Using Unauthorized Devices During Exams

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Dec 13, 2018 | 0 Comments

Colleges and universities have clear codes of conduct prohibiting cheating to obtain an advantage. Unless told otherwise, students may not use any unauthorized notes during tests and exams. Most students now have “smart” handheld devices, which could be very effectively used to cheat on an exam. Students accused of cheating may be subjected to the school disciplinary system and face potentially severe sanctions and penalties.

Continued Prevalence of Cheating

Recent data shows more high school students are cheating, which may continue during their college years. The students choosing to cheat are not only those with poor grades. Students are increasingly more focused on grades and place less emphasis on their overall educational progress.

Data on Cheating

  • Cheating is often justified because other students are doing so and gaining an advantage
  • Cheating is most common in classes relating to science or mathematics
  • Both male and female students are generally involved
  • A large percentage of the students with excellent grades are involved
  • Over half of responders considered it as “not a big deal”

Academic Misconduct in Classroom Exams

Cheating is most common in larger lecture class settings. Many students prepare notes on “cheat sheets” in advance. These notes are used most discreetly in exams involving mathematics that allow the usage of “scrap paper” for making calculations. Calculators with advanced features and small mobile phones with internet access are also used.

University of Pennsylvania (Penn) Exam Procedures

The procedural handbook for class instructors at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) provides staff with guidance about proctoring and creating exams. They recommend that multiple versions of the exam be used for true/false or multiple choice style exams. When teaching a course to multiple classes, the exam should be altered to prevent collaboration. When possible, students should be separated from one another during exams. Backpacks, folders, and notebooks should be left in the front of the room.

Courses Taken Online

Roughly one in four students now take college courses online. Cheating on quizzes and exams conducted online is a concern among college and university administrators. Technology to discourage cheating has improved with the usage of webcams, recognition software, biometrics authentication and more.

Overview of the University Disciplinary System

College disciplinary hearings are not civil or criminal legal proceedings. At Penn, a hearing panel presents the evidence and the accused has the opportunity to respond. Penalties may include a fine, suspension or expulsion.

Can I Bring an Attorney?

Penn permits being accompanied by an advisor who is generally a member of the Penn community; however, an attorney could be a tremendous benefit. An attorney may be an excellent resource for interpreting your rights, hearing preparation and assistance with a potential appeal.

Experienced Counsel for Those Accused of Academic Misconduct

Attorney Joseph D. Lento is available to assist students facing sanctions in their college or university's disciplinary process. Those accused of academic misconduct deserve to have their right to due process. For a consultation contact the office at (888) 535-3686 today.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today!


If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.