To cheat, or not to cheat

That is the question that many students ask themselves before a difficult test or quiz and apparently 35% of them have used their cell phone for that purpose, according to one survey.

This doesn’t surprise me one bit. I would say that pretty much everyone who has gone to any school has either seen or is the person that cheats on almost every test but never gets caught. I’ll admit it. I can recall back when I was in high school, glancing to another person’s paper once or twice and using a friend’s homework to finish mine because I forgot to do it the night before. It’s not something I’m proud of but I am happy to say that it was a very rare occurrence. I was not a chronic cheater. I think the guilt would’ve eaten me alive if I had cheated on anything that was of significance. By admitting that I have cheated in the past, I am in no way condoning cheating in school. I was young and stupid.

Cheating in school isn’t anything new. A Time magazine article from 1976 highlighted the issue of college students cheating. It’s just that today, technology has made the process much easier. I was watching Dr. Phil a couple of weeks ago (Don’t judge me. It’s a good show.) and his episode was devoted entirely to the problem of cheating in schools. I found the way that kids cheat these days quite mind-boggling.

The reason I bring this subject up in the first place is because of something that happened to me this morning in my economics class.

Each day in class we have a quiz at the end of the hour. We are allowed to talk to people and look up the answers but my professor made it very clear that we were not to just copy off of other people. Well, I was on the last question and before I had even read the question, a guy that I’d never talked to before leaned down and told me what the answer was. I was a bit taken aback. I awkwardly thanked him and pretended to write down the answer. After he left the room, I checked to see if he was right and he was. I turned in my paper and left but felt guilty for some reason. Technically, I didn’t cheat. We were allowed to talk to other people but I guess I just felt as if I was copying this guy’s answer and that I hadn’t earned it. Petty, I know. I still don’t know why he told me the answer. I don’t have a clue who he is. I should actually feel grateful because he was probably just trying to be nice and help a fellow student out.

I’ve yet to meet someone that says they haven’t cheated on something at one point or another but maybe that’s the problem. It’s so accepted that many people just don’t see it as a big deal. Well it is a big deal and I regret ever doing it myself. Fortunately, I never went as far as this person did and I definitely never will.


About sambates

UNK student, Mormon, Vegetarian View all posts by sambates

2 responses to “To cheat, or not to cheat

  • blumemr

    In high school I often remember kids in the class above selling their math notebooks to the kids who would be taking the class. The teacher assigned the same problems year after year and if you had a notebook you had the answers. I know however that not doing the work for yourself is not doing you any good. This girl in my class in high school was in the honor society, got good grades in class, etc., but it was because her boyfriend was smart and would share his homework with her, take the test before her and tell her the questions on the test. When it came time to take the ACT and start picking colleges, this girl couldn’t even get a high enough ACT score to get into the University system. Test Anxiety my @$$, you have to do the work yourself to get the pay off.

  • Ralph Hanson

    Nicely written piece. You do a good job of getting at what bothers you about all of this – the unearned benefit. I’ve wondered what can be done to get away from this? It’s a big issue for teachers, and a lot of extra work to give assignments that don’t lend themselves to cheating.

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