College help


    Yesterday while taking my biology final, the girl next to me was madly erasing what she had written on her test. I looked over at her paper (I know I shouldnt have, wasnt thinking). I didnt take any of her answers or copy her, I was just distracted. So the teacher hands me this note when I turn in my test that says:
    "You may receive an F in this course due to cheating"
    When I got home I emailed her this:
    Dear XXXXXX

    I was by no means cheating on my biology final, and I am extremely sorry that you got that impression. I felt that this was the easiest test of the semester and did not need any outside help from others
    I have always been an A student and have never cheated to get there. You can speak with XXXX in the math dept to verify that. I was his only student to score 100% on a written state final. All of my previous teachers have loved me and can vouch for the type of student that I am. I understand the importance of honesty and the severity of cheating. If you would like, and I would appreciate, you can compare our tests, as I am sure they can't be the same.
    A failure in this class will not only affect my GPA, but could cause me to lose my financial aid and prevent me from being accepted in to XXXXX school.
    Thanks you for your time and I am sorry for this inconvenience.

    to which she replied:
    Gathering information from a neighbor’s test paper constitutes cheating, regardless of how you decide to use the information. It is imperative that you keep your eyes on your own paper during an exam. As noted in the syllabus, cheating of any kind will result in an F for the semester (no withdrawal permitted).

    So heres a little backround on me- I have over 30 some credits and am an A-B student. I have never cheated and dont need to. I was actually getting a C in this class and was going to have to retake it regardless of getting a C or an F as my school of choice doesnt accept anything less than a B in math's and science's. So she failed me for something that I DID NOT DO. If she puts on my record that I was cheating, then my college career is pretty much over, as no university will take me. But the fact that she gave me an F hurts my GPA and doesnt look good on my transcripts either.
    I have to be notified before they can put cheating on my transcripts, which I havnt been yet. So I'm not sure if she went that far.

    I want to fight the F, but I dont want it to backfire on me and have anything put in my file if she isnt going to take it that far. I did look at her paper, but not with the intention of cheating.

    My question is this-has anybody ever been through this before and what happened? Do I get to bring character witnesses in if I have to go up against the board? And also-I have many other science classes to take and dont want to turn the dept against me. Any ideas guys?
  2. Never happened to me before but maybe you can explain the situation to her in person and volunteer to take a makeup test.

    One of my friends was caught cheating in high school and her parents went to talk to the teacher or maybe to the principal, and he let her retake the test. Maybe you can try to get other teachers on your side too.

    Good luck.
  3. This has never happened to me either. As a freshman just finishing her first semester, the only thing I can really think of is to fill in another teacher that you may be close with or that you trust, and ask them for advice. They are in the same position as your Bio prof, and if they trust you, they might be able to help you get out of this mess. Good luck, let us know what happens!
  4. 1. It's not true that no other university will take you, if you wanted to transfer. I TA for a university, and get the pleasure of sitting in on all of the "honor violation" seminars. Your transcript would simply be marked, "Withdrawn." That's pretty much standard practice for all U.S. universities. They do not take a scarlett letter to your transcript.

    2. I would speak to the head of your department (provided it is not this professor), and explain the situation to him/her and see what he/she advises.

    3. If that doesn't work, and you want to pursue it, if your school does have an Honors Council or something like that, see if they have a representative you can speak to. They might be able to give you some advice.

    Some professors take cheating very seriously, and don't allow for any wiggly room when it comes to what they think is cheating. Unfortunately, you might just be stuck with the F and retaking the course. The F will just show up as an F, it's not like there will be an asterick next to it that says *for cheating.

    Good luck.
  5. Hm, tough situation! This has never happened to me before, but I suggest going to talk to the professor in person. Email is just too impersonal and people in general find it easier to lie through email than face-to-face, so you showing up in person might help her understand your sincerity. Explain that the person was erasing vigorously and you were distracted so you looked over at the person (NOT the person's paper). Offer to take a make-up exam on the spot- for partial credit maybe. If she doesn't budge, I would take it before an Honor Council. And if that doesn't work, you might be stuck with an F. But like Jillybean said ^ there won't be a special note next to the F saying "Caught cheating."
  6. i have a friend who didn't cite sources correctly on a paper in her freshman year and failed the class for cheating. it wasn't intentional and after meetings with her dean they agreed that she would rewrite the paper correctly. all universities are your dean or advisor to ask for advice.
  7. something similar happened to me in the 11th grade....we were taking a final in my Spanish class...i got to a section of the test that confused me and i wondered, "i wonder if we do this section as well" i was really stuck because i didnt know if he had to continue or ask the teacher if we should do that i looked at my neighbor for about 2 seconds and BAM!!!! my teacher came to my desk, drew a big red line across my paper and said "from this question on i'm gonna monitor you and see what kind of answers you get." i was so embarassed..

