ANNAPOLIS, Md. — 18 midshipmen were separated from the Naval Academy following an investigation into the SP211 General Physics I exam that was taken primarily by second year midshipmen in December 2020.
653 midshipmen took the exam and were given written and verbal instructions that they couldn't use outside sources to complete the exam, including other websites.
The Naval Academy became aware of potential use of these outside sources through a number of sources, including post-exam discussions on an anonymous chat platform.
The superintendent immediately directed an investigation.
After reviewing thousands of pages and website browsing history it was determined that violation of the exam rules was primarily carried out by those visiting websites on their own, not with a coordinated effort.
The investigation also found that the pandemic mitigation requirements forced "a position of flexibility in exam administration".
Safeguards were employed by the physics department to prevent such cheating and instructions were clear and explicitly stated.
Officials say 105 midshipmen were identified to have likely accessed unauthorized resources and were processed through the Naval Academy’s Honor System for suspected violations of the Honor Concept.
18 midshipmen were separated from the Naval Academy.
82 midshipmen found in violation of the Honor Concept were retained in the Brigade with sanctions and entered into a five-month honor remediation program. Four midshipmen were found not in violation of the Honor Concept by the Brigade Honor Board and one is awaiting adjudication by the Brigade Honor Board.