would bet a good proportion might.

And fyi- i made a 99 on the first exam with a class average of 74. So im not worrying about keeping an edge. So please hold off on the personal attacks.
 

MattD

Curmudgeon
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 9, 2003
1,444
2
www.yellow5.com
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Not a personal attack. You said:

No, but idk what if he offered it to other students too. Ya never know.
And I replied accordingly. If you're not worried about gaining the edge, then either a.) ask the professor if it's ok, and accept that he might distribute it to the rest of the class, or b.) don't use the tests. Those are the only two options in which I'll believe you're not looking for an edge. If you want to be secretive about it, you're looking for an edge.
 

Despina

10+ Year Member
Oct 14, 2006
228
2
Status
Medical Student
Seriously, cheating is a serious offense that can destroy your chances of getting into medical school, and I would not make decisions based on a bunch of undergrads opinions. If I were you I would just straight up ask the professor if you are allowed to look at past tests. I had one professor that always assumed last years exams were common knowledge, but anything beyond that was dangerous waters. Another professor would fail you if he got you with the test from the previous year. Don't chance it, just ask. Professors are nice people...do not be afraid to walk into their office and talk to them or even shoot them an email.
 

ocdp09

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 27, 2006
112
0
Chicago, IL
Status
Pre-Medical
who cares about cheating...do what you have to do to get by, why would you even consider not taking old exams..that sh*ts the tits!






we smoke it anywhere, in front of a police station with a six pack of beer
 

MattD

Curmudgeon
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 9, 2003
1,444
2
www.yellow5.com
Status
Resident [Any Field]
who cares about cheating...do what you have to do to get by, why would you even consider not taking old exams..that sh*ts the tits!






we smoke it anywhere, in front of a police station with a six pack of beer
uh huh.... right
 

Jpc984

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 17, 2006
1,509
3
Status
Pre-Medical
Doesn't this happen in medical school all the time?
 
About the Ads