Frequently Asked Questions
- Who can use these tutorials and tests? Are they free?
- I can't register. Where's the e-mail for completing my registration?
- I can't pass the test. I've tried over and over and I keep failing. What can I do? Why don't you tell me the correct answers?
- I passed the test, but I never received my Certificate in my e-mail. Or I lost my Certificate. How can I get my Certificate?
- I try to login with my e-mail address, but it won't accept my password. What can I do?
- I get an error message when trying to watch the videos. How can I see the videos?
- I passed the test, but I don't remember which e-mail I used at registration. How can I retrieve my Certificate?
- I know my Test ID or I have just logged in. How can I get my Certificate?
- I passed the test. Did I answer all 10 questions correctly?
- My instructor requires me to pass the "expert level" test. Where is it?
- I previously passed a Certification Test, but my instructor wants me to pass a new test. How can I do this?
- I originally registered for a Graduate Test. How can I take an Undergraduate Test (or vice-versa)?
- I passed a test, but my name or e-mail address is incorrect on my Certificate. What can I do?
- Why must I answer at least 9 questions correctly in order to pass?
- When I try to take a test or retrieve my Certificate, it says, "Invalid attempt to access..." or "Invalid referral from an unauthorized source..." What's wrong?
- I answered all the questions, but it says I did not answer enough questions correctly to pass. Why?
Who can use these tutorials and tests? Are they free?
Our primary target audience is university students and advanced high school students. Between 2016 and 2018, over 545,000 people from 191 countries worldwide registered to take Certification Tests.
About 76 percent of registrants report that they are between 18 and 30 years old. Younger people can also benefit if their reading skills are sufficient to understand the explanations and feedback in English. Approximately 10 percent of our registered users are between ages 14 and 17. Older people can benefit as well: 14 percent are over 30 years old.
About 88 percent of registrants do pass a Certification Test. They are 3 to 5 times more likely to pass after engaging successfully with our instruction and practice tests.
I can't register. Where's the e-mail for completing my registration?
The most common reason you did not receive e-mail to activate your registration is that you made an error when typing your e-mail address. This happens in 1 out of 17 attempts. What to do? Register again with your correct e-mail address.
Your e-mail address is correct, but the confirmation message is not in your Inbox. Rather it ends up in your Spam or Junk folder because the e-mail comes from an automated source. Look in your Spam and Junk folders for a message from firstname.lastname@example.org (IU Plagiarism Tutorials and Tests).
Your e-mail address is correct, but the confirmation message never made it to your e-mail account. Your school or university may have blocked the message because it appears to be spam. Try registering with an e-mail address that is NOT your school or university address, such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo!, etc.
Your e-mail address is correct, but your service provider's e-mail system is slow to respond, or your e-mail app does not check for new mail frequently. Try refreshing your Inbox. Wait a few minutes and try refreshing your Inbox again. Try getting new mail in your e-mail app.
You can only register your e-mail address one time. If you discover that you can't register because your e-mail address is already registered or your password does not work, then
I can't pass the test. I've tried over and over and I keep failing. What can I do? Why don't you tell me the correct answers?
Our best advice is to learn from the new tutorials about your mistakes or misunderstanding of plagiarism. Undergraduate and advanced high school students are 3 times more likely to pass a Certification Test, if first they successfully do most or all of the tutorials. Master's and doctoral students are 5 times more likely to pass, if they complete the tutorials first. Students who do not complete the tutorials and practice tests are between 90 and 95 percent likely to fail their first Certification Test. See research on this.
We do not provide correct answers to Certification Test questions because doing that in the past led to rote memorization and cheating. Prior to 2013, instructors complained that Certificates did not validly indicate that their students had learned to recognize plagiarism.
Consequently, we created new, very large test question pools and no longer provide correct answers (see history of changes). We designed new practice tests which do provide correct answers to questions missed, and we developed new, more effective instruction. After we made these improvements, instructors stopped complaining about widespread cheating. In the first 3 years after the changes, students viewed over 48 million pages of interactive instruction, and over 441,000 passed a Certification Test. The most frequently viewed pages are tutorial practice test questions with explanatory feedback on incorrect answers, tests themselves, feedback on test results, test hints, and tutorial instruction.
In addition to learning from the tutorials, take a significant break and get some rest before attempting further tests. Fatigue and lack of attention to detail can be obstacles to passing a test, even when you can recognize kinds of plagiarism and non-plagiarism.
I passed the test, but I never received my Certificate in my e-mail. Or I lost my Certificate. How can I get my Certificate?
You can retrieve your Certificate here.
I try to login with my e-mail address, but it won't accept my password. What can I do?
I get an error message when trying to watch the videos. How can I see the videos?
I passed the test, but I don't remember which e-mail I used at registration. How can I retrieve my Certificate?
Search your e-mail accounts for "certificate" or "plagiarism" or "Test ID". If you can find the Certificate that was mailed to you, then login with that e-mail address. Or, you can validate it by using the unique Test ID and one other piece of information from the Certificate (and so can your instructor).
