Exam cheating



Did you know that you can be expelled if you use texts or theories produced by others without referring to the source?

What constitutes cheating at exams?

An exam is a test at which you demonstrate your individual qualifications and skills within the framework and on the conditions laid down by the university for the relevant exam.

If you – intentionally or unintentionally – act in such a way as to improve your exam conditions compared to what was intended, you are cheating to obtain an incorrect assessment.

If you help someone else obtain an undue advantage at an exam, this also constitutes cheating.

Furthermore, attempts at cheating at exams will be dealt with in accordance with the rules regarding exam cheating, regardless of whether the attempt at cheating is successful or whether you actually intended to cheat. The rules regarding exam cheating are applicable irrespective of the type of exam.

Aarhus University has prepared a leaflet (Avoid pitfalls at exams), which provides several examples of what the university regards as cheating.

If you have any doubts about the rules regarding exam cheating, please ask your lecturer, supervisor or examiner.

Consequences of exam cheating

If you cheat or contribute to cheating at an exam, it may have serious consequences for you. Possible sanctions range from a warning to permanent expulsion from the university and are imposed on the basis of an overall assessment of the gravity of the offence in your specific case.

You can read more about the sanctions under Disciplinary measures.


§ 5.-(1) The rector may impose the following sanctions:

  • Issue of a warning
  • Cancellation of exam
  • Temporary or permanent expulsion from the university.

Professional Bachelor’s or an academy profession degree programme
If you are a student on a professional Bachelor’s degree programme or an academy profession degree programme, the consideration of the case and the imposition of sanctions will take place in accordance with the rules in the Examination Order regarding exams in post-secondary vocational degree programmes.

Rights during the case consideration process

Teaching and exam activities

Pending case
If you are party to a pending case regarding suspected exam cheating, you have the same rights as your fellow students during the period in which the case is being considered by Educational Law. This means that you are allowed to participate in teaching and exam activities at the university while the case is being considered.

In case of a sanction
If you have been reported for suspected exam cheating and a sanction is imposed, your participation in the exam may be declared invalid. During the case consideration period, you can therefore register for and participate in any reexamination, despite the fact that your case is still pending. Please note that cancellation of an exam is the least serious sanction in connection with cheating.

In case of rejection or issued warning
If the report on suspected exam cheating is rejected or if the sanction is a warning, and you have participated in reexamination in the intervening period, you will retain the highest exam result.

Registration for reexamination
If you are party to a pending case regarding suspected exam cheating and want to be registered for reexamination in the relevant course, you must contact the administration for your degree programme. Registering for reexamination in the course via the self-service system is not possible while awaiting the results of the ordinary exam.

When a sanction has been carried out
If a sanction has been imposed against you for cheating, you can, when the sanction has been carried out, continue all study-related activities on equal terms with the other students at the university. Consequently, no special measures will be taken to mitigate the circumstances, and you will not be under enhanced supervision during future exams. Cases regarding exam cheating are confidential, and the university staff is pledged to secrecy.

Procedure for handling exam cheating

Any suspicion of exam cheating will be reported to Educational Law, which handles such cases on behalf of the deans.

When a case regarding suspected exam cheating is reported to Educational Law, you as a student will be informed that your exam will not be assessed while the case is being investigated.

Therefore, any planned oral defence of an exam paper will also be postponed until a decision has been made.

When Educational Law receives a report on suspected exam cheating, all details will be assessed before it is decided whether to reject the report or to continue the consideration of the case.

If the consideration of the case continues, you as a student will receive a letter with a summary of the facts of the case. Along with this letter you will receive a copy of the report, a copy of your exam paper with the indication of where in the paper there is a suspicion of cheating and a copy of the sources. 

The purpose of the letter is to give you the opportunity to comment on the case before a decision is made. 

You as a student may at any time during the consideration of the case request a meeting, where you have the opportunity to comment on the case. The lecturer responsible for the reporting or Educational Law has the same opportunity if they find it necessary for the proceedings of the case. 

Consideration of cases
A decision will be made on the case based on the report and the subsequent meeting. The consideration of cases regarding suspected exam cheating normally takes six to eight weeks from the time Educational Law receives the report until a final decision is made.

Exam cheating is not a solution

If you are considering cheating due to personal, study-related, family-related or other reasons, don't do it. Ask for help and find another way.

Find help and contact information here:

Also visit studentwelfare.au.dk and learn more about some of your options at Aarhus University.


Test your knowledge about the rules on cheating at exams at Aarhus University.

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