Cheating Among College Students and How to Reduce It

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“Back in 1940, only 20 percent of college students admitted to cheating during their academic careers. Today, that number has increased to 75-98 percent.” (http:// The problem is that cheating has become so common, it has become almost impossible for schools to stop it. Most cheating starts in middle school, and then can go on past college. It’s no longer about the education, but only about the grades. Students will do whatever it takes to get an A and feel justified in doing it because they see others cheat. In their twisted logic, they believe that it would be unfair if the cheating student gets the better grade!

There are many different reasons students cheat. For example, some say the semester workload is too heavy, or that there are too many tests in one day, or even that the professor didn’t adequately explain the material. Non-academic reasons given would be those such as pressure from parents, job commitments leave little time for study, illness prevents adequate preparation, the need for a high GPA for athletic or financial aid qualification, or that good grades are needed to keep their jobs or to get into graduate school. Students will most likely cheat in classes that are required, have heavy workloads, harsh grading, or if they see others doing it.

Cheating most often occurs in science and math classes, and with college students who are engineering and business majors. Thirty-six percent of undergraduates have admitted to plagiarizing written material. To many students, cheating is perceived as a means to a beneficial end. Students are no longer cheating to pass; they are cheating to get ahead and be academically sucessful. How can college professors reduce cheating in their classes? There are several solutions. First, teachers need to focus on the structure of the classroom, learn how to prevent the many different ways to cheat on exams, and find possible other test-taking solutions....
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