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Students at a Newport Beach high school were caught cheating on a history exam by buying answers to the test from an online retailer, the school's principal said during a PTA meeting Wednesday.
Around 10 sophomore students from Corona del Mar High school used test banks purchased from Amazon.com which provided chapter-by-chapter answers for the exam, according to the Daily Pilot.
"If you have the test questions in advance, you're cheating," Principal Tim Bryan told the Pilot. "They altered the conditions of the test. It's a really big issue for us."
Some students even offered to sell the information to other students.
Test banks are used by teachers to make sure they write exams that properly measure student learning and they're usually only available when purchased with sets of textbooks or by teachers who have teacher identification numbers.
The cheating was discovered when a person, most likely a student, sent an anonymous note to the history teacher, the Pilot reported.
Teachers were deciding what to do next—either have the students take a new test or throw out the existing results.
180 students took the test. Parents at the PTA meeting expressed frustration any action would hurt innocent students.
"When you have a child who is taking a very difficult class, being challenged and doing well, and then find out that other kids are working the system — it's bad. It's a program fail," one parent told the Daily Pilot.
Teachers and administrators have not yet decided if the 10 students would be disciplined but were discussing the situation, making sure students know that cheating is not acceptable.
A district official notified the publishing company and the test bank was removed from Amazon.