Contract Cheating is where a student submits completed or partially completed work that a third party has completed for them, regardless of the relationship between the student and the third party or whether the third party is paid or unpaid.
Contract cheating can include:
- purchasing a completed or partially completed assessment task from a commercial service to submit as original work
- submitting a completed or partially completed assessment task produced by a friend, family member, student or staff member of the University
- a student arranging for another person to sit their exam
Paying a third party to complete or partly complete your assignment is wrong and may also leave you open to blackmail, extortion and scams from predatory online companies. Read about the problem 'What you need to know about ‘contract cheating'.
Go to our get help page for information about what you can do if you run into problems with contract cheating.
Tim (not his real name) is enrolled in his final year of an engineering degree. He has to complete a final year project with three other students. Each member of the group completes a separate part. To help the students the course coordinator has shared an exemplar of the task that he has used before on the course MyUni site.
Tim posts the exemplar to an online job site (where people can bid to complete work for others) together with the assessment outline which are linked to a google drive account. He doesn’t use his real name. Someone tries to open the link but it is broken and they write to Tim to let him know and he sends them the link to his googledrive. Without realising it this has also revealed his University of Adelaide email address.
Someone else who is using the site alerts Tim’s teacher that a University of Adelaide student has posted a job to the site requesting someone to complete the project work and write up the thesis.
The AIO contacted Tim to notify him of the allegation of academic misconduct and invited him to make a written submission and attend a meeting. Tim realised that the AIO had strong evidence of what had happened and in his written submission he admitted what had happened. At the meeting the AIO showed Tim additional evidence of the cheating and Tim admitted that in fact there was more to the story. He was permitted to revise his written submission and the AIO took this into account in the final decision about the outcome and penalty.
Tim did not have a previous record in the Academic Integrity Register.
The AIO found that Tim had breached the policy (contract cheating) with no genuine misunderstanding and he failed the course. His name was added to the Academic Integrity Register.
Seen something suspicious?
Some websites or services may advertise "homework help", or offer to complete your assignments for you. This is contact cheating. Providing or promoting contract cheating services is illegal in Australia.
Using contract cheating services is a breach of the Academic Integrity Policy.
Here is some advice to help you identify and avoid these services:
- Do not use any service that offers to provide answers or complete your work for you.
- Never share your work online, as it may be sold by cheating services to other students. This includes assignments and notes.
- When you click on a link, always check the URL to ensure that you have been taken to the correct site. Advice for students: Always check the link you click.
- Some cheating services may seek to employ students to promote their services online or even on campus, but there is a risk that students employed to promote a cheating service could face criminal penalties if the website is found to be breaking Australian law. If you are offered a job to promote a service, speak to the University first to determine if the company is permitted to operate on campus.
- If you see an advert for a suspicious website either on campus or online, report it to us. Let us know when and where you saw the advert, and we will investigate.
Some cheating sites may look like legitimate tutoring or study sites, so you need to be careful. If you are unsure, head to the University's Writing Centre or the Maths Learning Centre for free support from our team of experts.