Study: Honor students more likely to cheat

A study released by the University of California, Berkeley reports that some students are risking their academic standings by cheating in order to remain competitive candidates for career prospects and admission into graduate schools.

It’s midterm time again, and students across campus preparing for their mid-semester exams are feeling the pressure to perform well.

The stakes are high for some, with course grades, graduation and possible career prospects riding on the outcome of these tests.

According to a study conducted by the University of California, Berkeley, between 40 percent and 70 percent of college students admit to cheating.

There has also been a shift in who is doing the cheating. Previously, struggling students were believed to make up the group more likely to commit academic dishonestly. Now honor students and others with higher GPAs make up the greater percentage likely to cheat, according to the study.

This change comes from the rise in pressure to perform well and maintain grades needed for post-undergraduate life.

“In the end, [cheating] does matter. When we all graduate from college or if we apply to graduate school, we are competing with other students for a job or admissions,” junior psychology major Gulnaz Khan said. “I would rather that job or place in graduate school go to the person who earned their grades by working hard, not the person who only did well because they cheated.”

Temple’s Student Rights and Responsibilities Bulletin states that academic cheating encompasses all acts in which an individual takes credit for any work that is not their own. It ranges from copying another student’s test to sharing answers on take-home assignments.

More students cheat on homework than exams like midterms.

“There’s so much pressure…and no resources in front of you. It makes it harder and more challenging,” junior kinesiology major Sameer Kapoor.

Because course credit and graduation depend on passing grades, many students succumb to the pressure.

Temple’s academic honesty policy allows professors to deal with individual students who have been caught cheating. Most professors include in their course syllabi the consequences for cheating in their classes. Typically, professors have zero tolerance for cheating and fail students who are in violation.

In more serious instances, the student is reported to the University Disciplinary Committee. In the most severe instances, cheating could lead to expulsion from the University.

Caitlin Berry can be reached at c.berry@temple.edu.

4 Comments

  1. I’m a honor student and I do cheat sometimes.Mostly on homework but never exams.There’s so much pressure and sometimes you just have to find the easy way out.

    • That’s very telling about why students like you cheat. It’s not that you have trouble understanding the curriculum, you’re being given too much work. Even for an honor student.

    • I agree with you, Kay. I am an honors student and I find myself cheating by copying someone else’s homework or even doing my homework during class. It isn’t because I don’t understand the curriculum, but simply because I have so much other homework from my other classes which might have given me larger assignments for the night. So, like any good student, I have to prioritize and complete my work in the order of the most important to least important assignments. By the time I complete the most important assignments, I don’t have time to complete the smaller assignments, which leaves me with no other option than to copy from a friend. Another factor that contributes to me having to copy from a friend is extracurricular activities I am involved in. It is impossible to complete all of my work, participate in activities, and go to bed at a reasonable hour on a school night.

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