EagerToBeMD

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So more than half my Chemistry II class cheated on the final today. They were all bragging about it before class and showing each other all the notes they wrote in the front of their book because our professor allows us to use the periodic table in the front cover. Apparently they did it on the last test too. I'm really pissed because I worked hard and studied forever for this grade and these jerks will ruin the curve and get an A they didn't earn. If it was just one or two people, I could get past it, but I'm talking at least 35 people here. Advice?
 

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Advice? Make sure you get in on the cheating for Chemistry III. I hope this taught you a valuable lesson: no pre-med is an island (and getting left out is no fun at all!) :laugh:
 
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EagerToBeMD

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Sorry but that's crummy advice.
 
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my advice is: if you do well, don't rat them out. just move on.

"but they don't deserve their grades!!!"
who cares? you'll be all set who cares about everyone else?

"but it's just the principle of the matter!"
just let things play out. if anything, another anal premed in your class will tell on everyone.

and even if you do tell on everyone, it's not like the prof will be able to call out half the class and fail them and not the other half of the class. if anything, he will make up a new test which everyone will have to take. that means more studying, more pain in the ass.



if you don't do well, and it's due to the curve, then you have more thinking to do.
 

Law2Doc

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Robizzle said:
if you don't do well, and it's due to the curve, then you have more thinking to do.
Actually, you will only have credibility with the prof if you did well despite the cheaters. Otherwise it just sounds like another whiny premed complaining about his grade.
 

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No joking... I was going to say that it sounds like you have your ethical/moral dilemma essay for Pitt if you should decide to apply there.

Cheating of this kind can derail a med school career. It has to be reported on the AMCAS and, in my experience, it is an automatic "red card" - you are out of the game.

Now, your question is, I think, should you tell?

Are you obligated to tell? (Does your school have an honor code that requires you to tell because to do otherwise would be to tolerate those who cheat?)

If you are not obligated by an honor code, do you have a duty or loyalty to your professor, to inform him of irregularities in the testing environment?

Do you have a loyalty to your fellow students, to protect them from institutional action that could harm their professional aspirations?

I think that you could go to the professor and suggest that the next time that he gives this exam he could distribute the periodic table along with the exam so that students do not have an opportunity to use crib notes written on the inside cover of the chemistry text. Tell him that you understand that it is a very common practice in his class and one that hurts students who are honest (because of the curve). Its a final exam so there may not be much he can do although he could hold the grades for all of the students and ask students to report, with their text books, for examination of the book before the grade is released. :eek: This is the sort of thing that makes me hate teaching. :(

Good luck!
 

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Just keep studying the you always do and stay out of the whole cheating scandal altogether. The point of taking these classes is to absorb the material, not end up with the highest letter grade you can get. Let those guys not study and get their undeserved grades. It will come back to bite them when they need to use the knowledge in the future. If you end up with an A, at least you can have two things those cheaters don't: the satisfaction of respectfully receiving your grade fairly and the benefit of understanding the material you studied for.
 

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EagerToBeMD said:
So more than half my Chemistry II ... A they didn't earn. If it was just one or two people, I could get past it, but I'm talking at least 35 people here. Advice?
If I were you I would tell the instructors to be careful for this pattern on the next exam (ie check the periodic tables). In my view the people who cheat in college should not be allowed to obtain a degree. I'm sorry you're forced into such a bad situation.
 

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on the other side of things, any prof interested in teaching would not want students to sidestep the learning process and cheat. let him know that about x number of students are cheating, even if from an anonymous source (e.g. temporary hotmail account). s/he needs to learn to ditch the book.
 

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EagerToBeMD said:
So more than half my Chemistry II class cheated on the final today. They were all bragging about it before class and showing each other all the notes they wrote in the front of their book because our professor allows us to use the periodic table in the front cover. Apparently they did it on the last test too. I'm really pissed because I worked hard and studied forever for this grade and these jerks will ruin the curve and get an A they didn't earn. If it was just one or two people, I could get past it, but I'm talking at least 35 people here. Advice?
If they can't kick your a$$ then tell the professor about it. I don't consider that snitching because they are directly harming your grade if it is a student based curve. You cannot just sit there and take that one up the a$$.

