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Have you been accused of cheating in an exam?

Have you been accused of cheating in an exam?

If you have been accused of cheating in an exam then the penalties you will face are likely to be severe. All universities and colleges take cheating very seriously and if you are alleged to have gained an unfair advantage or broke any of the conduct rules of the examination then you will be asked to attend a meeting to discuss your case.

The procedures that are followed differ from university to university but typically if you are suspected of cheating in an exam you will receive a letter inviting you to attend a meeting and included within the letter will be a copy of the evidence, a copy of the exam paper and a copy of the cheating procedure.

Upon receipt of this you will normally have 14 days to state your case. Within your statement you need to:

Accept or deny the allegation
If you accept the allegation you need to explain any mitigating circumstances there might be.
If you deny the allegation, then you need to explain your position and provide an appropriate defence of your actions.

In the meeting you will be asked to explain in detail what has happened and if there are any extenuating circumstances. You also need to be mindful of the university’s policy to cheating and the code of conduct expected during examinations. This will include information about prohibited materials that shouldn’t be brought into an examination, including in pockets and pencil cases. If a student has been accused of cheating and they are found to have had prohibited materials with them, they could potentially face a penalty whether they’ve used them or not.

The typical penalty a student could face if found guilty of cheating is a zero mark for the examination with no opportunity for a re-sit. In a worse case scenario, the student could be excluded from the university course completely.

Dealing with the allegation

The whole process of being accused of cheating is a stressful one. For the student and their family it can be a humiliating and very upsetting experience and with the consequences being so severe, potential careers and aspirations can be dashed by such an allegation.

If you have been accused of cheating in an exam then it’s quite easy to become emotional about the allegation and not think straight about how you should respond. The meeting that you will attend about the allegation could make or break your future career so it’s vital that you prepare rigorously for the meeting and make sure that you can defend your case appropriately. 

If the allegations are false then you need to prepare evidence that will demonstrate why they are false. If you accept the allegations but there are mitigating circumstances as to why you behaved the way you did in the examination, you need to make sure that you can explain what these circumstances were and why they are relevant.

This is where Match Solicitors can help you. We have assisted hundreds of students who have been accused of cheating in examinations and helped them to defend their case and get penalties imposed against them reduced or removed completely.

Having professional legal assistance can help you to take the ‘emotion’ out of the allegation and help you prepare your case in a logical and well thought-out manner. Contact us now to discuss your case in confidence.

All testimonials


The service was first class and I was encouraged by the Solicitors sound knowledge of education law. Having a child with special needs is a challenge to any parent and the whole process of going to an educational tribunal can be quite daunting. Match Solicitors was able to get the job done professionally and to the highest standard and yet still retaining a very caring and human side which was very reassuring.

Mrs O Akagbosu, London

Excellent service. Will recommend Match Solicitors to friends and fellow students.

Mr Lehr, London

I found the overall service extremely professional, knowledgeable, efficient and sensitive with regard to my matter. I felt Match always kept me informed and abreast of procedures with legal explanation wherever necessary. arose I would have no hesitation in approaching Match again and would have pleasure in recommending their services to anyone in need of professional educational assistance.

Ms Noel, Middlesex