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Stealing Exam Papers = Malpractice? watch

    • Thread Starter

    I'd like to say upfront that I do not steal examination papers, nor do I condone it; I am merely interested in a discussion on the "ethical" parameters for their argument for it being malpractice.

    The IB Vade Mecum clearly says that stealing examination papers is unethical: I totally agree, since one would be infringing copyright. However, they have said that it 'gives an unfair advantage' to those that steal them. I believe this to be utter BS. If they sell these papers via ibo.org, why would it be an unfair advantage? If a rich student can afford to pay for all the papers, whilst a poorer student can't, isn't that promoting inequality? And since they say the schools should provide practice papers, aren't they leaving a lot to chance, i.e. different schools provide different amounts of examination papers? The only way this could be an acceptable argument is if they would provide students with practice papers directly. I just think this must be one of the most hypocritical claims i've ever seen - would you justify the stealing of examination papers being thus unethical on this basis?


    (Original post by ragnar_jonsson)
    I just think this must be one of the most hypocritical claims i've ever seen - would you justify the stealing of examination papers being thus unethical on this basis?

    The IB is incredibly hypocritical.

    Too much TOK for you i think :P
    I have been convinced in my time as an IB student that the IBO have vested interests in being a business, as opposed to providing a strong global education. What befuddles me most is how their ib store is as you put it, promoting inequality. Teachers in IB schools from my experience and knowledge are not trained effectively or properly to understand the full use of past practice papers. So to leave it to the schools and punish those who seek to learn what to expect on IB exams is ludicrous. It may be wrong to steal papers, but i certainly dont see it as creating the unfair advantage.

    Interesting. I agree. Basing it on fairness is just ridiculous to begin with haha.
    Well it's not stealing if a teacher gives it to me. Finding the papers online = same difference really as far as I'm concerned. Hence, since we actually get given them in school, copyright laws can go stuff themselves. It only starts get unethical if you somehow profit from the papers, like selling them to other students.

    DEFINITELY ridiculous.

    If all of the past papers are available online, and studying from them allows us to do better, get into Uni, etc., then the IB can't do much.

    I'm sorry - they sell them online, so they'd best get over themselves. If they're non-lucrative, why are they selling us their papers? Why can't we get them free?

    Personally, I have every past paper from the last five-six years or so for Biology HL, Chemistry HL and Maths SL, as well as a couple of extras for other subjects...I also have lots of things off of question banks.

    I don't consider it stealing. They are available to me, many of them through my school, and as such I will use them.

    AND, to answer their "unfair advantage" comment...I have no problem with sharing the papers I have, and neither do any of my friends.


    What I understood from the topic is that what IB finds a malpractice is the actual act of stealing the papers = taking them from the exams... (correct me, if I am wrong) In this sense, it should be considered a malpractice as it is prohibited:
    -as far as I am concerned, you don't write on the papers itself (you get answer sheets) and you are supposed to return them afterwards
    -therefore taking one or more papers home as a souvenir would be directly violating what you're asked to do
    -therefore it is appropriately considered as a malpractice

    On the other hand, teachers are not forbidden from giving any past papers to their students. Even though the 'immoral' act is not present in here (stealing the papers), the result is the same: One that steals/gets the paper has got an advantage in their actual exams.

    Despite the result being the same, there is a major difference between those two situations. In the first one you violate a clear regulation, whereas in the second one you are only a passive receiver. The advantage itself doesn't seem to bother IB that much, the means of acquiring the advantage do. Therefore there is nothing hypocritical about considering a rules-violating way to something that can be acquired without breaking any rules mapracticial. Even if the result itself isn't a malpractice.
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