Otherwise, login (first register if necessary) and take another test and pass it again.
We do not have resources to retrieve your lost Certificate, and we routinely ignore such requests. We will not directly e-mail your Certificate; it can only be retrieved by someone who can properly validate it (that is, you, or your instructor if you provide her or him with the right info).
I know my Test ID or I have just logged in. How can I get my Certificate?
If you have not passed a Certification Test, knowing the Test ID will not help. Nor will logging in without passing a test. You need to login and pass a Certification Test to earn a Certificate. If you have passed, you can login and retrieve and validate your Certificate.
I passed the test. Did I answer all 10 questions correctly?
To pass a current Certification Test, you must answer at least 9 out of 10 questions correctly. The Certificate no longer indicates the number correct. As stated above, we no longer provide correct answers, because in the past this led to rote memorization and cheating via answer keys.
Some instructors may still require that their students answer all questions correctly. This expectation is no longer reasonable under the current testing situation. You can provide your instructor with the link to this FAQ page: https://www.indiana.edu/~academy/firstPrinciples/faq.html.
My instructor requires me to pass the "expert level" test. Where is it?
We do not offer an "expert level" test. Both types of our Certification Tests provide a mix of questions at the "novice level" through "expert level". We provide an easier test for undergraduate college and advanced high school students and a harder test for graduate students (master's and doctoral level). The test questions for graduate students are typically more difficult--meaning they are answered correctly less often when compared with questions for undergrads and advanced high school students. Plagiarism is more subtle and sneaky, and harder to detect in most questions for graduate students.
I previously passed a Certification Test, but my instructor wants me to pass a new test. How can I do this?
Go to 'Take Certification Tests'. Then click on either the button for Undergraduate and Advanced High School Students or the button for Master's and Doctoral Students. You should already be registered. Just login by entering the e-mail address used previously and the password you created. If you registered before December 16, 2018, you will need to reset your password (click on the "Stuck? ..." link on the login page).
After you login and pass a new test, you will be able to obtain a new, current Certificate, which can be further validated by your instructor.
I originally registered for a Graduate Test. How can I take an Undergraduate Test (or vice-versa)?
Go to 'Take Certification Tests'. Then click on the button for the kind of test you want to take. Login with the e-mail address you previously registered and the password you created. If you cannot login, click on the "Stuck? ..." link for options.
Your Certificate will indicate which kind of test you passed, which can be further validated by your instructor by entering the unique Test ID (you can do this too). Each time you pass a test, it will have a unique Test ID and its associated Certificate. If you validate your Certificate by logging in with your e-mail address and password, the most recent Certificate will be retrieved.
In summary, once you have registered, you can take either kind of Certification Test by clicking on the appropriate button. If you pass, your Certificate will indicate which test you took.
I passed a test, but my name or e-mail address is incorrect on my Certificate. What can I do?
As a matter of policy, we will not change the name or e-mail address that you typed when you registered to take a test. What to do? Register again with a different e-mail address, and be sure to spell your name correctly. Once you have confirmed your new registration, then take and pass a new test. Your new Certificate will include the new name and e-mail address you supplied.
Why must I answer at least 9 questions correctly in order to pass?
Our research has shown that when 10 questions are selected at random from our item inventories, someone who answers at least 9 questions correctly is highly likely to pass other tests of 10 questions selected at random. Someone who answers less than 9 questions out of 10 is very likely not able to recognize different forms of plagiarism from non-plagiarism. Usually this means they are missing something important. That is why feedback after a failed test provides links to the kinds of mistakes being made. See patterns of plagiarism.
When I try to take a test or retrieve my Certificate, it says, "Invalid attempt to access..." or "Invalid referral from an unauthorized source..." What's wrong?
This message means that you are not accessing our website properly. Go to Take Certification Tests and click on the button for the appropriate age group. Login, and then you'll be provided with a new test each time.
If you have passed a test and want to access your Certificate, go to Retrieve and Validate Certificates.
If you have not registered to take a test, then go to Register for Certification Tests.
I answered all the questions, but it says I did not answer enough questions correctly to pass. Why?
You answered 2 or more questions incorrectly. In other words, your answers to 2 or more questions were wrong. This means that you probably misunderstand one or more important details about plagiarism as defined here, or you failed to notice essential details in questions you answered incorrectly (including crucial elements which may be absent in the student version). Read each question carefully, and do not hurry. Some questions may look similar to others, but actually differ in small but signficant details from one test to the next. Note further, if the student version contains both word-for-word and paraphrasing plagiarism, the correct answer is word-for-word.
You must answer 9 or more questions correctly in order to pass a Certification Test. Before you take more Certification Tests, try our tutorials and complete the 5 levels of practice tests by answering all questions correctly (especially the Advanced and Expert Levels). If you do, you will be much more likely to pass.