Our Editorial: An honest look at cheating
There is always a deadline to meet. In school, at work and in one’s personal life, the pressure to complete a task within a time period is always present. However, students may feel like this strain affects them the most. This has led to many resorting to drastic measures to maintain their grades. With finals right around the corner and stress mounting, remaining honest about grades is crucial.
Part of the problem is that grades are taking precedence over education. The desire to earn that A has turned students down the wrong path. Spending eight hours a day for 180 days a year in an environment where even schools revere good grades above all else only catalyzes the temptation.
This paired with increased competition for college admittance exacerbates the issue. Pressure can cloud a person’s judgement, leading one to cheat in order to reach desired goals.
Cheating is an age-old dilemma, but with the Internet offering access to information in seconds, it has become simpler and more frequent.
Taking pictures of tests and sharing them through social media as well as searching for previous assessments online has made it so much easier to get away with cheating. Gone are the days when students would write answers on their arms or inside of their water bottles. These methods have been replaced with more reliable ways to cheat.
According to Stanford University, 75 to 98 percent of college students admitted to cheating in high school. This directly disparages their integrity, regardless of whether it was a one-time occurrence or a repeated offence.
It is no secret that students communicate between classes after tests. While it is inevitable for students to refrain from doing so, there is a definite difference between collaboration and cheating.
Simply reviewing a unit’s topics with a peer is collaboration. It becomes plagiarism when students share specific answers. All of this has become commonplace.
Although student behavior is the root of the problem, teachers are encouraged by administrators to annually revise their assessments while catering to their specific classes.
Teachers already take measures that significantly make it more difficult for students to cheat. Some modify assessments slightly for different class periods, eliminating the possibility for students to communicate about content. Other teachers give students in the same class alternating versions of a test. If work raises suspicion, faculty are not hesitant to question students about it.
But the instant gratification of receiving a good grade through cheating only lasts for a moment.
The effects of cheating transcend beyond high school.
Students become less independent as they rely on others’ hard work. They lose vital studying skills as they don’t have to worry about memorizing the information. All of these factors lead to difficulty on any test or assignment on which the student is unable to cheat. Most importantly, students miss out on retaining information when they don’t have the discipline to spend time studying and reviewing material.
The work that teachers do to keep cheating at bay is a substantial part of limiting it. It is hard to prove a student copied and keep an eye on the entire class during a test.
In addition, teachers also have no control what goes on outside of the classroom.
This means that eliminating cheating is ultimately up to the students who participate in the dishonesty.
While cheating is appealing to many, the long-term consequences make it a poor decision. Steps teachers have taken to limit cheating has helped, and once caught, a student is less likely to try to cheat again in that class.
However, it is up to us to remain honest while taking tests and completing assignments. The satisfaction of accomplishing a goal by yourself and succeeding is better than someone else doing the work for you.
Implementing an honor code and reminding students of the ethical obligation they must uphold has been proven in the past to work in deterring cheating. But now it is up to us to mend our ways.
Besides, while you may get into the college of your dreams, you won’t stay there for long if you aren’t truly prepared.