Cheating in School: How and Why Kids Cheat


Cheating in school is a common occurrence, and also one that carries a lot of risk.

Cheating in School is Commonplace

It may seem surprising to older generations, but nowadays cheating in school is about as common as simply going. One study in recent years was even bold enough to report that 72% of high school students admitted to cheating on an exam or homework assignment.

Cheating in school has become an epidemic that administrators are scrambling to thwart, and as technology continually becomes smarter than humanity, it is an issue far from solved.

Why exactly do students cheat and is it really to their advantage? Some argue that since academia has become more challenging through various government mandates and a higher level of competition for college acceptance, students feel driven to cheat just to keep up. Others will blame cheating on a declining moral climate in our nation, where students have a dwindling conscience and no recognition for values and ethics.

Ways Students Cheat

The slip of paper under the desk is old school (no pun intended), and today's young people have moved on to more sophisticated methods of supplying themselves with the answers to quizzes and preconstruction of essays. One common method is to write the answers on pieces of clothing. Students are able to walk into class with a jacket or long shirt covering the answers, and when the test begins, they can quickly glance down to the scrawled out formulas and vocabulary found on their pants leg.

For those who aren't into destroying their fashion sense, cell phones have become another popular cheating venue. With text messaging out of control in classrooms and most cell phones now containing calculators and note space, it is easier than ever to use these communication devices for cheating. Don't know the answer? Text your best friend or significant other across the room. Forget how to find the square root? Turn the sound off of your keypad and punch in the answer on one of the world's smallest and most discreet computers.

Water bottles are even finding their way into the dishonesty arena. Many schools now confiscate water before an exam, or insist on a clear, label-free container. Students were getting so crafty at writing the answers to tests on the inside of the labels, that even the simple right to stay hydrated during a long exam has been taken away.

Tempted to Cheat

If you are a teen reading this article and you have given in to the temptation to cheat in the past or feel like you need to in the near future, consider taking a different route. Everyone has heard the phrase "cheaters never prosper", and this has never rung truer than in today's secondary institutions.

Taking a glance at someone else's paper can land you in detention or even expulsion if your teacher catches your wandering eye. In college, where students take more pride in their work, don't expect your cheating buddy to keep quiet. Many students are turned in by their classmates who noticed answer stealing during a midterm or final. Older teens in their first or second year of college have been kicked out of universities, or at the very least suspended for a term, due to their cheating ways. Even if you don't get caught, there is no guarantee the answers you are snagging are correct. If you brought them with you straight out of the textbook, cheating may be a little simpler and more of a guarantee, but the level of consequence if you get caught remains.

If you feel consistently unprepared or nervous about quizzes or tests, consider joining a study group or a tutoring session. It may not be an ideal or fun way to spend an afternoon, but missing your high school graduation due to a cheating-related punishment isn't ideal either. Consider learning some relaxation exercises if you have major nerves, or wake up a little earlier to get some studying in before school. Prepare as much as you can with flashcards, study outlines, and online research, and you will be amazed at how well you just might do!

Was this page useful?
Cheating in School: How and Why Kids Cheat