How and Why Do Students Cheat During Exams?

                        By Vic Odarve

Cheating, which has been a problem for generation in educational institutions, has increased dramatically in the past few years. It becomes a game of ‘hide and seek’ between students and teachers! How and why do students cheat require both expertise in the field and understanding of our society where we lived in.

Classroom lecture! By listening, students are not tempted to cheat during exams.

Classroom lecture! By listening, students are not tempted to cheat during exams.

Teachers need not be a secret agent or detective like James Bond to catch students cheating during exams! Classroom experiences often guide them detect and catch students cheating. There is no second thought about that. They are the experts in this field.

How do Students Cheat?

Below are the common signs students doing the cheating;

1. Students’ eyes wander to the ceiling or somewhere else instead of their own papers. They may be pretending to recall or work out the answers in their minds, but actually copying from another’s paper or sneaking in a cheat piece of scripts.

2. Hands are very busy moving or scanning a sort of paper or scripts hidden somewhere at his disposal. Palms, hands, fingers, and arms are written with codes

Exam time. No cheating!

Exam time. No cheating!

that only they could decipher. Codes related to the exams! Just like an ancient writings, they alone can interpret! Notes are sometimes on their laps or hidden under their chairs waiting for any chance to deliver!

3. Twisting their heads more often than not. Students do bend their heads and shoulders to have a good glimpse on others scripts.

Above are the classic pictures in the exam rooms. Teachers could then simply pinpoint the students who are cheating.
But one thing must be avoided…. don’t immediately suspect students to have cheated without catching them. Some students may just be nervous and twitchy, and other students might just collect the thoughts by looking upon ceiling or around the exam rooms.

Why Do Students Cheat?

The school with difference.

The school with difference.

1. Unprepared to take the exams. Most students open and study the notes only when the exam time period is near. They are running out of time to study. The toll takes in.

2. Behavioral influence. Cheating has been their way of life, whether at home or school. Some merely emulate high profile people in our society who are cheaters and get away with it unpunished. Their minds are whitewashed that cheating is normal.

3. Pressure to get good grades. Parents as well as teachers are always reminding them to obtain good grades. Others are determined to get good grades by cheating. They are lazy to stay awake all night to study.

But how far we have this problem? In biblical times, Rebekah helping her favorite son, Jacob, tricks his blind father, Isaac by having his arms covered with animal skin in imitation of Esau’s hairier body. Thus, Jacob was able to ask for and receives the blessing that should have gone to the eldest son, his brother. It is cheating in biblical time!

Today, both high and low-achieving students cheat. Students generally like to think of themselves as honest and condemned cheating; but they do cheat. They point to examples of cheaters in our government officials that tell us the standards for honesty are different these days. That is why senators, congressmen, and other lawmakers, nowadays, insist that they have not committed graft and corruption despite being indicted by the supreme court and put in jail.

Learning how students cheat and knowing this practice since time immemorial put the teachers/lecturers in a better position to control its widespread practice to our educational system. One thing is clear: The effects of cheating are detrimental both to the students and society.


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