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April 7, 2008 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Website meets disapproval

A website which purchases and sells old exam scripts has been criticized by University of Auckland Deputy Vice-Chancellor Raewyn Dalziel.

Dalziel has warned staff to take the website into account when preparing new exam papers.

“I want to express my own profound disappointment and concern that students at the university are prepared to undermine the standards of academic integrity and the independence of thought that we strive to promote,” Dalziel wrote in an email circulated to staff.

The student-run website, which says it takes “the guesswork out of studying,” buys exam scripts from the past two years with marks over 85 for $25 then sells them for $50.

David Crabbe, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (academic), said that while he was not aware that the site was in operation, he agreed with Dalziel, adding that buying and selling exam answers as “market commodities” was a “shady practice.”

“For a student to learn an answer off by heart is not only dishonest but also misses an opportunity to develop personal knowledge and skill,” he said.

“The large majority of students would not engage in this form of cheating against the system and themselves, but to discourage such minority practices lecturers at Victoria are advised to change their examination questions from year to year.”

The website noted that students should not download exam scripts to “steal their ideas or find a model answer,” but said that exam scripts were the intellectual property of the students who sit the exams, and “just like any other commodity, it is perfectly acceptable to buy or sell them.”

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