The Challenge of Cheating

The Challenge of Cheating


iStock 000013921124XSmall 150x150 The Challenge of CheatingStudents cheating in school has come a long way from the occasional student in my day who, being a slow reader, would copy the book fly for his book report, write an informational piece straight out of the encyclopedia because he had never really learned how to synthesize information, or steal a quick glance at another student’s paper when he was really feeling frustrated on a test. School cheating has become so common that there are websites designed to promote it and the wonders of technology have made it easier than ever. For many students, cheating in school has become such an accepted practice that it is not viewed as doing something wrong.

One of the difficulties of tackling this issue is the sense that our students have that since “everybody does it, I will be at a disadvantage if I don’t.” They just don’t buy the adage that “a cheater is really only cheating himself.” Growing up in a society where they see far too many adults cheating “the system” or other adults out of their money, property, etc. it is little wonder that cheating in school has reached epidemic proportions. Yet the bottom line is, when students resort to cheating to complete assignments or pass exams, they are limiting themselves intellectually and very possibly not performing up to their true potential.

Our technologically savvy students have taken school cheating to new heights. Completing individual homework assignments with others it not even considered taboo. Sophisticated student cheating involves internet websites with prewritten papers, accessing chat rooms to answer homework questions, sharing of answers on tests through cell phone text-messaging or other hand held electronic devises, as well as storing notes or accessing the internet through their cell phones to provide students with answers during an exam. Cheating in school has even seen students photographing the test they are taking to show to others who will be taking the test latter.

According to in their article by Kelly Wallace, High-Tech Cheating on the Rise in Schools, a national survey of 2,000 middle and high school students revealed that 35% say they have used a cell phone at least once to cheat while writing an exam and 52% stated that they have used the internet to help them cheat. The article also relates that due to the fact that that information is passed on electronically rather than face to face, many students do not view the “sharing of information” as cheating.

In an effort to combat some of the problem of school cheating, John Barrie has founded a service called which allows educators to compare students’ papers with all available literature in its database. Barry claims that 30% of the papers submitted to his site have shown significant levels of plagiarism. Other efforts to confront the issue are school wide bans of cell phones or minimally, bans on possession of a cell phone during an exam.

School administrators and educators need to take a strong stance against students cheating in schools. We can no longer afford to look the other way. Students need to be made aware that school cheating will not be tolerated. We can assist our students by instructing them in how to research and present original material, provide study guides and instruction in how best to prepare for examinations, and encourage cooperative learning where everyone participates to find solutions to queries. When our students see that we are serious about helping them to be honest with us and themselves, we will see a decrease in cheating in our schools.

3 Responses to The Challenge of Cheating

  1. Mary Bruso says:

    Switch up the materials often, and hold students whom cheat responsible. Expel students whom are caught cheating, and mark this on their permanent record. Individual’s whom learn to cheat in grade school and high school will not think twice to cheat at the college level. When college students are caught cheating, universities need to expel them, and mark this on their permanent records so they cannot just switch Universities.
    Teach student’s how to summarize, quote, and properly cite the work of others as well as previous work they submitted for other assignments. Offer incentives for reporting cheaters, reporting web-sites that offer services for cheating, and use plagiarism checkers to assure originality.
    Do you want to go to a Doctor, Lawyer, Psychologist, or other professional whom cheated to get a degree?? Think about it- integrity is NOT a joke! ZERO tolerance is a must to maintain the value of our degrees!!!! Thanks!
    Mary Bruso
    UoP Psychology Major

    • Miriam says:

      Thanks Mary for your practical suggestions. I really appreciate your point about valuing your degree. The examples that you site ( doctor, lawyer etc) are perfect examples of why there needs to be Zero tolerance for cheating and why school administrators and teachers need to take responsibility to ensure that there is no cheating allowed in our schools.

  2. since 5 years old kids are prepared to work in group, , cooperative learning etc
    then in higher classes they are alone in front of exams paper and the system will penalise them if they perform group work this time ..

    join the groups on facebook “”Education Problems “”and the group “Teachers Problems”

    christian yow sang
    teacher since 1991
    Mauritius island indian ocean .

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