Cheating on Exams

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CHAPTER ONE
Background and Rationale of the Study
1.1 Background
Cheating on exams has become a popular phenomenon all over the world regardless of the levels of development. For instance, Baerthlein (2008), from Germany, described that over the past decade, cheating has become more and more common as an act of academic dishonesty. Referring to the latest statistics she expressed her concern on the alarming rate as more than two thirds of high school students admitted cheating on an exam last year. The same trend was documented in Belarusia, Venezuela, Thailand and Colombia. Cheating is not done only by academically poor students. According to Baerthlein (2008) even more appalling often the best students cheat to get to the top of their class and they don't think it is wrong. "Students say cheating is not a big deal; everybody is doing it", she said. Of course it is a big deal! Cheating is basically wrong and must be punished. If students easily get away with it, they might be encouraged to do it again. They won't realize that this, in the broadest sense, is an attack on our society, which is based on values like honesty and fairness. The present epidemic of cheating indicates a loss of those values and cannot be tolerated. It is a serious problem of schools almost at all levels. Likewise, it is also the common practice observed in Addis Ababa university commerce collage. We practically observe that the trend of cheating on exams seems rising from time to time. There was almost no time where invigilators didn’t get into conflict with students during exams. A series invigilator taking watchful action may minimize the degree of the climax. However, cheating seems inevitable even under such a condition. The academic dishonesty of cheating is not unanimously being condemned, like that of conducting corruption, within in the students and the society as well. Cheating is carried out through voluntary agreements of actors in taking risks of loosing grades if caught. The one who gave answers consider his/her plagiarizing act as a simple support. Hence the current situation

entertains cheating like one of the tool to get success. Botero (2008) form Colombia revealed the fact that perhaps once in a life time each one of us has lived this kind of situation and has cheated without looking at the consequences of this act. Botero (2008) added that everybody should be taught not to cheat from the school days because the problem is that most of the time it is not a matter of once in a life time. If you are successful the first time, the most probable thing is that you will repeat the act; and if you are doing this very often, it could bring serious consequences in both the short and the long term. In the short term, maybe you won't be caught, and you will get good grades without studying, which sounds fantastic, but you are wasting your time and your money trying to "learn" by cheating. It is not such a good method. With the rising trend, the types of cheating are advancing. Sandy and Peters (1997-2008) documented that some students use all kinds of cheating techniques, from copying answers from another student to using sophisticated technology. We observe the same reality also in Adama University. The types of teaching that prevails here include: Taking short notes into the examination rooms, copying from students, Whispering with their friends or working collaboratively, Writing on their body parts, desk, and walls, Putting formulas at the back of calculators and using cell phone (SMS). However, it is known that all types of exams are not equally susceptible to cheating. Workout and open ended questions are less exposed for the problem. But other types of exam like choose, matching, and true and false are easier to see or transfer from/for the nearby friends. With regard to the penalty for cheaters, the senate legislation of the University precisely express the measure ought to be taken for both mid...
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