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Each day thousands of students arrive at school to expand their knowledge, and prepare for the future. Out of those thousands, hundreds have a major test that day. Some students are well prepared for that major test, however, others may have no idea they even had a test. This proposes a difficult question-Do I cheat? Even though students have had “Do not cheat” hammered in their brains since elementary school they still do not take it seriously. During my thirteen years of schooling, I have seen firsthand that plenty of students rely on cheating to pass a class. I have also witnessed teachers letting their students cheat by leaving up information on the board, or saying “As long as I don’t see anything.” This allows for bad study habits and being unprepared for college. Unfortunately, many students don’t even think about whether to cheat or not, the obvious answer to them is “yes”; while others contemplate for minutes or even hours. But, why do students cheat? There are numerous reasons. Plenty of students might have simply forgot, others were not prepared, and some were uniformed. Likewise, effects of cheating are passing, failing, or expulsion from school.
Seeing that “But I forgot” usually doesn’t pass as an excuse for most teachers, students do actually forget. However, how they forgot should be the question. Most students, especially now a day, have so many gadgets and games they are involved in, that they forget everything retaining to school as soon as they get off the bus, or out of the car. Several students go straight to the Xbox, television, Gameboy, or cell phone and stay there all afternoon. Only to remember
at twelve that night, early the next morning, or even walking into class the next day that they have a test. Then, you have students who don’t have time to play Xbox much less study. For those students a job might fill the time that they might otherwise use to study. Talking to many friends of mine whom have jobs, the average work time is from 5pm-10pm. Leaving long nights to study, no study time at all, or forgetting about a test altogether. Whether employed or not, being able to manage time is a crucial skill one will have to learn in order to defeat the urge to cheat.
Just like forgetting, many students are not prepared for a test. Due to personal experience, if a teacher says, “These notes will be online”, more than likely students will not take the time to write the notes, thinking they will go back and print off the notes. Unfortunately, this leads to students not listening when the teacher goes over the notes, and ultimately not retaining the information given. As I have done, I will forget about printing out the notes and not be as prepared as I should be for the test, leading to think about cheating or actually cheating. Many teachers offer tutoring sessions before a test. However, hardly any students go to the sessions. This is a great time to ask questions about the material being studied, and fully grasp what is on the test. As the saying goes, “I’d rather be safe than sorry.” This applies to taking advantage of everything the teacher offers. Whether being tutor sessions, or extra credit take advantage. This will pay off in the long run when you’re taking the test and you know the answers, and are confident in the material.
In addition to forgetting, and being unprepared, students also use the excuse to cheat when they were uninformed, such as being absent the class period before the test. Especially
when students get older, it is their responsibility to email the teacher, call a friend, or look online for the information they might have missed due to an absence. As I have learned being absent does not excuse you from a test. For the students who have yet to learn this lesson, cheating is way to avoid a low test grade. Even though you might have been able to pull this off during school, in the real world your boss will not be so forgiving.
For the reason some teachers are oblivious, or students are extremely sneaky cheating can be either good or bad. Cheating can be good due to the fact you might make a good grade. Anyone would want a 90 over a 30. The only way you could possibly receive a good grade, by cheating, is if the student next to you knows everything on the material. Cheating can keep your grade up and keep you from failing a class, however, don’t always rely on cheating. Cheating could possibly raise your grade or maintain it, but only if you do not get caught. People who constantly rely on cheating will never learn any material and only hurt themselves in the end.
As the result of cheating, one can also fail a test. If one cheats off a person who is just as bad off, cheating does nothing. As a matter of fact, cheating can just as well hurt ones grade. Just because you cheat, that doesn’t automatically mean you made a good grade. Regrettably, I know the feeling of making a bad grade even when peeking for a few answers.
Finally, cheating possibly could have a negative impact on your future. Getting caught in high school might only mean a warning, 0 on a test, or at worse suspension. College, however, has much more serious consequences for cheating. One can have a scholarship dropped, kicked out of school, not being able to attend another school, or have trouble getting a job. For many, scholarships are the only item allowing them to go to school, and without it they would be forced to drop out of school. Many schools, have a no tolerance policy when it comes to cheating, leaving them no choice but to kick the cheater out of the school. This will come into play when looking for another school, because no school wants a student who has been kicked out for cheating. This goes as well for a job. Every boss would choose the applicant with a clean resume rather than the applicant with “kicked out for cheating” on it. Cheating can be devastating for everyone involved.
Each day a student is pressured to make good grades and make it in this world. For some students they constantly struggle between what is morally right, or to try and make a better grade. Between forgetting, being unprepared, and not being informed cheating is an easy decision. However, I urge anyone thinking about cheating to not do it. By doing this, you are only cheating yourself. You will never know or understand any material you have to know in life. Cheating is avoidable through time management, not being lazy, and focusing on what needs to be learned. As the famous Greek playwright, Sophocles, once said, “I would prefer even to fail with honor than win by cheating.”
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