Tuesday, December 12, 2017
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Academic Success and Cheating


Source: Huffington Post

Have you ever thought about your academic goals- what you want to set yourself up for in the future? Whether you want to achieve mastery or slide past a class? These are all questions that can reveal a lot about someone’s academic success, however, these questions cannot dictate anyone’s future, and there is a significant reason why.

Tests are stressful, and many students believe that tests are the baseline of their future and ultimately the dictator of their wellbeing. But you can’t blame them. Starting from elementary school, students are given tests to supposedly decide which classes “suit” them best. This makes them feel obliged to do well as they do not want to disappoint their family or themselves. These effects slowly increase as they age into adulthood because they have a better understanding of the importance of grades and education as they lean more towards independence.

Most students have a decent understanding of morality, but when it comes to tests, the urge to break them can be overwhelming. They understand the importance of doing well on specific tests. Tests that are often emphasized of extreme importance by teachers and relatives. Either this or they do not want to be shunned by their parents or peers for doing poorly. These lead many students to end up cheating on exams. According to The Education Testing Service, up to 98% of High School students have admitted to cheating on some sort of test.

This percentage has increased exponentially since before. This is because in the modern age, job availability is predicted to drop under the rising population. This creates more competition for each job ultimately setting higher standards than before. What this has done is that it caused kids to prioritize grades over education. The first thing on their minds is what score they will get.

Some students don’t believe in the problem with cheating. They believe that it only effects themselves while cheating in itself takes effort and deserves credit. However, cheating creates an unfair comparison between students who have put in hours of effort with those who have not. This will encourage even some overachievers to cheat as well, as they don’t want to fall behind anyone else.

Students have also gone to the extent of hacking into digital grading systems. They would do this to change their grades to anything they would desire. They claim that “it became so much easier to change [their] grades than going to class and working real hard.” As most schools do not have very sophisticated cybersecurity networks, it wouldn’t be difficult for experienced hackers to hack into school files. This has caused some to rely on hacking rather than studying. And this does not only happen at lower end schools, students from various, venerable institutes have been caught changing their grades. For example, students from Miami University and Florida International University were reported to have changed their grades along with their peer’s while also selling answers on upcoming tests for 150 dollars.

However, this is a minimal issue compared to mass-cheating that occurred in Bihar, India. In a school, police officials surrounding the proximity were bribed by parents that were willing to climb the walls of the school to deliver cheat sheets. The families were worried of what may happen to them if the students were to fail. However, this type of cheating is very organized and prepared, the cheat sheets were passed around to almost every student in class, allowing for everyone to do well, while the test inspectors watched hazily over them. These students’ cheat to allow themselves a continued education, which is scarce in the poor regions of Bihar. However, they still wouldn’t be able to contribute effectively in a workplace if they never understand the content taught to them.

There are many solutions to these problems that are leading to unfair outcomes between hardworking and negligent students. The mass-cheating can be prevented through government funding, the stress from tests can be stopped by creating a new system that highlights interactive class activities instead of emphasizing tests and digital hackers can be stopped through reinforced security systems. These changes will all lead to a more collaborative and systematic future as students willing to put in their time and effort will be able to excel while undedicated students will end up with what they deserve.

 

Sources:

http://www.glass-castle.com/clients/www-nocheatingorg/adcouncil/research/cheatingfactsheet.html

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2005/february23/cheat-022305.html

http://theconversation.com/students-cheat-for-good-grades-why-not-make-the-classroom-about-learning-and-not-testing-39556

http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/20/asia/india-cheating-parents-school-tests/index.html

https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2015/08/06/tutor-gets-a-year-in-jail-for-hacking-his-students-grades/

http://nypost.com/2015/02/27/cyber-hacking-si-student-changed-grades-from-his-smartphone-cops/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/05/student-hacking_n_4907344.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/08/education/studies-show-more-students-cheat-even-high-achievers.html

https://www.csusm.edu/dos/studres/wwwc.html