Examples of academic misconduct include cheating on exams or quizzes, plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, providing false information or excuses, misuse of course materials, intimidation/disruption, or creating the appearance of dishonesty.

  • Review the Cuesta College Student Code of Conduct each semester.
  • Always read the class syllabus and directions for exams and assignments.
  • If you are having problems or are uncertain about the rules, ask for help.
  • Start studying and working on assignments early. Students who procrastinate have less time to get help, are more stressed, and more likely to succumb to the temptation to cheat.


Exams are important, but your grade will not rely on the outcome of one exam alone. Resist the
temptation to seek an unfair advantage by cheating on exams. Remember that the possibility of getting
a few extra points isn't worth the risk of failing.

Exams in Classrooms

  • Don’t sit with friends or study partners during exams. If you have similar answers, you are more likely to be suspected of misconduct (and potentially found responsible) if you sat next to each other.
  • Make sure that all phones, notes or materials are stored away and out of sight before you receive your exam. Phones or notes that are visible constitutes academic misconduct.
  • Keep your eyes on your exam. If you need to look away, be careful not to look in the direction of another student.
  • Don’t talk to anyone about anything during an exam. If you need something, ask a proctor.
  • Cover your exam so others can’t copy from you.
  • Stop working on your exam immediately when the instructor calls time.
  • When you get an exam back, don’t make any alterations (changes or corrections) on the exam itself; make corrections on a separate sheet of paper. Do not submit an altered exam for regrading.

   Exams Taken Remotely

  • Make sure you have a reliable internet connection. Eduroam is available globally for people with an edu email/login at universities across the world. UCs, CSUs and CA community colleges are all on eduroam. If you need access to wifi, you may be able to access it at a local institution. More
    information is available at https://www.eduroam.org/.
  • Pay close attention to instructions and follow them carefully. If you are taking the exam on Canvas and are not permitted to have other applications, browsers or tabs open, don't. If you are not permitted to click outside the Canvas exam window, don't. Simply failing to follow directions is a violation, regardless of why you did so.
  • An open note/open book exam usually does not mean open internet. Be sure you know exactly what resources are and are not permitted.  
  • Ask if you aren't sure whether you are permitted to use spelling, grammar or translation applications.
  • Don't communicate with other students during your exam in any way. No talking, texting, chatting, etc.
  • Wait until after the exam window closes to go online or communicate with other students to check your answers.

Writing Papers

Avoid plagiarism. Do your best to put information in your own words and document all sources that you

  • Understand the definition of plagiarism.
    • If you copy words directly, you must use quotation marks and cite the source (including web sources).
    • If you borrow facts, statistics, graphs, pictures, etc., you must cite the source.
    • If you borrow someone else’s information or idea and don’t copy word for word, you must correctly paraphrase or summarize the information, that is, put it in your own words, and you must still cite the source.
  • Not all websites are good sources of information.
  • Ask if you aren't sure whether you are permitted to use spelling, grammar or translation applications. 
  • If you are not sure, ask the instructor for help or talk with a Student Success Center representative. Getting help from friends, online help sites, or private tutors can be risky in that you may get more help than is appropriate.
  • It’s better to turn a paper in late or not at all than to hurry at the last minute and submit work
    that is not properly written.


Students are expected to do all coursework that will be submitted for a grade independently (i.e., on their own) unless the instructor has given explicit permission for students to work with and/or get help from others. Even when an instructor allows some degree of collaboration, the instructor often limits how much or the type of help a student may give and/or receive

  • Do not work together more than the instructor allows.  
  • If you are allowed to work together, do not copy someone else’s work or allow someone else to borrow your work.
  • Do not copy answers from solution manuals, students who previously took the class, or other sources.
  • If you are not certain, ask the instructor about whether and how much you can work together.

Additional suggestions to avoid problems

  • Do not post an instructor’s materials online without the express permission of the instructor.
  • Do not make up false excuses to miss an exam or obtain an extension on an assignment.
  • Do not falsify/make up data for lab results.