Cheating: The Shortcut to Your Grade?

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Rubani Virk, Co-Managing Editor (10)

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No blood, no sweat, no tears, and cheating make an “A” for some students. For others, stress, time, and honest hard work barely make an “A”. This fact of high school life makes many want to resort to the cheap and unfair option of cheating and in effect, increase the competition level for the rest. Is this right, though? Can one be “okay” with this constant dissatisfaction among his or her peers caused solely by his or her accomplices?

It may be wrong, but according to U.S. News and World Report, “80% of ‘high-achieving’ students admit to cheating, 75% of college students admitted cheating, and almost 85% of college students said cheating was necessary to get ahead.” If college students are also cheating and considering it necessary, well, high school students should be no exception: they face pressure, grades, and an uncertain future as well. While many students believe cheating to be the only viable way of navigating high school, teachers obviously have an opposite opinion—which might be attributed to the increased amount of assignments students are burdened with today.

John H Pitman High School—like every other high school—is certainly not perfect and consists of a varied population with individuals whose principles differ from person to person. Some are perfectly okay with cheating while others experience one hundred percent disappointment in themselves after cheating. In other words, they have a strong conscience gnawing at them as they cheat. These are the students whom teachers consider ideal, yet can we really fully blame students? Who or what is responsible for pushing students down the path of a desperate need for success that compels them to cheat?

For that, I would like to blame the stress placed upon kids ranging from thirteen years to eighteen years old by colleges and their requirements. If we think about it logically, one cheats for the grade, one wants the grade for the GPA, and the colleges want your GPA. For instance, a Pitman student who admitted to cheating, explained that, “Most kids, including me, cheat to keep our grades up and because there’s too much homework. I do the ones that I know are important, but if it’s busywork, then I just copy it because, really, what’s the point of it?”

At Pitman High, in an anonymous survey, 75% of the surveyors admitted to cheating at least once in their lifetime and most of them were not proud of it. However, the majority of students agreed with my argument that if homework amounts the pressure decreased, then they would turn to cheating less often and would actually take out the time to study for a test and do their own homework. Another anonymous student declared, “There are many Pitman teachers who are extremely strict about this matter but commonly are the ones who give the most work. Yeah, cheating is wrong, but you really can’t blame the students because they’re under this constant pressure even without procrastinating.”

In all, the matter is not of finding and singling out cheaters, but of lessening the reasons for cheating. High school cheating has evolved into a serious issue and is a story with two sides, but whichever side you choose to believe, remember to consider the factors of cheating before instantly shunning a student and labeling him or her as dishonest.

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Cheating: The Shortcut to Your Grade?