Guidelines for Faculty When Cheating is Suspected

If you suspect cheating during an exam...

Do not stop the student from completing the exam.

Rather, discreetly interrupt the misconduct and identify those possibly involved by recording their names; include the names of students sitting near the suspected student.

  • You can move the suspected student to a different location, but the student should be allowed to complete the examination.
  • If proctors or teaching assistants observe the cheating, they should notify the instructor of record immediately.
  • Those who observed the possible misconduct should write out their statements while the memory is fresh.
  • Any unauthorized aids used by the student (e.g., cell phone, "cheat sheet") should be immediately confiscated and kept by the instructor for submitting with the violation report.

Submit an Intent to Report

If you do not have time to proceed immediately with submitting an allegation report, then you should file an Intent to Report within 5 business days of detecting the possible integrity violation. This filing prohibits the student from withdrawing from the course during the process.

To submit an Intent to Report, complete our online form.

Gather the Documentation

Your allegation of an integrity violation should be accompanied by documentation/evidence that makes it easy for others to see the same thing that you saw and concerned you.

For example:

  • Exam Misconduct
    • if copying from a neighbor is suspected, keep the student's exam as well as the examinations of any students sitting near the student. Compare the exams and highlight anything that suggests copying occurred.
    • if using an unauthorized aid is suspected, keep the student's exam as well as the confiscated aid
    • collect statements from IAs or other Proctors who observed the alleged violation
  • Assignment Misconduct or Plagiarism
    • collect the student's original papers, assignments, or other work when plagiarism or dishonesty is suspected. 
    • download the Turnitin Report
If you have questions about appropriate or necessary documentation, contact the Academic Integrity Office at

Decide whether you'll meet with the student(s)

According to UC San Diego Policy, the Instructor can meet with the student and then submit an allegation report or submit a report directly to the Academic Integrity Office. Instructors do not have to meet with a student before reporting them to the Academic Integrity Office.

If you choose to meet with the student:

Note: when there are multiple possible involved students and you are unsure who to report, you could meet with the students before reporting or report all the students in order to allow the process to unfold fairly. Allegations made against students who turn out not to have been involved can be withdrawn.

Submit the Allegation Report

If you are reporting separate incidents involving multiple students, you will need to submit a separate Allegation Report for each incident.

However, if there are multiple students involved in a single incident, one report can be submitted including the information for all of the involved students.

Instructors can use the Instructor Report Form to report the suspected violation. All supporting documentation can be attached to that form

Instructional Assistants (i.e., Readers, Tutors, Teaching Assistants) should report the suspected violation to the instructor of record for the course, but can submit the Allegation Report on behalf of, and with the approval from, the Instructor 

Allow students to continue in the course

It's against Policy for students to withdraw. If students withdraw from a class after an academic integrity violation has been reported to the AI Office or an Intent to Report has been filed, they will be administratively re-enrolled by Academic Records.