Students can easily buy exam questions, answers online: report

Students in an exam hall
Students in an exam hall. (Photo: Wavebreakmedia/DepositPhotos)

University students can easily purchase files online that contain hundreds of exam questions and answers. These files are intended for lecturers only, but are easy to buy on apps, Facebook groups and websites like Stuvia, AD reports based on its own research.

Large English-language publishers provide so-called test banks in addition to study books with their university teaching materials. These test banks contain long lists of questions and answers which lecturers can use as exercise material or as real test and exam questions. The test banks are exclusively intended for lecturers, the publishers explicitly state. But they are easily available to buy online, according to the newspaper.

At least two Dutch websites that sell summaries of English-language study books also have test banks on offer, AD writes. The students who uploaded these files explicitly state that they are useful "because the questions often appear in exams". This involves various subjects at various universities. Links to such test banks are also eagerly shared in student WhatsApp and Facebook groups. 

At the University of Amsterdam last yea, a lecturer of Business Research Management discovered that their students had access to a massive test bank which was used to help compose the exam. The exam was eventually changed.

"We don't want that, it's undesirable", a spokesperson for the Amsterdam university said to AD. "We have brought it widely to the attention of our staff. In any case, it is not the intention that lecturers use questions from the test banks for tests and exams, they should primarily see them as inspiration."

But a source at the university told AD that such questions are still being used, especially with multiple choice exams. Students writing the exams in question also score remarkably high, the source said to the newspaper. 

When asked about the test banks, website Stuvia immediately deleted the files. "This cannot be traded through us", a spokesperson said to AD. 

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