When I was in O-Chem, I caught a couple of kids looking at notes under their desk as I was leaving the room (I usually finished my tests quick), but I didn't tell the professor because they were no threat to my grade and they weren't A-holes in lab. Your situation sounds a bit different.
 

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aung said:
It will come back to bite them when they need to use the knowledge in the future.
Just FYI, you/they will probably never use college chemistry again if you go to med school and plan to be a clinician. After the MCAT it's done. Only if you do the science route might you need to have this knowledge in the future and there will be ample time to learn it then.
 

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LizzyM said:
I think that you could go to the professor and suggest that the next time that he gives this exam he could distribute the periodic table along with the exam so that students do not have an opportunity to use crib notes written on the inside cover of the chemistry text. Tell him that you understand that it is a very common practice in his class and one that hurts students who are honest (because of the curve). Its a final exam so there may not be much he can do although he could hold the grades for all of the students and ask students to report, with their text books, for examination of the book before the grade is released. :eek: This is the sort of thing that makes me hate teaching. :(

Good luck!
That's good advice. I was thinking of what the teacher can really do if someone informed him/her about the cheating scandal. This is the best course of action to take so that something like this can't happen again in the future.
 

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EagerToBeMD said:
So more than half my Chemistry II class cheated on the final today. They were all bragging about it before class and showing each other all the notes they wrote in the front of their book because our professor allows us to use the periodic table in the front cover. Apparently they did it on the last test too. I'm really pissed because I worked hard and studied forever for this grade and these jerks will ruin the curve and get an A they didn't earn. If it was just one or two people, I could get past it, but I'm talking at least 35 people here. Advice?
Your best option would have been to hint to the professor how it would be a good idea to hand out a periodic table instead of using the book because of the possibility of cheating, but hindsight is 20/20 I guess.
 
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Law2Doc

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Hardbody said:
When I was in O-Chem, I caught a couple of kids looking at notes under their desk as I was leaving the room (I usually finished my tests quick), but I didn't tell the professor because they were no threat to my grade and they weren't A-holes in lab. Your situation sounds a bit different.
They probably screwed over others in the curve. And some day they may be doing surgery on one of your family members. Better to sink them early. Cheating makes them A-holes by definition.
 

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LizzyM said:
No joking... I was going to say that it sounds like you have your ethical/moral dilemma essay for Pitt if you should decide to apply there.

Cheating of this kind can derail a med school career. It has to be reported on the AMCAS and, in my experience, it is an automatic "red card" - you are out of the game.

Now, your question is, I think, should you tell?

Are you obligated to tell? (Does your school have an honor code that requires you to tell because to do otherwise would be to tolerate those who cheat?)

If you are not obligated by an honor code, do you have a duty or loyalty to your professor, to inform him of irregularities in the testing environment?

Do you have a loyalty to your fellow students, to protect them from institutional action that could harm their professional aspirations?

I think that you could go to the professor and suggest that the next time that he gives this exam he could distribute the periodic table along with the exam so that students do not have an opportunity to use crib notes written on the inside cover of the chemistry text. Tell him that you understand that it is a very common practice in his class and one that hurts students who are honest (because of the curve). Its a final exam so there may not be much he can do although he could hold the grades for all of the students and ask students to report, with their text books, for examination of the book before the grade is released. :eek: This is the sort of thing that makes me hate teaching. :(

Good luck!
Sorry I didn't read your post, I apoligize for giving virtually the same advice to the OP.
 

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I agree with aung. It is unfortunate that people felt they had to cheat in your competitive class. If any of these cheaters are planning to take the MCAT they have only done themselves a disservice. Not only have they robbed themselves of knowledge, but also lost an opportunity to acquire the study skills needed to do well in a class such as chemistry. If I were in your place, I would not go to the professor complaining about my grade. Rather, I would inform him/her what I thought I saw and suggest handing out copies of the periodic table for the next final.
Good Luck
 

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Rafa said:
Advice? Make sure you get in on the cheating for Chemistry III. I hope this taught you a valuable lesson: no pre-med is an island (and getting left out is no fun at all!) :laugh:
unless you're kidding, that's horrible, gunner-advice right there

cheating is for total losers, be proud of yourself for not sinking to that level. Cheaters generally have other poor qualities too, so just be happy that you are not one of them.
 

