How did it start?
‘It started when one of classmates told me she could not study for her exam, because she had no time to prepare. She asked me to help her out with certain parts of the theory. So that is what I did.’
How did you communicate during the exam?
‘She would ask me things like: “Can you help me out with 1.5?” on WhatsApp. She literally asked me to copy-paste the text. I was really annoyed, but I just wanted to get it over with. I figured she would actually have a brain and rephrase it differently, but she did not.’
Did you feel bad that you cheated with an online exam?
‘I knew I actually should not have done it, but I wanted to be nice and did it anyway. At that time, I had my own stress to deal with, so I did not think about any consequences. I just wanted to finish my exam in time.’
She literally asked me to copy-paste the text
And what happened afterwards?
‘After a couple weeks I received an email from the Exam Board, informing me about the suspiciousness of our look-a-like answers. It was a really formal email, saying we needed to have a meeting.’
How did you feel when receiving that email?
‘I was really mad, furious. Especially at the girl, as she did not even apologize to me. She did not take any responsibility, which I think she should have taken. She was the one screwing it up big time. I decided to text her asking what she thought she was doing.’
What happened after?
‘She wanted to escape the situation by making up a big lie about it. I was really panicking, because I had no idea what was going to happen. I made it clear to her that I didn’t want to lie, since that would take the situation to a whole other level if they would find out. Unlike her, I took my responsibility by accepting the consequences.’
She wanted to escape the situation by making up a big lie about it
How was the meeting?
‘The Exam Board dealt very well with this situation. They appreciated my honesty. I think the girl was not honest, since the Exam Board was really surprised by my statement saying that I did help her.’
Did you learn from this?
‘Yes, obviously. She was not one of my close friends, but just a classmate. I would not say I trusted her fully. It also shows I should not be so nice to everyone, as this action came back right into my face. I helped her out and this got me in trouble.
What would you advice your fellow students?
‘Do not use WhatsApp as a tool to cheat. It is nothing but a distraction. Just study for the exam and use your own material instead of other’s. If you still end up in a similar situation, just be honest and take responsibility for your actions.
Rachel is not the real name of the student involved but was chosen for reasons of anonymity. Name is known to editors.