Cheating a Road to Nowhere

As most students now, cheating is, in most cases easier than actually studying for a test. But what does any student really gain out of cheating? Cheating has become more and more prominent at the cost of learning. Cheating leaves a deeper scar than just a slap on the wrist; it hurts one’s character and future.

Many students will defend those who cheat. There always seems to be a reason for cheating instead of simply studying.

“Some might have forgotten about the test, not felt comfortable about the material or have thought that the person near them had a better answer,” freshman Lauren Peterson said.

Others feel strongly that it is because of their lack of personal work ethic.

“I think cheating is one of those desperate measures that people justify because they believe that they are capable of learning the material if only they had the time and willpower,” an anonymous senior said.

Cheating is almost always easier than studying or actually doing the work. It has become an almost universal way of doing homework. To one student, cheating was seen as just a fact of life.

“There is no such thing as cheating, there is only being resourceful,” the student said.

However, the process cripples the ability of the student to retain information. Whether the student accepts it or not, cheating will ultimately leave them in the dark room of ignorance. Besides giving an opportunity to cut through pointless busy work, cheating will come to bite back at the end of the semester with a lapse in memory for the final.

Yet teachers take little head of the issue, Teachers know that cheating is widespread among students.

“There is plagiarism of papers and other written works, either from fellow students or from Internet sources,” Film Analysis and English teacher Galen Rosenberg said. “I catch that kind of plagiarism five or six times a year.”

Few teachers really comprehend the scale at which cheating occurs at our school. According to poll results collected by The Talon a resounding 45 percent of students admitted to lying directly to their teachers. Students have been able to cheat the system with little or no consequence in many cases, causing many to choose cheating rather than learning.

“If you studied for hours to do well on a test when you could have just written notes on your arm and gotten a better grade, then you’ve probably wasted your time,” an anonymous sophomore said.

Most students are in their classes for the grade. There is a lack of motivation to take knowledge gained in class and apply it. A student may feel that learning how to rationalize the denominator of an irrational algebraic expression is pointless. And this leads to the problem of simply not caring about the subject matter.

“People cheat for various reasons, some of which are more obvious than others such as didn’t prepare, material is too difficult, want to to see if they can get away with it, are over scheduled, etc., but the one that concerns me the most is the pressure to be perfect,” history teacher DeeDee Pearce said. “This concerns me because then school isn’t about learning, it’s about the points.”

But the fact of the matter is that while the subject may not apply to the life of the student directly, it is the comprehension and critical thinking stimulated by the subject that truly benefits the student. All the busy work, homework, quizzes, tests and projects are all for the advancement of the student’s ability to succeed.

“School has become about getting grades rather than learning anything,” math teacher Carol Evans said. “It is much easier to get a grade by cheating than by hard work. In the process you learn nothing.”

Sadly, a student who makes cheating a habit will find themselves sitting in a lecture hall of a college, with a broken pencil and a blank look on their face. It is not a matter of compromised morals; it is a matter of looking like an idiot in the future.