Kitchener-Waterloo

Students won't rewrite University of Waterloo math exam following exam leak

Officials at the University of Waterloo are investigating how exam questions for a first-year math course got leaked to a third-party tutoring company.

Up to 200 students in the Math 136 course may have had access to the exam before writing it

The Social Development Lab from the University of Waterloo is trying to learn how temperament affects children's social and emotional development. (University of Waterloo)

Students who took the recent Math 136 exam at the University of Waterloo will not have to rewrite it after it was revealed parts of the exam had been leaked to a third-party tutoring company and shown to students.

"These questions were not ever meant to have been in anybody's possession other than the instructor's, so somehow the questions got leaked," the Waterloo, Ont. university's associate vice-president, academic, Mario Coniglio said.

"No students have been implicated in any sort of cheating situation at all," he said. "They may have very unknowingly participated in a tutorial session that involved questions that were illegitimately obtained."

Parts of this year's exam were used in last year's Math 136 exam. Changes have been made recently to the course as well as its prerequisite, Math 135, and the math faculty wanted to reuse a portion of that exam to assess how those changes helped students, Coniglio said.

Students could write supplementary exam

Last year's Math 136 exam was meant to be kept secret, but somehow, copies of it got out, Coniglio said.

Officials do not believe the students attending the tutoring session knew they were looking at the final exam they were about to take.

No students have been implicated in any sort of cheating situation at all.- Mario Coniglio, University of Waterloo associate vice president academic

The students will not have to rewrite the exam, he said.

Instead, the exams are being reviewed and will be compared to last year's Math 136 results. For questions students did better than expected on, those questions will be struck from the exam and the results recalculated.

Students who are concerned about their grades dropping will have the option to take a supplementary exam in the coming weeks.

'A rare sort of thing'

CBC News made several attempts to contact EasyAce Edu, the company some have said used the leaked exam in preparation courses, but did not get a response.

A post on the website Reddit claiming to be from EasyAce Edu said the tutoring company admitted to using classroom space at the university, which it is not allowed to use without permission. CBC could not verify if the account belonged to EasyAce Edu.

"However we gave our students only a few exam questions and we did try our best to help students to achieve their academic goals," the post said.

Coniglio said the 1,240 students who wrote the Math 136 exam have been made aware of what the university plans to do.

"Students were certainly concerned and we've made very explicit communications of what our strategy looks like going forward," he said, adding it is not a common occurrence.

"This is a very rare sort of thing."

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