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well because you didn't cheat and actually learned the material, it will only make it that much easier for you when it comes time to study for the mcat.


btw--what prof lets u use the damn periodic table in the book? all my profs would make copies and hand them out with the test--DUH!!
 

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Nikki2002 said:
well because you didn't cheat and actually learned the material, it will only make it that much easier for you when it comes time to study for the mcat.


btw--what prof lets u use the damn periodic table in the book? all my profs would make copies and hand them out with the test--DUH!!
yea really, that is one lazy prof
 

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Nikki2002 said:
what prof lets u use the damn periodic table in the book? all my profs would make copies and hand them out with the test--DUH!!
Ditto. Never heard of this before.
 

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They probably screwed over others in the curve. And some day they may be doing surgery on one of your family members. Better to sink them early. Cheating makes them A-holes by definition.
I am pretty sure everyone of them ended up with a C as a best case scenario. I doubt they did much studying outside of class, which is probably why they felt the need to cheat.
 

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My question is this...what can someone possibly write in the front cover of a chemistry book that would disrupt the curve that much?

I've had chemistry profs let us use graphing calculators, and of course everyone would program notes into it. I was annoyed because basically anyone who had a graphing calc had advantage, but really I didn't see how it would have helped. Chemistry is about concepts and doing problems. I suppose you can write down the formulas instead of memorizing them, but if you have to consult your notes in the front cover for formulas then (1) you're wasting time and (2) it probably means you didn't study enough and won't know how to do the problems.

I mean, they can write all the formulas and definitions they want, but in the end they still have to understand the concepts and how to do problems. If it's a test about definitions or a bunch of identification it's one thing, but if it's your average college chemistry exam than the notes aren't going to help.

Yes, it is cheating, but I doubt it will affect the average that much. I agree with the others that you should somehow let the prof know, and of course do not do it yourself.
 
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What they did is they wrote various types of problems in the cover. It's a big book so you can fit a lot. They used key words and basically outlined how to do a dozen or so types of problems so when they saw that type of problem on the test, they referred to the outline. First find this, then subtract by that, etc.
 
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EagerToBeMD said:
So more than half my Chemistry II class cheated on the final today. They were all bragging about it before class and showing each other all the notes they wrote in the front of their book because our professor allows us to use the periodic table in the front cover. Apparently they did it on the last test too. I'm really pissed because I worked hard and studied forever for this grade and these jerks will ruin the curve and get an A they didn't earn. If it was just one or two people, I could get past it, but I'm talking at least 35 people here. Advice?

This sucks. If it affects your grade b/c the curve is super small as a result of all these kids doing well I think it is reasonable to say something...discretely.

I hate the idea of a snitch, but these students are taking action that might directly affect you in a negative way, unfortunatly these grades can make a diffrence when you apply.
 

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Law2Doc said:
Just FYI, you/they will probably never use college chemistry again if you go to med school and plan to be a clinician. After the MCAT it's done. Only if you do the science route might you need to have this knowledge in the future and there will be ample time to learn it then.
Just because you won't need much chemistry, does not mean that cheating is wrong. I guess I don't have as much of a problem getting into that situation because I go to a church-affiliated-and-run school. Most of the people are pretty honest. However, in Med School, I will not hesitate at all in "ratting out" anyone who cheats. It isn't fair to me, to them, to everyone else in the class, and especially to their future patients. Talk to the teacher. Set up an anonymous email account if you have to. Let him know you want to be anonymous to protect yourself. Even if you do end up having to take the test again, tell the prof. Sure that sucks, but wouldn't you have a better concience knowing that you do not tolerate cheaters?
 

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I would also go up to the professor and mention about the cheating. If 35 people were in on it, it's not like you'll be ratting any one person out in particular (and hopefully none of them will know it was you!). I think you have to do what is right so you can get the grade you deserve. Unfortunately, with such widespread cheating, the only recourse really would be having the class take the exam over again. But I think you should do something. Some people really need to be put in their place.
 

