Academic integrity in online exams: doing the right thing is the right answer

What you need to know about academic integrity

Final exams commence next week. Here's how to maintain academic integrity while sitting online tests.

Final assessments and exams commence next week. Whether this is your first online exam or your fiftieth, it's important to remember that online exams are no different to a formal exam that you would take on campus. You must maintain academic integrity in every exam, whether online or in person.

Acting with integrity

Balancing life and study can be difficult, and with all the stresses students face it may be tempting to take shortcuts during exams – especially online ones. However, cheating will not make your life easier in the long run. The University has systems in place to detect misconduct, and if you're caught, the consequences will be much worse than a disappointing grade. 

More importantly, cheating and collusion defeat the purpose of being at uni in the first place. While study is often challenging, working through complex problems help us learn - which we're all here at University to do. Even if you don't get the marks you hoped for, you'll still gain the knowledge, and that's the most important part. Remember - if other areas of life are getting in the way of dedicating sufficient time to your study, support is available

As a student of the University, you are expected to maintain academic integrity. This involves producing and submitting your own work and taking your own examinations. It's also important to ensure your classmates maintain academic integrity too. While group study sessions can be valuable, the line between studying together and collusion can be easily crossed. If you see something that doesn't seem right, like an online group chat where people share answers or students ask others to sit exams for them, consider reporting it to the University. You can report instances of academic dishonesty anonymously to the Office of Educational Integrity

Aerial view of female student studying on a laptop

Don't make cheating your last resort. There is study and exam support available to you. 

Cheating is just not worth it

The University is aware of companies promoting academic support services, particuarly during exam periods. You should avoid these companies as they take advantage of students, facilitate cheating and pose serveral personal and academic risks. Not only do you risk being investigated for a potential academic breach (and the penalties that may follow), but you may also be vulnerable to the possibility of blackmail, identity fraud, and other serious risks that can last far beyond your studies.

The University is committed to ensuring the integrity of our degrees and treats academic integrity breaches seriously. If you are found to have engaged in cheating, collusion or another form of academic dishonesty, you may be required to resit an assessment, receive a fail grade for the assessment or even fail the unit of study. Serious instances of academic misconduct can result in suspension from your studies or even exclusion for one or more semesters. For international students, engaging in academic dishonesty can impact your student visa.

Additionally, instances of widespread collusion can lead to the rescheduling of an exam or withdrawal of the assessment, which impacts all students, even those who weren't involved in the collusion. 

Feeling unwell at the time of your exam? 

If you are unwell on the day and unable to take your exam, you should not attempt the exam. Instead, visit a doctor as soon as possible and apply for special consideration. If you commence the exam, your special consideration application should be based on the change in your health during the time of the exam. 

Preparing for your online exams

We know that the vast majority of students are doing the right thing and will continue to do so. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your online exams and take advantage of the University's support services that are available to ensure you maintain academic integrity while doing so. 

We get it - studying isn’t always easy, especially when other parts of our life demand our time and attention. But, finding that balance between life and study is all part of the learning experience. This exam season, prepare as best you can with the time you have. Best of luck! 

Last updated: 9 November 2022

7 April 2021

Related articles