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Do College Students Cheat?

Do College Students Cheat?

Of course, college students cheat. It would be like trying to hide an elephant in the refrigerator and pretend it does not exist if I were to say that college students don't cheat.

Cheating, unfortunately, is a part and parcel of college life. Despite the best efforts from authorities, cheating has not been completely eliminated in educational institutions. And, it is my personal belief, that as long as people desire to cheat, any form of policing tactics will have only a limited effect in stopping such people.

This article is dedicated to answering the rather important question, "Why do college students cheat?" Many times, if we know the cause for something to be effected and if we can eradicate the cause itself, then the effect may not happen. It is in this hope that I am choosing to analyze the reasons for college students to cheat.

Why do college students cheat?

There are myriad reasons as to why students cheat in college. While some are driven by circumstance others are based on the student's personality and some others are based on the teachers and yet others are based on the difficulty of the subject. I am focusing on the pressures of modern day living to find reasons for college students to cheat.

Students see cheating happening in all aspects of our lives today – Whether in politics, at home, in school, amongst friends, in business; all aspects of our lives today are browbeaten by various cheating methods. This leads students to think, "If they can do and get away, why can't I?" This is a tragic yet very valid reason.

Intense pressure to do well in life – Today, failure is treated with utter disdain and it appears that no one is getting a second chance; or so the image built up by students. Moreover, there is intense competition in the modern world and it looks as if everyone is doing everything possible to get a piece of the pie. This frustrating feeling drives many students to resort to cheating mechanisms to clear college.

Even students who get high GPA cheat – Students who do very well in college are under even more pressure to do better than before. And since they believe they are smarter than most, they think it is fine to cheat and do better. These students are very confident that they will not get caught.

Most college students want immediate gratification – In this fast-paced world, many students do not care for having to wait for desired results. Their hard work should bear fruit immediately. Cheating, thus, fits into this kind of psychology and hence is used commonly by college students.

Students are quite disconnected with unethical behavior – Downloading music from the internet is considered to be a sharing practice today. So, if something is available for you to download and print, then it is fine to do so. Many students, in fact, think it is normal to plagiarize work from the internet.

Sportspersons need a minimum GPA to be able to stay on the college team – This is another form of modern day pressures. Sportspersons usually are given scholarships or aid for their sports abilities. Yet, it is a prerequisite that they score a minimum GPA to continue to play their choice of sport. This leads to stressful situations as many are not able to cope with academics and sports. And hence they resort to cheating.

Cheating is considered normal – Cheating is so commonplace now that it is considered normal and hence if you choose not to cheat then you are considered abnormal and not part of the group or team.

Students believe that if something serves their needs then it is fine to do it – Again, this is a kind of selfish attitude that is strangely inculcated in the minds of students. Many are of the opinion that if doing something serves their immediate purpose then they ought not to be stopped from doing it.

More conventional reasons for college students to cheat

Students have not managed their time well during the semester – This is, perhaps, the most common reason for students to cheat in college. Throughout the semester, they would have either partied or socialized too much and suddenly when assignments and tests fall due, they are left with very little time to prepare and study. Cheating is the easy way out here.

Some students bite more than they can chew – Many ambitious students end up taking on more work than they can manage. They sign on for club memberships, they want to play in a sporting team, they want to be part of multiple extra-curricular activities, they want to party and socialize at will; their desires never end. Soon, realization dawns that they have signed on for too much and there is little time for academics.

Final Notes

While this article attempts to bring to light some of the reasons for college students to cheat, there are innumerable more which cannot be fitted into this small blog post. But, yes, college students do cheat and every day innovations emerge and new methods and practices are unleashed into the market.

I would like to end this blog post by saying only this: if students can be so innovative and smart to come out with new and novel cheating mechanisms by expending a lot of resources in terms of money, time, and energy, why can't they channelize these same resources into simply studying hard and doing well in college?

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