The Cheating Game


Grace Basham, Sophomore Staff Writer

The act of students cheating in school is not something new.  At one time or another, most high-schoolers do it, and if they say they don’t, then they’re probably lying. According to an online source: “Today, 75%–98% of college students admit to having cheated in high school.” But sources state that much of this cheating occurs much earlier:  “Research about cheating among middle school children (Ages 12-14) has shown that: There is increased motivation to cheat because there is more emphasis on grades; Even those students who say it is wrong, cheat; If the goal is to get a good grade, they will cheat.”

Yes, most people cheat because they don’t want to get a bad grade; however, other students cheat because they don’t have the time to study or are too lazy. I asked eight students if they have ever cheated on a test, and seven out of the eight said that they have cheated, and the one person who didn’t cheat on a test did admit to cheating on a homework assignment.

The responses to the question: “Have you ever cheated on a test?” were mostly similar. Some say that cheating helped them get a good grade or pass a class. “Cheating has helped me pass multiple classes throughout high school,” and “I wanted to get a good grade on the test, and I did,” were two typical responses of those who cheat to get ahead in class.  Others however say that teachers give out too much work to make time to study or that they were just simply unprepared. Whatever the reason, the increasing trend doesn’t seem to be going away. 

The ways students cheat are also endless–cell phones are often the most popular method, which is why many teachers collect cells from their students  before a major test or exam. Still, attempts continue. Some creative students paint the answers on their nails or make notecards to look at underneath the desk. Most teachers can catch cheating because students use methods that people have used for years. Girls may wear dresses or skirts and then write the answers on their legs, so they can lift up the bottom of the fabric to see what they wrote. Then when a teacher suspects that the student is cheating, he or she feels uncomfortable asking the student to lift up her skirt.  Other students use the tried and true method of writing answers on the inside of a water bottle wrapper. There are one million and one videos teaching children how to cheat.

Teachers don’t tolerate cheating either. Hubbard High School’s cheating policy is that if a student cheats, he or she will receive a zero for the assignment or test, and a letter will be sent home and then added to the student’s permanent record. The second violation in a subject results in an “F” in the course and credit for the course may not be given. If the student is a member of the National Honor Society, he or she may be referred to the NHS Central Board for possible exclusion. Ms. Mary Davis, a social studies teacher states, “Cheating is like lying, and I hate lying so don’t be a cheater and a liar.” 

Cheating is something that many students do that can have severe consequences. Students don’t realize how cheating can affect their future. This tendency can lead to the temptation to take other shortcuts in life–shortcuts that can have serious ramifications. Cheating is simply  a bad habit for those who want the grade, for whatever reason, but don’t want to actually put in the work to get it. The only way to learn something and maintain a sense of integrity is to thoroughly study the material.