Why students cheat

“Students care more about getting an A than actually learning”

Kimberly Laura, In-Depth Editor

How many times have you been asked: “What was on the test?” “Is it easy?” “What exactly do I need to study for?” Or perhaps, you were the one asking these questions.

The truth is, cheating is occurring all the time in every grade level of our school. We can’t deny this. Saying someone or yourself has never cheated is the same as saying nobody has ever lied in their entire lives. We are all guilty of it whether it be from a simple class assignment to all the answers for a midterm.

If everyone told on each other for every time we saw someone cheat, 57% of our students would be in detention.
Our teachers are not oblivious to this fact. Some teachers take a few precautions during a test or quiz to prevent cheating. A few methods are creating a small barrier between two students, turning your phone in before class starts, creating a one desk separation between two students and moving desks.

We always hear the phrase, “if you cheat, you’re only cheating yourself.” Personally, I have always disliked this phrase but it is true in some ways.

Without having any intentions of getting students in trouble, I have personally seen others go to the extreme of cheating. More commonly, I see cheating happen before class or early in the mornings. Student’s take their friends homework to copy or ask what will be on a test. People also occasionally copy off each other’s class work.

However, modern-day technology has made electronic cheating a popular method. Students acquire physical and electronic copies of a test or quiz. Students have gone as far as taking pictures of a test and sending it to their friends as it circulates around students in that class. There are group chats for just about every class with innocent and guilty moments. In a matter of minutes, a group chat can go from asking what the homework was, to asking to send someone’s completed homework. Then there are moments where pictures or answers of an entire test is sent.
For these measures of cheating, the consequences for everyone involved can be lethal.

If students know that it’s against the rules to cheat, why do students take the risk and cheat? The more direct answer is that students care more about getting an A than actually learning.

One of our jobs as students is to strive to get high grades and complete work that reflects our understanding of what we learn. Thus, we’ve created a domestic system that makes students take any drastic measures to strive for those grades. If anything, we value the polished grades that colleges will see more than we value learning. Students want a nice clean facade of an A student, without our teachers and colleges seeing what happens behind the scenes.
“You get to the point in your life where you are willing to do whatever it takes in order to maintain your GPA,” junior Katheryn Hout said.

There’s also the lack of time available to students, especially those in extracurricular activities. Somehow, our projects, homework, essays and tests happen to be due on a single day. There are numerous students who are trying to balance late hours of practice and schoolwork

How can our school expect us to be involved in clubs and sports, claiming it will help with time management while having to do homework and study for two tests the following day?

In addition to this, we have our own personal matters to deal with, family to spend time with, and students just want to rest after being in school for six hours. While stressing about all of this, we are expected to get the required 8 hours of sleep.

To save time and effort, students turn to peers for answers on homework and what will be on a test to know what to study for.

For others, cheating could be a result of laziness. Then, there are the students who cheat that have no understanding about the subject.

“I think students cheat because maybe they can’t do the work and think that the only way they can pass is by cheating,” freshman Tesabih Omer said.

By cheating, you are relying too much on others that you become dependent. There will be a time when you will be unable to rely on anyone for answers and have to depend on yourself. When that time comes, will cheaters be prepared to find the answers with their own knowledge?

I do not agree with the concept of cheating, but I can understand why some do. At the end of the day, you go home, oblivious to the material being taught, living a lie on your transcript.

Cheating should not define you as student or person. Part of our high school lives is working hard to get the grades we want. In our lives, we have to learn to not rely on others. We must work hard to get to where and what we want.
There won’t be anyone to give you the answers to neither your job nor your problems.