Procedures in case of fraud

Cheating during an exam is a form of academic fraud. The following guidelines are meant to help professors and examination invigilators recognize, prevent and address such situations.

Cheating methods

There are many ways students may cheat during an examination. Their creativity in this area should not be underestimated. Here are some examples:

  • Using notes, information or formulas that have been stored on MP3 players, cellular phones or calculators;
  • Using notes, information or formulas written on hands, arms or other body parts;
  • Using notes, information or formulas written on cheat sheets, erasers, tissue boxes, whiteout bottles, etc.;
  • Using an exam booklet, obtained before the exam, containing written notes, information or formulas;
  • Copying from a book left open on the ground or in a backpack left within sight;
  • Copying from another student;
  • Exchanging information or answers with another student, using various methods of communication;
  • Not respecting the instructions provided during the examination.


Here are some simple rules that can help you prevent students from cheating during an examination:

  • Ask students to store out of reach any books, cellular phones, MP3 players and other unauthorized items. This is clearly indicated in the academic regulation regarding examinations:

During examinations or tests, students are prohibited from using electronic devices or any other communication tool that has not been approved beforehand. Any such device or tool must be shut off, stored and out of reach. It is the student's responsibility to verify which electronic devices or tools (e.g. calculators) are permissible for each examination or test. Anyone who fails to comply with these regulations may be charged with academic fraud.

  • Before you distribute the exam, quickly glance over what is on and under students’ desks in order to detect any items they may use to cheat;
  • Always supervise a student who leaves the room during the examination and do not allow students to leave the room during the first thirty minutes of the examination;
  • Watch students’ behaviour and body language as this can often help you detect an act of cheating.

What to do if you witness an act of cheating?

Professors or examination invigilators who become aware that one or more students are cheating during an examination must do the following:

  • If possible, have a witness confirm that the student(s) cheated or attempted to cheat;
  • If the student is using an unauthorized electronic device, ask him to put it away;
  • If a student is using notes, information or formulas, you must remove them and keep them as evidence;
  • In all cases, you should allow the student(s) to finish the examination so that no disruption is caused for the rest of the students;
  • If a student is caught copying from another student, you may ask him to move to another seat;
  • Document the incident by recording the name of the student(s) involved, what happened, the time of the incident as well as any other pertinent information (see the Incident Report);
  • After the exam, the professor may talk to the student(s) and ask for further information, if necessary;
  • Please refer to the Policy on Academic Fraud to find out how to address an academic fraud case.
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