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ADeadLois said:
My question is this...what can someone possibly write in the front cover of a chemistry book that would disrupt the curve that much?

I've had chemistry profs let us use graphing calculators, and of course everyone would program notes into it. I was annoyed because basically anyone who had a graphing calc had advantage, but really I didn't see how it would have helped. Chemistry is about concepts and doing problems. I suppose you can write down the formulas instead of memorizing them, but if you have to consult your notes in the front cover for formulas then (1) you're wasting time and (2) it probably means you didn't study enough and won't know how to do the problems.

I mean, they can write all the formulas and definitions they want, but in the end they still have to understand the concepts and how to do problems. If it's a test about definitions or a bunch of identification it's one thing, but if it's your average college chemistry exam than the notes aren't going to help.

Yes, it is cheating, but I doubt it will affect the average that much. I agree with the others that you should somehow let the prof know, and of course do not do it yourself.
Exactly.

Op, it sucks that these people were cheating but if you do not have any tangible proof then you are out of luck. It is not what you know, it is what you can prove.
 

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CTSballer11 said:
Exactly.

Op, it sucks that these people were cheating but if you do not have any tangible proof then you are out of luck. It is not what you know, it is what you can prove.
DO you really think that every one of those 35 people erased all of their notes out of the front of their book? There's gotta be at least one dummy there that will bring his book to class.
 

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jstuds_66 said:
DO you really think that every one of those 35 people erased all of their notes out of the front of their book? There's gotta be at least one dummy there that will bring his book to class.
Wouldn't matter. No school would bring disciplinary action unless the students were caught in the act. Their airtight defense would just be that they wrote in there after the test. Case closed.
 

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Nikki2002 said:
well because you didn't cheat and actually learned the material, it will only make it that much easier for you when it comes time to study for the mcat. QUOTE]

That and you can't fake/cheat you way past the boards.


I've heard they are a little tougher than gen chem :D
 

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hermit said:
Wouldn't matter. No school would bring disciplinary action unless the students were caught in the act. Their airtight defense would just be that they wrote in there after the test. Case closed.
After the final?? Absurd! Academic dishonesty could result in expulsion but most schools will plea bargain down to taking a zero for the exam (or, more seriously, an F for the course) with no record of an institutional action. Others will make it an institutional action and put a student on probation with a second offense resulting in expulsion. I see a few of these on AMCAS applications every year.... one was a student accused of cheating because he bought a used book-- maybe a case like this with answers written in the book as a way to cheat.
 

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Law2Doc said:
They probably screwed over others in the curve. And some day they may be doing surgery on one of your family members. Better to sink them early. Cheating makes them A-holes by definition.
I agree 100%. Grading with a curve means that this is a problem. According to the OP we're not talking a couple kids we're talking most of the class which will definately screw him/her over on his/her grade. A couple of kids in my OChem class were cheating and it bothered me but it was only 2 kids that I knew of and I knew they certainly weren't a threat to my grade or the curve because when they showed up in the study group they'd ask the kind of questions that showed a complete lack of understanding of most of the concepts. However on our last exam before the final they were bragging how they both had A's while I was busting my a$$ for a B+.

Anyway I was pretty ticked off and told the professor that I knew there was some funny business going on during the exams. I didn't drop names or give any clues but I did say I saw something going on. The prof thanked me and made a habit of walking around the room during testing (hovering by the cheaters, interestingly enough).

That's how I handled it. Remember, also, that any school wanting their students to abide by an honor code consider you guilty of breaking that code if you observe cheating and do nothing about it. If a medschool adcom knew about this, I guarantee they would want you to talk to your prof about it. Guarantee.
 

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AngryBaby said:
I agree 100%. Grading with a curve means that this is a problem. According to the OP we're not talking a couple kids we're talking most of the class which will definately screw him/her over on his/her grade. A couple of kids in my OChem class were cheating and it bothered me but it was only 2 kids that I knew of and I knew they certainly weren't a threat to my grade or the curve because when they showed up in the study group they'd ask the kind of questions that showed a complete lack of understanding of most of the concepts. However on our last exam before the final they were bragging how they both had A's while I was busting my a$$ for a B+.

