Hi Abe,

A terrible thing has happened. I’ve been so stressed the last few semesters and have tried really hard to keep going with my studies. I attended an exam in person, because I thought it would be easier for me than online. It’s been so long since I have done an in-person exam that I forgot to take my phone out of my pocket, I felt a message come through so I took my phone out to turn it off, and now the examiners think that I used my phone to cheat. Are they going to kick me out? I have worked really hard in my degree and I am devastated that this is happening to me.

Exam close call

Dear Exam Close Call,

I am sorry to hear about your problem. The Uni will investigate whether or not you have tried to cheat in the exam. It is a good idea to tell the truth in this situation. We all realise how much pressure students are under, and how easy it would be to give yourself reminders about what you have studied through written notes or phone messages. With your specific situation, you should have been asked to put your phone away at the beginning of the exam, so it might be a bit difficult to explain why you still had it in your pocket, even though it had been a while since your last in person exam. You should explain why you didn’t hear the examiner ask that, and also why you have been so stressed the last few semesters. The Uni will then consider whether it is likely that you are telling the truth. The penalties for a situation like yours range from a reprimand (letter saying you did the wrong thing) through to a fail grade for the subject. You will not be kicked out of uni. If you need help with your response to the Faculty or if you have any other questions please make an appointment to talk to an SRC Caseworker by calling 9660 5222. Caseworkers are very experienced in this area, and will provide you with confidential, non-judgmental advice.