End of Term is Approaching! Check out our Tips for Avoiding Use of an Unauthorized Aid

What is unauthorized aid?

  • Generally speaking, unauthorized aid refers to any means of obtaining information or potential source of information that is not allowed in the course of your academic work.
  • Possession or use of unauthorized aid can occur in an exam, test, quiz, assignment or other form of academic work. So be aware of unauthorized aid at all stages of your academic career.
  • Examples of Unauthorized Aid:
  • Having your cell phone on you during an exam or test
  • Having books or notes on your desk during an exam or test, unless allowed by the exam, such as in an open book exam
  • Having a calculator or dictionary on your during an exam or test, unless allowed by the exam
  • Copying someone else’s answers
  • Working too closely with other students on an assignment so that the end result is no longer your own work
  • Having an unauthorized aid on you is sufficient to constitute an academic offence, even if you do not use it.
  • Helping others by offering unauthorized aid or assistance is also an academic offence.

Tips for avoiding authorized aid:

  • Don’t keep your phone or other unauthorized electronic devices in your pockets. In fact, you may want to empty your pockets.
  • Only have the items you need to write the exam on your desk. Place all other belongings at the front or back of the exam room, or as instructed.
  • Only write on the scantron, booklet or scratch paper provided. Don’t use your own scratch paper or write on the desk.
  • Avoid looking around the room during an exam.
  • Don’t talk to your neighbours or even to yourself during an exam.
  • If you have questions, raise your hand and ask the invigilator or teaching assistant.
  • If you need to use the washroom during an exam, don’t talk to other students or check your cell phone even when you are outside the exam room.
  • Stop writing immediately when the exam is over.
  • Know the rules:
  • For assignments, read the course syllabus and relevant information provided concerning the assignment;
  • For exams and tests, read the instructions and warnings, usually on the cover page of your exam booklet;
  • In any circumstance, listen and read carefully and follow instructions.
  • Don’t work with other students on an assignment unless the professor has specifically authorized you to do so
  • Protect your own academic work.
  • Don’t share your assignment with other students for “reference” or “inspiration”;
  • Don’t write in unnecessarily large letters or place your exam paper in a way that others can easily see your answers.

When in doubt:

  • Ask for clarification!
  • You can ask your course instructors and college registrars and refer to other University resources if you have any questions about unauthorized aid or academic integrity in general.
  • For more detailed information online, you can check out the Academic Integrity page of the University website at https://www.academicintegrity.utoronto.ca/