Anyway I was pretty ticked off and told the professor that I knew there was some funny business going on during the exams. I didn't drop names or give any clues but I did say I saw something going on. The prof thanked me and made a habit of walking around the room during testing (hovering by the cheaters, interestingly enough).

That's how I handled it. Remember, also, that any school wanting their students to abide by an honor code consider you guilty of breaking that code if you observe cheating and do nothing about it. If a medschool adcom knew about this, I guarantee they would want you to talk to your prof about it. Guarantee.
I really did not know this, but now that I do, I think I am going to look closely at the student handbook.
 
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LizzyM said:
After the final?? Absurd! Academic dishonesty could result in expulsion but most schools will plea bargain down to taking a zero for the exam (or, more seriously, an F for the course) with no record of an institutional action. Others will make it an institutional action and put a student on probation with a second offense resulting in expulsion. I see a few of these on AMCAS applications every year.... one was a student accused of cheating because he bought a used book-- maybe a case like this with answers written in the book as a way to cheat.
I don't know how you guys feel about this, but my main concern wouldn't be retribution or punishment unless they screwed the curve so badly that the OP was in a class percentile in which he/she doesn't usually dwell. If it hasn't done any real damage to the OP's grade then alert your prof and move on. The next test or two should certainly equalize the overall class grade if that's a concern, but at least the situation will be taken care of.
 

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You can mention it to the prof but don't expect anything to be done about it. Like others have said, you really can't prove anything.

When you cheat, you only cheat yourself. These people cheated their way out of a quality chem education, something people will pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars for.
 

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I also had a cheating experience in my o-chem final. There was a fire alarm in the middle of the final and everyone had to leave the building. While waiting for the A-OK, some students had huddled together and compared notes. At the time, quite a few of us honor-abiding students were rather pissed, but we didn't say anything.

I eventually got to be really good friends with my teaching assistant and a year later we were chatting when that exam came up in our conversation. Apparently, all the teaching assistants had noticed the cheaters as well; they personally knew all of their own students and had made mental notes of who might have taken advantage of the situation. As a result, they took the liberty of strictly grading the cheaters and giving the benefit of the doubt to those that had stood alone quietly.

So maybe your professor and/or teaching assistants knew about it and just didn't let on. They tend to be a lot sharper than we give them credit for.
 

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I would disclose this to your professor. Not only is it affecting your grade but the grades of many other students in the class. It is also likely your duty under most school honor codes. However, what you know and what you can prove are two different things and may give you a moment of pause and it is true that you can be interpreted as whiny if you do not have concrete names to give your professor.
 

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Personally, I wouldn't care. If it's bothering you that much, instead of confronting the teacher directly (some students may see you and later suspect you of being the snitch), send an anonymous e-mail to the teacher letting him know that cheating went on during the exam.

Being a snitch is just as bad as cheating in my book.
 

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EagerToBeMD said:
What they did is they wrote various types of problems in the cover. It's a big book so you can fit a lot. They used key words and basically outlined how to do a dozen or so types of problems so when they saw that type of problem on the test, they referred to the outline. First find this, then subtract by that, etc.
OMG! How hard IS IT to learn how to do Gen Chem problems? Geez!
 

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jackieMD2007 said:
OMG! How hard IS IT to learn how to do Gen Chem problems? Geez!
There are many lazy people, you would really be suprised.
 

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DrJekyl said:
I agree with aung. It is unfortunate that people felt they had to cheat in your competitive class. If any of these cheaters are planning to take the MCAT they have only done themselves a disservice. Not only have they robbed themselves of knowledge, but also lost an opportunity to acquire the study skills needed to do well in a class such as chemistry. If I were in your place, I would not go to the professor complaining about my grade. Rather, I would inform him/her what I thought I saw and suggest handing out copies of the periodic table for the next final.
Good Luck

are you serious???? yeah right... anyway back to the real world... allowing students to use the periodic table in the book is fine in a small class... and you'd think people would be honest, but I guess not. i would rat them out, only because I work for my grades and all of my classes are curved so it will hurt me. but then again, I'm a b!tch. ;)
 

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I would possibly go the anon route. Write a letter anonnymously to your professor and to the head of the department possibly. Tell them what the problem is, make sure it is clear there is no doubt in your mind that you are certain people were cheating and how. Then explain to them how they cheated and what the professor can do to stop it from happening.

