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Cheating for good grades now, may hinder students later

By Alex Keller, ’14

We are told at a very young age cheating is bad and that in the end, doing so will only come back to hurt us. It is a golden rule that we follow, typically as first or second-graders, mostly out of fear of what ‘hurt’ truly implies. However, when we step into middle school and high school, where does that fear go?

Recently, a cheating scandal broke out at UAHS. One gutsy AP U.S. History student managed to sneak a test into his backpack. The student began to send pictures of the test to students planning on taking it later in the day.

The course is considered one of AP’s hardest which contributed to the high number of people that decided to cheat in hopes for an easy A. Even the consequences of no acquired knowledge for the future, receiving a zero or suspension were no match for the good grade.

However, maybe that is the problem. In a survey conducted by Donald McCabe, PhD, co-founder of Clemson University’s International Center for Academic Integrity, two-thirds of 14,000 undergraduates who participated admitted to cheating in high school.

However, this cheating didn’t stop there. In 2009, Ethics & Behavior (Vol. 19, No. 1) came out with a study that reported 82 percent of a sample of alumni had cheated sometime during their undergraduate experience.

Today, getting an A, or the closest to it, is the goal and the competition to be the best has increased. Except sometimes receiving an A and learning the material are two totally different things.

Students are forgetting that even though getting a good grade now may seem great, getting a D in life because you really didn’t know the material is worse.

So whether in middle school or grad school, students, you are preparing for your future. A future that won’t be sufficed by cheating scandals.

Obviously, as students ourselves, we understand that school gets hard, but as a song by Billy Ocean goes, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

So study as much as you can for those tests that seem like they may be the death of you, try to get a little sleep, and always remember to live, laugh, and actually learn.