Why Students Cheat
Everyone has heard of cheating in school, and many may even take part in this activity. Academic cheating includes copying test answers, plagiarizing reports and paying someone to complete homework for you. The reasons why students cheat are varied, but many students do it. The ease of internet access, the needs to get higher grades, the acceptability of cheating, the lack of repercussions for cheating, and the lack of time or desire to complete assignments are some examples for reasons that people may cheat in college.
The internet brought the ability to quickly and efficiently transmit information on anything, from anywhere, right to our fingertips. With sites catering to students by providing pre-written reports and essays that you can purchase or download for free, it’s never been easier to plagiarize someone’s work. The temptation of being able to grab just a few lines from the Internet can be irresistible. Today’s academic system is based on ‘Grade Point Average’ or some other numerical or alphabetical representation of educational skill.
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Students may opt to cheat in various ways to give themselves an edge with their grades or to help them get better marks in a class they find difficult or are not being engaged in by the academic staff. A personal expectation of grades may also drive a student to cheat. “Grades, rather than education, have become the major focus of many students. ” (Jeffe, 2012) Another common reason why students cheat is because other students cheat. More students may end up cheating if they discover the head of the class is cheating, as it shows that people who cheat will get better grades.
Due to the lack of social reprimand and the notion that “everyone does it”, there isn’t much of an honor system regarding cheating among students. “Students who cheat often feel justified in what they are doing. They cheat because they see others cheat and they think they will be unfairly disadvantaged. “ (Jaffe, 2012) It is generally accepted that everyone cheats at some point, so it is not discouraged among peers. The way a school board decides to handle students who cheat may also contribute to cheating.
Many schools and professors do not invest the time to investigate occurrences of cheating and students continue to cheat because they can get away with it. Most teachers are aware that cheating is happening, but chose to do nothing about it. Some schools will reprimand cheaters, but the punishment is often not severe enough to discourage others from cheating. Other schools may not clearly display the rules surrounding cheating or the penalties given when a student is caught.
Many professors will now spend classes giving lectures instead of having students perform class assignments as it is considered “old fashioned”. These assignments are, instead, piled onto a student’s already overflowing workload. Students will turn to cheating to lighten the burden of homework which often takes as many hours to complete as a full-time job. The pressure to complete all of the work within the given time frame can make cheating look like a saving grace.
Whatever the reason, it is a known fact that many students cheat on their assignments. To me, this is the “easy way out” approach to school. I feel as though, if a student is paying for their education, they should be getting something out of it. Cheating your way through college may get you a degree at the end, but will not get you the education that you need for your future in your career. So the question remains-is cheating really worth it?