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Sperber talks about how cheating has become an epidemic in large universities and how it seems ironic to cheat at a university where it’s relatively easy to receive a good grade on assignments. I disagree with Sperber on the fact that he says it’s easy to achieve a good grade. Universities such as Penn State is very difficult to get good grades all around. Of course with the right amount of studying and time put into school work it can be easy to achieve good grades, but college is about living life or experiencing life. Attempting to do both is near impossible except for the few exceptions I believe. Something has to give here. With grades being harder to achieve this is where I believe that cheating comes into play. With all the stress placed on getting good grades and having a successful life after college, the need for cheating is more prevalent. Along with university decisions, cheating has become easier and more widespread than before.
He rules out the possibility that students cheat out of desperation. I feel that this is the most common reason that students tend to cheat. When students don’t know an answer on an exam or paper, they tend to look at what others around them put as well as look things up online to help them. He also states that high grades are easy to obtain so it’s not worth the students time. I completely disagree with this statement, good grades are not easy to obtain and with all the pressure on students to get good grades it provides an even greater incentive to cheat. Schools don’t exactly help with the problem of cheating either. Universities purposely create large classrooms in order to create more revenue, but in the process create a better environment to cheat. The larger the classroom is the less people the TA’s or professors can pay attention to. Students know that since there are so many people, the chances of them getting caught is minimal. Faced with an easy decision of whether to cheat or not, many students tend to cheat. Also, saying that students cheat out of protest or resistance against the university is foolish. I can’t think of a time that I heard a students say “Oh I’m going to cheat on this exam because the university doesn’t care about us.” Maybe back in the 1900’s students with a more rebellious nature may have done that, but in the present that idea is null. The mention of off campus services that take notes to sell to students who don’t go to class or online notes of the class, was seen as cheating by a professor. In my opinion if it’s the same information that the professor provides, what’s the difference? The professor still gets paid, the student is still learning since most of it is studying material, and it shows that students do care about the class enough to purchase these notes. Lastly, the idea that students cheat for the thrill of it is moronic. What kind of students would cheat if they know the material but want to get an adrenaline rush? That makes absolutely no sense to me. There are many other ways to get a thrill other than cheating on an exam. All in all students cheat at universities because universities make bad decisions with class sizes, good grades are hard to get, out of desperation, and it’s easy to cheat. This is what I think are the most common reasons that cheating is so prevalent in our schools today.
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