If nothing else they will not be able to cheat in the future. I think sometimes it is easy to be a "good german" and follow the crowd. If all of your friends are cheating on a test and you're hanging out with these people, it is likely that you'll cheat too. It seems safe and almost like the right thing to do. So I don't know if this incident should ruin these cheating students professional school possiblities, but they shouldn't be allowed to continue to do it.
 

R_C_Hutchinson

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EagerToBeMD said:
So more than half my Chemistry II class cheated on the final today. They were all bragging about it before class and showing each other all the notes they wrote in the front of their book because our professor allows us to use the periodic table in the front cover. Apparently they did it on the last test too. I'm really pissed because I worked hard and studied forever for this grade and these jerks will ruin the curve and get an A they didn't earn. If it was just one or two people, I could get past it, but I'm talking at least 35 people here. Advice?
report it for the sake of preserving the integrity of your degree and your school's repuation. have pride in having done so.

R_C_
 

MasterMD

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oh and to those of you who said nothing would be done about it.. i dont know what schools you go to, but i KNOW something would be done about it at Cal.. i think i've witnessed a reporting of cheating and i know i've witnessed a something being done about it.. even after the fact.
 

Dr. Pepper

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MasterMD said:
are you serious???? yeah right... anyway back to the real world... allowing students to use the periodic table in the book is fine in a small class... and you'd think people would be honest, but I guess not. i would rat them out, only because I work for my grades and all of my classes are curved so it will hurt me. but then again, I'm a b!tch. ;)
I also think that it is a bit naive to say that these cheaters will be punished by the MCAT. The fact is that if they are not ratted out, they will probably get a good grade, and in terms of the MCAT, it is entirely possible to get a good score on the BS or PS simply through self-studying. As much as we'd like to think that things work out for the best irregardless of our own actions, the fact remains that if nothing is done to stop such actions, it is possible that cheaters will (unfortunately) be rewarded for their efforts.

I think the best idea is to give an anonymous e-mail to your teacher concerning the cheating. That way, the issue will be addressed, you will not be identified as a snitch, and at the very least, such cheating will be precluded in the future.

Once again though, this is a horrible situation to be with, and it really sucks that some people have to go through this.

Best of luck.
-Dr. P.

P.S.: I always knew that was an evil bunny master. :D
 

MasterMD

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Dr. Pepper said:
P.S.: I always knew that was an evil bunny master. :D
hahaha... he's not evil!!! unless you try to rearrange things in his cage.. then he comes over and growls at you and lunges!! "i'm just trying to feed you mr. bunny...." :laugh:
 

science_boy

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There was a big thread on cheating a while back and it looks like another one popped up. :D There are people who cheat at every school if you ask me, and a lot of people get away with it. As someone mentioned, unless you tell them on the test day, there's not a lot people can do to prove that someone cheated.
And most people won't come out because they don't want to be a "snitch".
 

luke77

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fpr85 said:
Being a snitch is just as bad as cheating in my book.
I don't understand this attitude...there is nothing wrong with telling on cheaters and I think it is wrong NOT to do so, at least at a college level. Even if it doesn't affect your individual grade, some honest people in your class are going to be screwed over if it's a curved exam. Anyone that cheats on an exam deserves an F, imo.
 

LifetimeDoc

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If they are Freshmen, it's no big deal to give them a second chance with a zero on the quiz/exam, and record somewhere that they were caught cheating so other professors will know. The next time they are caught, they get an F in the course. The next time, expulsion.

Course, there was this guy that was cheating on our Biochem final (premed guy) who got caught by the professor. He was allowed to finish his final, but ended up getting a D in the course. I was at first upset he didn't get in trouble, but I figure a pre-med doing post bacc who gets a D in Biochem really doesn't have much of a chance at gaining admission to medical school.
 
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