Cellphone in your pocket during an exam

code | scenario | smart strategies | consequences

Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters

1. It shall be an offence for a student knowingly:

(b) to use or possess an unauthorized aid or aids or obtain unauthorized assistance in any academic examination or term test or in connection with any other form of academic work;

Wherever in the Code an offence is described as depending on "knowing", the offence shall likewise be deemed to have been committed if the person ought reasonably to have known. 

Scenario – Cellphone in your pocket during an exam

You are writing your final exam in Geography.  At the beginning of the exam, you were told that unauthorized aids were not permitted at desks and were told to place them with your other belongings at the front of the room. You have also seen posters around exam rooms reminding students that calculators, cell phones, and other unauthorized aids are not permitted in your exam. Since your cell phone was on silent you thought that it would not be a problem to keep it in your back pocket while you wrote the exam.  About half-way through the exam, you ask to go to the bathroom and a TA accompanies you. The TA sees the cell phone in your back pocket, asks you to hand it over, and it is confiscated.

The Issue

By failing to comply with the ban on unauthorized aids during a final exam, you may have compromised the security of the examination room.  Any student knowingly in possession of an unauthorized aid, whether it was used or not, has committed an offence under the University’s Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters, and may be sanctioned accordingly.

Smart Strategies

  • Cell phones and mobile devices; Writing tests or exams
  • When coming to write a final exam, leave your cell phone at home or at the front of the examination room with your other belongings.
  • Remember that as a student at U of T, you are responsible for ensuring that you take the appropriate steps to avoid committing an academic offence.

Range of Consequences

For a discussion of consequences see Key Consequences.