Effects of Cheating and Its Prevention
Cheating can sometimes have serious consequences, such as obtaining a failing grade, probation, suspension, and a negative mark about your conduct on permanent record. Also, the cheating student will never really learn the coursework, which puts him/her at a disadvantage over time, leading to low self-esteem. Counseling, creating an honor code, changes in question papers, strict monitoring, and severe punishments for cheating are some of the solutions to solving this problem.
Why Do Students Cheat?
Nowadays, due to greater competition, anything less than a top grade is considered tantamount to failure. A poor grade in school is enough to put a massive dent in the child's career path. Thus, the fear of a poor future brings in a belief of excelling at any cost, prompting a student to resort to cheating.
Since the academic system emphasizes more on standardized tests rather than how much an individual has actually learned, a lot of the syllabus is very cumbersome, with too much workload squeezed into each semester. Poorly explained concepts by teachers and a multitude of consecutive tests are difficult to handle. So, when a student sees that his peers are at an advantage by cheating, he/she also does the same.
Apart from peers and teachers, parents are also guilty of pressuring their child to constantly be the best. Also, since students having part-time jobs or suffering illnesses are not able to prepare well for exams, their chances for higher education or jobs is reduced, which forces them to cheat to save themselves.
Overly strict grading in tests, extremely tough exams designed to fail students, and teachers giving out an unreasonably high amount of course work during each semester, can frustrate students. Unable to cope with performance pressure, students will cheat in order to get by and complete their studies as required.
Students who are not sincere have poor attendance in class and leave their exam preparations to the last minute. With exams just a few days away, the nerves and the ramifications of failing become clear as there is not enough time for preparation. As a last resort, students look for ways to cheat and get through. When done repeatedly, cheating becomes a habit.
Often the relationship of friends and other social groups, such as fraternities, can take precedence over morals and ethics. To help out people in one's social circle is a natural response. However, it can lead to cheating by sharing what each person knows. The exam becomes a test of group knowledge rather than that of an individual's.
During an examination, students may occasionally come across unexpected opportunities to cheat. The invigilator may have left the exam hall, or was lax in his duties, or a neighboring student did not cover the paper properly. In such cases, the student might feel tempted to use this to obtain a few more marks, and thereby, gain an edge over his/her peers.
Children who see that cheating is a norm rather than the exception are likely to cheat too. Lack of enforcement of rules makes the environment of the institution friendly to cheats since no one gets caught and punished. The situation grows from bad to worse when teachers and parents openly encourage such behavior.