Sunday, November 11, 2012

Academic Cheating Bilks the Test of Time. From

By Janice Vega

Emma stares at the biology test on her desk. Some of the material looks familiar but when most of it doesn’t, anxiety sets in. She looks up at her professor to make sure she’s not paying attention. She’s not. Emma sneakily reaches for her phone, gives her professor one more glance to confirm she’s in the clear then glances back at her phone for the test material she saved in there the night before. Careful not to make it obvious, she writes down all the correct answers. While most of her classmates rack their brains to complete the exam, Emma confidently breezes through it.

The act of cheating is a scenario that unfolds in classrooms everywhere, and in the world of academics cheating is nothing new. Like Emma, many students have found and continue to find easier and faster ways to get the grade.

Earlier this year, a group of 125 undergraduate students in a Harvard University class cheated by allegedly collaborating on a take-home final exam. The accusations launched the largest mass-cheating investigation the University has had in recent years and sparked conversation about academic dishonesty in higher education across the country.

Recent data from the International Center for Academic Integrity at Clemens University shows between a quarter to a third of students at the collegiate level admit to cheating on tests. A study conducted by Rutgers University School of Business professor Donald McCabe, who has investigated the topic for 22 years and surveyed over 250,000 college students, shows two-thirds of students report some type of academic dishonesty – from not citing material used in a paper to cheating on a test.



  1. I'm disturbed by the content, but also by the headline. You can't bilk a test; a test is inanimate, and thus can't be fooled, bamboozled, swindled, etc. [fill in your favorite synonym for "bilked" here]. Perhaps the author sees the test as somehow an extension of the (bilkable, because human) professor? Or perhaps (more likely) she simply has no idea how to use the word? I wish today's college students wouldn't cheat, but I also wish they wouldn't use words that they haven't read/heard in context enough to understand the correct use thereof.

    1. Or maybe it's "the test of time," not the actual test, that's being bilked. But that doesn't work, either. And "test of time" is a cliche. Avoid cliches like the plague, Ms. Vega.