    so i continued my test, was the FIRST one to finish, handed it in, and he corrected it right there....turns out i did a good job!!!
    but yeah.....accused of cheating is so humiliating.
  8. I think you need to explain what happened (that you were distracted by the girl erasing). I would also avoid saying that you felt the test was easy...that may irritate the prof.
  9. I'm chiming in but you probably won't like what I am going to say:

    As a professor at a college, and a former TA at a UC campus, cheating (or the implied /intent to cheat - which it sounds like in your case), is a BIG deal at colleges. From the professor's point of view, this has become a major problem and I've seen instances of students texting each other answers, turning in essays from prior students (I tend to keep copies of essays and not return them to students), I've even seen two students in the same course turn in the IDENTICAL essays thinking that two different TA's would be grading them. Competition has grown and not only has the pressure to cheat to gain a higher grade grown, the attitudes about the seriousness of cheating by students has diminished.

    I'm not implying that this is your perception, but this is the general tone of students attitudes. It's almost: "what's the big deal".

    If the professor saw you even glance at another students' exam, it could be implied that you were trying to cheat. If the statement on the syllabus is there - that cheating would result in an "F" in the course, then you're stuck. Ultimately, you could go to the chair or the dean of the department, but the instructor of record always retains right of grade assignment.

    You may just need to suck it up and take the "F", then retake the course. i'm assuming that if you're looking for only "A" and "B" grades in math/science, that you're referring to professional / medical school entry.

    You need to know that a "C" grade is not something that can be repeated at the same school. A "C" is passing, and you can't retake a course that has already been passed.

    Check two things:
    Does your campus have a "Repeat/Delete" policy (also called "Academic Renewal with Course repitition"). If so, then you should be able to take the course again, and once passed, the original substandard grade is not included in your GPA any longer. It's still on your transcript and visible, but notated with either a line through the first attempt, or a notation next to the grade.

    Then check the policy of the graduate school to see how this is treated. Worse case is that they'll average the two grades. If they only accept "A" or "B" grades, then it's likely that you'll benefit from the higher grade on the second attempt at the course.
  10. ^^ At my school you can retake classes that you've passed. Also, to the OP, you should find out what your school's policy of dealing with cheating is. In my school you get the letter Q instead of an F put on your transcript and have to take a semester long class to make up for the cheating. It's a writing class with a paper due every week. I've heard that they make the class brutal to teach you a lesson. After that, the Q is completely erased and no one will ever know that you were accused of academic dishonesty (you still have to retake the class though). I would suggest looking at your school's undergrad handbook.
  11. Thank-you all for your input.
    -They do have the repeat/delete thing. And thanks for letting me know that I couldnt retake it if I had a c. I didnt know about that.
    -She didnt put anywhere that I cheated, she just gave me a 0 on the final which resulted in an F.
    -I was going to go to the head of the dept, but if the final desc rests w/ the teach, then it's a waste of my time.
    My SIL and my Best Friend are both teachers and both said to just suck it up and retake it. I am sooo pissed about it, but dont see another option at this point, since I know my teach has blinder son.
  12. In my school the Dean/Head of the department has the power to override a professors grade. A classmate appealed her grade and had her assignments reviewed. The Dean of the department had to override the grade because the professor refused to change it.

    FashionLVR, I seriously think you should try to appeal it. No matter what. At the end, it doesn't hurt you. The worse that can happen is that they tell you "no" and you are still suck with the same F. Retaking a class, especially when you know you didn't cheat, is ridiculous. Not only do you have to retake it, but you have to spend all that time and pay for the class again. I think appealing is worth a shot. For all you know, the professor didn't even review the two exams. The department would have to review the exams when appealed and see that there is NOTHING identical about them. Innocent until proven guilty. If this other girl has the wrong answers on the exam and you have the correct ones then it would be ridiculous to accuse you of cheating.

    If this affected me as much as it seems to be affecting you (gpa, cost, time, reputation) then I would fight it until the end.

    I don't know about your school but I believe my school only lets you retake only a certain number of classes over. They call it the "Forgiveness Policy." You can retake a class over if you are not happy with the grade and they will ignore the previous grade. We are only allowed to do this 3 times. If I were in your shoes, I would only want to use those 3 chances in classes where the bad grade was really my fault.
  13. Hmm, what a sticky situation to be in. I think you should try all of the options out there, like the ones listed in this thread, what have you got to lose besides that F, so it's worth a try! Good luck!
  14. I stand corrected - the policy on grade changes (instructor over-rides, and repeated attempts) would depend on the type of school (public / private / liberal arts vs. Resarch, etc) and location. :shame:
  15. Fight the "F." Take it to the dean if you have to, but make sure to follow proper protocol. You may have to re-take the exam to prove that you knew the material, but your honor is worth fighting for.