Hi, I was hoping to get some advice for my situation as I know it is not a typical experience that students face in college. I just graduated from undergrad in May, but was reported to the office that handles academic integrity and student conduct earlier this year for a course I took senior fall. The professor for this course sent me to the office with 3 other individuals (I don’t know who they are, all of their information was redacted on the incident report), for our fast response times on the test and a period of inactivity.
On the final exam for this class, I answered all of the questions as fast as I possibly could and then had a period of inactivity where I didn’t click through the problems on the test. I chose to move as quickly as possible to at least have every question saved and worked on a word document to check my work for the rest of the exam in order to spend as little time using the browser and chancing another technological difficulty since I had previously already faced two technological problems in my exams in othere classes. I was incredibly pleased to see that some of our previous quizzes were on the test in similar formats as well as in some cases word for word, and noticed that some of the questions were also word for word out of the textbook that I had religiously studied for that exam. Prior to this exam, I had 2 other final exams for two different courses within a 2 day span where I faced separate technical difficulties during both exams which I took shortly before I took this exam. In the other two finals, my internet had crashed during one exam as well as having the proctored exam system freeze and stop loading questions in the second exam before automatically submitting so I did not have the opportunity to even select answers for questions. My overall grade had been negatively impacted had reached out to both professors and I was not granted any opportunity to finish either exam even though the conditions were out of my control.
While I was about to start the exam, I didn’t see any issue with the fact that I had chosen to do this as the exam was open note and open book and I didn’t believe there would be any problems with my method. However, I understood my professor’s suspision, and the administrator was determined that I more likely than not used some type of unauthorized aid. Although, I did not cheat on this exam, use unauthorized resources, or work with someone on this exam, I understood their perspective and thought process and accepted the charges of conduct probation for a year and a workshop that they have students complete to provide educational resources. The experience was incredibly taxing and I had decided not to move forward with another type of hearing because I didn’t understand how they would see things differently from the administrator I met with. The administrator told me that although he believes my situation could be true, he had to make his ruling based on what is more likely to occur than not.
Although I know that I did not cheat, I do take full responsibility for not communicating my concerns about this exam with my professor as I believe informing him of my previous experiences and making him aware of how I decided to take my exam could have prevented this whole experience. This experience also reaffirmed my desire to abide by the honor code and to maintain my integrity for everything in my life. I will never put myself in the position to have anything of this nature to occur in the future. Additionally, I learned how important it is to be proactive and to facilitate better communication with those around me.
Does this mean I do not have a chance at medical school? I don’t have the financial resources to pursue a masters program or post bacc to prove that I am maintaining my academic integrity after this incident and I am at a loss for what I should do. Is there any advice you could give me or feedback on my situation? I didn’t have any issues in any other courses throughout my time in undergrad or the spring semester which followed this incident, but I don’t entirely know how to move forward from this incident.