OPINION: Why Students Resort to Cheating


High school is supposed to bring out the best of us. Or, is it the worst?

In this day and age, we are all falling under the pressures of getting good grades to impress our parents and college. Often, this leads to dishonesty and scamming to ensure that “A” — or that 89.51 percent (you know, if your teacher rounds up).

According to the Educational Testing Service (ETS), in the past 50 years the number of cheating students has risen dramatically. ETS statistics state 86 percent of high school students admit to cheating on a test, one way or another. From copying a friend’s homework or finding the answers to a test and sharing the wealth, too many us are accountable for earning scores that are not our own.

As high schoolers, we live in a world based off of academic success. Want to play a sport or join a club? Keep those grades up. Want to get a good job? Better not flunk those classes. Want to make it to that dream college? Well, if your GPA is below a 3.6, you better start looking elsewhere.

Consequently, we are pressured and manipulated so often and so intensely it seems almost detrimental that we “get” only the best grades. However, sometimes earning that “A” is out of the question. Maybe the course is too hard, or you are just having a hard time processing the information, or things move too fast. This is where learning starts to get a little obscured.

Seeing our imminent failure just over the horizon, we look to scamming to get us out of the frying pan. We side glance a few times too many at our neighbor’s paper, write on ourselves in pen, share homework answers and hide our phones in our laps. These are just a few ways we find “our success.”

Social media also plays a massive part in this phenomenon. What is available to one person now is available to all. The Internet is teeming with “How To” videos giving anyone the chance to learn new ways to dupe their teachers. Twitter is a fine example, giving those scrolling quick access to guides and pictures embedded with the latest and greatest cheating techniques.

Another key component is that many teachers are oblivious. They are not tied into their social media like many of us are and don’t see all of the ways students cheat. They are also human. They make mistakes and overlook certain things by accident. On occasion, they have caught the culprits red-handed striking fear and remorse into them. Due to this, students also have gotten better at sneaking a peek while the teacher is on the other side of the room or brazenly lying right to the teacher’s face.

As a generation, we have become excellent liars. We can look someone dead in the eye and tell them an “honest” lie, and, better yet, they buy it. We have become masters of deceit and trickery all as a way to make a final grade. This is the world we live in.

As we have grown up, we have dealt with constant pressure about our successes until driven to near breakdown. We hardly sleep, stress wracks our minds daily and the thought of getting a bad grade and ruining our future haunts us nearly every day.
So, in the face of adversity, what else is there to do than succumb to the world and fall victim to cheating to secure our fate as an adult?

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