Using answer-providing sites such as Chegg on a marked assessment

code | scenario | smart strategies | consequences

Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters 

1. It shall be an offence for a student knowingly: 

(b) to use or possess an unauthorized aid or aids or obtain unauthorized assistance in any academic examination or term test or in connection with any other form of academic work; 

Wherever in the Code an offence is described as depending on “knowing”, the offence shall likewise be deemed to have been committed if the person ought reasonably to have known. 

Scenario – Using Chegg or other answer-generating websites to complete a marked assignment 

You have a ton of homework one night, and don’t turn to your Math problem set until 1am.  You just can’t stay awake any longer, so you send your problem set questions to the website Chegg.  When you wake up in the morning, the answers have been provided by the website. You copy out all of the answers provided by Chegg into your problem set and hand it in at 9am.  

The Issue 

By using the answers provided by an answer-generating website, you have knowingly used an unauthorized aid on your problem set.  Any student using an unauthorized aid has committed an offence under the University’s Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters and may therefore receive an academic sanction. 

The University expects students to complete marked assignments on their own, without any outside assistance from another person, tutor, or technology tool, unless otherwise specified by your instructor.  

Beyond these principled reasons, you should also be aware that Chegg and other answer-generating tools often provide answers that are incorrect, and written in a manner that you were not taught in class.  Other students might also have used the answers that you sent to Chegg and that were then posted online, and you may then have the same oddly-incorrect answers as your classmates. Your answers will then quickly be flagged by instructors.  You should also know that most STEM instructors are well aware of Chegg and similar websites, and check those websites to see if their assignments have been posted before they begin marking.    

Submitting questions to Chegg, and using answers that have been provided on Chegg, are both forms of unauthorized aid. Even if you didn’t submit the question to the site, the fact that you used the answer that Chegg provided online is likely to be noticed by your instructor, and is considered use of an unauthorized aid.

Smart Strategies 

  • Plan ahead so that you have time to work on your assignments yourself, and so that you actually learn from the assignment and course. After all, that’s why you came to university, isn’t it? Work with an academic success advisor or attend a workshop on time management skills, and start planning your timeline for preparing your assignments at the beginning of the term.  Alternatively, you can always ask your instructor for an extension or submit the assignment a day late. A small late penalty is always better than a sanction for academic misconduct.
  • Remember that as a student at U of T, you are responsible for ensuring that you take the appropriate steps to avoid committing an academic offence. 

Range of Consequences 

For a discussion of consequences see Key Consequences