Cheating Will Only Get You So Far

By Esther Manes in Opinion

Susan O’Toole recently learned that a good portion of her 18-student legal ethics class cheated on a take home exam last quarter. That’s correct — an ethics class.

After O’Toole spent all quarter teaching her students to be ethical, they cheat.

That sounds like either O’Toole is teaching a whole new definition of ethics or students completely ignored her throughout the quarter.

It’s obvious cheating is an issue that still needs to be addressed.

According to a notice letter sent out by student conduct officer Tami Jacobs, students caught cheating are required to report to her office for further discussion about the penalties of violations ranging from “verbal disciplinary warning to suspension or expulsion.”

Is that enough to get a student to stop cheating?

Talking about it helps students realize what they did wrong or why it was wrong. Getting called out in class for cheating is even worse because everyone knows.

However, administrative assistant Susan Muir said faculty isn’t doing enough to crack down on each case. Many have slipped by because they don’t always refer cases.

Clark teachers are doing  the best they can to work with students. Some cases can be misunderstood, but others are unacceptable and require attention if students’ behavior is expected to be changed.

The idea of an exam is to test the knowledge of the student, not the sleep-deprived cramming done the night before.

If you’re willing to pay for college and know that there is an equally likely chance to get caught, why would you decide to cheat? Odds are, your classmate saw it all.

Tests can be stressful. A fast heartbeat, sweaty palms, losing track of time easily, getting distracted by every little noise or movement — these are natural reactions of test anxiety. So how can students diminish those reactions?

Easy. Study. No, not the night before. Take at least a week to study. Even if it’s 20-30 minutes a day. Research has shown that the brain works more efficiently when the material is reviewed over a longer period of time.

Don’t over do it, though. Students love to cram before tests when they are the most stressed and that never leads to a good outcome. The more someone is under pressure, the less they tend to remember.

Maybe that means canceling that date tonight or rescheduling that appointment, but studying days before an exam helps build good habits and eliminates procrastination. Get into the habit because cheating will only get you so far in life.

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