cheating in college exams


Does it happen? Sure it does. It happens in any kind of exams. People can be lazy or nervous and they’re guaranteed to come from all sorts of different backgrounds with varying degrees of pressure & expectation on them, so i’d go so far as to say it’s ‘normal’ to come across cheating on the law of averages in any large group… just look at society as a whole. Government. Builders. Bankers. The kind of people that cut corners for short term self gain. Of course not all of them but since about 2008, they’re all usually tarred with the same brush.

I won’t talk about how to cheat in exams, but it would be fairly simple if you wanted to. A good cheat will never get caught and that’s why the cheats you have to worry about are probably not the guys with scrunched up pieces of paper in their pockets… that’s too obvious. Customized pens, customized rulers, customized calculators… much more creative and foolproof than stone age cheating methods.

I sit through a lot of lectures but i’d love to be sitting through this one with a clean conscience, it would be one of those ‘sit back and eat popcorn’ lectures where you can just enjoy the show and i’ve sat through one or two similar ones with a ‘who is it?’ mind frame, not ‘oh shit, it could be me’ frame of mind. I think sooner or later you’ll get burned so the risk isn’t worth it. Mind you, in a computing course it is *very* tempting to ctrl + c, ctrl + v things. Blogging has probably saved me a bit in that i’m constantly rehashing old news putting my own swing on it and that’s really what college assignments are all about.

This is a case of mass cheating. 200 students admit to it. Somebody got their hands on the test before the test took place and spread the love. As tends to happen with these things, some of these 200 couldn’t keep their mouths shut and boasted about how they nailed the exam because they’d seen it in advance.

The moral of the story if you’re a cheater, is (a) don’t share (b) don’t tell anyone. The moral of the story for the rest of us is don’t cheat. Although to me, this isn’t really cheating. It’s like seeing a wad of cash on the ground. Do you take it and run or hand it in to the cops? If you knew you’d never be caught would you take it? Can you live with that on your conscience? Maybe you’ve a ‘finders keepers’ attitude. I don’t think you should be ‘punished’ for taking the cash but it just shouldn’t be encouraged by anyone.

I feel the lecturer here should have contacted all students individually and asked them did they cheat. If they say yes, fair play to them and give them a 40, if they say no, kick them out of college completely. Because he asked the entire group as a unit, it’s too easy for people to join in with the crowd… in many ways some of those guys ‘got away’ with cheating… i.e. the people who initially got the test and spread it. They’re the ‘seeders’, the rest are just leechers.

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