Cheating in School is at an All-Time High


Written by: Emily Long, Reporter

Throughout our educational careers, students are expected to practice academic honesty. But over the years, the amount of academic dishonesty, more specifically cheating, has risen. This is due to the fact that students have more resources at their fingertips than ever before, which can make cheating easier than in years past. 

In today’s age, there are several different ways that students can go about cheating, whether it’s peering over someone’s shoulder or sharing private testing information to other students. The increase in smartphones over the years has had exponential effects on academics. Communication is much quicker than before, so information is spread around easier. 

Statistics show that cheating among high school students has risen dramatically. According to a study conducted by Stanford University, 86% of high school students have reported academic cheating at some point in their school career. The study also found that in the past, it was normally the struggling student who was found to cheat, but today above average and college bound students are found to do more cheating. 

Over time, the education system has changed. Grades seem to matter more than getting an actual education. According to the Educational Testing Service, academic dishonesty occurs the most in math and science courses, as these are proven to be the most difficult for students. Cheating has increased due to the pressure placed on students to obtain high grades. The idea of cheating begins to take place as early as elementary school. 

“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,” said Jaffe. 

According to the Educational Testing Service, two out of three students reported cheating on a test, while nine out of ten admit to copying another’s homework. 

Cheating doesn’t carry the stigma that it used to. There is less disapproval when it comes to the topic of cheating, and with an increased competition for admissions into universities, students are willing to do whatever it takes. According to the Educational Testing Service, more often than not, cheaters tend to go uncaught because students are getting sneakier when it comes to cheating. There isn’t a severe punishment for cheating anymore. A student who is caught cheating will only face a light punishment, compared to repercussions that students are supposed to face when caught cheating, such as suspension. Today, students that get caught will just fail, and then have to be monitored more closely by their teachers. 

The high amount of stress that is placed upon students is one of many factors that can lead to students resorting to cheating. Also, faculty doesn’t put as much emphasis on academic honesty as they could.  Whether it’s because of the students becoming more innovative, or because it goes unnoticed to the teacher, cheating occurs in the classroom frequently. 

According to Stanford Lecturer David L. Jaffe, 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. The cheaters are getting 100 on the exam, while the non-cheaters may only get 90s. 

Cheating is seen by many students as a means to a profitable end. Too much pressure is placed on students to get good grades, and this is causing students to go to great lengths to be academically successful. The school system is teaching students that it doesn’t matter how you do it, but having the highest GPA is the most important thing. This is taking the true importance of education away, and is only teaching students how to be deceptive, which is a trait that will carry with them as they enter adulthood.