You are either sitting in class taking an exam or you are taking it remotely. Maybe in the middle of the exam, your professor comes over to you, takes your exam, and accuses you of cheating. Or, after class or later that day the professor notifies you that they caught you cheating. What do you?
Just because the professor thought you were cheating doesn’t mean you were.
In this post, I lay out some advice and tips that you might want to do if you are ever confronted by a professor claiming that they caught you cheating in an exam. These tips apply whether it involves an in-person exam, an online exam, homework assignments, lab report, you name it. Here are some things you should do:
1. Allow yourself time to think.
Before you blurt out something or write something, take a moment and try to calm yourself and focus. You can’t make good decisions when you are under a lot of stress and being accused of cheating is serious. If a professor confronts you during or after class, and you are taken completely by surprise, politely ask the professor if you can have a moment to gather your thoughts or whether you could schedule a meeting to talk about their concerns.
2. Think before you write!
If you are asked to respond by email, think before you just type something out and click send. Think about what you want to say. Draft your response in Google Docs, Word, or whatever other word processing program you use. Review what you wrote and think about how it comes off, is it clear, am I saying something that will cause more confusion or make my situation worse?
3. Speak to someone who can help you.
Talk to someone who has the knowledge and experience to help you. Just getting another person’s unbiased opinion can many times be a big help.
Can you help me defend against this allegation?
Yes – I have spoken to hundreds of students faced with this very issue. Just because a professor claims they caught you cheating does not automatically mean that they are correct. If you are facing this type of issue, or any potential academic integrity concern, please contact me and I would be happy to speak with you.
Call today for a consultation.
Richard Asselta is a defense lawyer for students facing academic integrity violations throughout the United States. Call today for a consultation. (855) 338-5299