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Style Magazine

Cheaters Never Prosper?

Jan 29, 2010 10:29AM ● By Wendy Sipple

There’s an old saying: “Cheaters never prosper.”

But, in a study conducted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) – a national organization that focuses on research and assessment methods in education – found that 86 percent of high school students have, at some point, cheated in school. The study also stated that in the past, it may have been the struggling student who would cheat to pass, while now, the advanced college-bound student is most likely to cheat in order to get the “A.”

Getting a good grade on a test, depending on how the test is written, doesn’t even require the somewhat conspicuous looking over to a neighbor’s paper. Jessica Hill*, a college freshman from Folsom, explains, “Cell phones are huge when it comes to cheating. In Spanish my junior year, people would ask me questions via text, and I’d write back when the teacher wasn’t looking.”

In more rudimentary fashion, current Sierra College student, Nicholas Atherton* of Granite Bay describes the methods he and his friends used in high school. “The kid behind me in Geometry was one of the smartest kids in class. He would tap my foot a certain number of times for “a” or “b,” etc., on a multiple-choice test. And since all of the tests were multiple choice, it was very easy.”

However, English teacher, Diane Boyd of Roseville, has eradicated cheating in her classroom. She has designed her exams so that cheating is virtually impossible, and she places more focus on the process of learning rather than on the assessment. “I now have all essays written in class on a topic undisclosed until the day of. I stamp each page at the top before they begin, and at the bottom when they finish. Students then take it home and type it. However, both copies must be submitted so that I can ensure honesty,” Boyd explains.

Perhaps if the consequences of cheating were more severe in high school, students would be less inclined to deceive?