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Ten Reasons You Should Quit Cheating on Exams

Posted by Dennis Maynes

updated over a week ago

My boss may be upset with this essay, because if I persuade test takers to quit cheating on tests, Caveon could go out of business in the same way that we would have less need for the police if crooks would quit law-breaking. But, I suspect many test takers that cheat will keep at it, despite anything I say.

So, if you're a testing program, you can publicize these 10 reasons straight to your examinees before the test—but be forewarned: these ten reasons probably aren't enough to stop cheating just on their own. They should be publicized alongside your other test security measures you have in place that prevent, deter, and detect cheating. (Just think: if a test taker knew that their answer-copying scheme would be highlighted right in your testing data after the exam and pinpointed straight back to them, would they even try to cheat?)

If you're an examinee who has cheated, but you are willing to consider changing, here are ten reasons why you should most definitely stop cheating on tests (and in other areas in your life). And yes, as the last paragraph states, the exams you take can definitely detect cheating.

1. Cheating on exams is lazy. 

Your laziness might contribute to your failure. Success takes hard work, persistence, dedication, diligence, and willingness to sacrifice. Cheating and trying to find the easy way out just doesn’t help you learn and develop these traits. If you persist in laziness (and cheating), you will continue to find it hard to attain your goals.

2. It can lead to unemployment.

You might not be able to keep a job if you cheat. Your boss won’t appreciate someone with a poor work ethic who takes credit for the work of others, and your co-workers won’t appreciate the lack of respect that cheating reflects. More importantly, you might have cheated yourself out of gaining the knowledge that is required for you to actually perform well at your job.

3. You could face some tough discipline. 

Current trends suggest that members of “the establishment” (i.e., those who are in charge of making things happen) are getting fed up with cheating. Lawmakers are passing tougher anti-cheating laws. College admissions officers are being informed whether you cheated. And you might even be blacklisted from the profession of your choice if you are caught cheating.

4. It's just not right.

When you cheat, you show a blatant disregard for others. It’s not acceptable to cut in line. It’s not acceptable to lie. And it's not acceptable to accept a grade or a promotion that was gained through cheating and not through an honest effort.

5. It's a lie within a lie.

Your cheating may require you to lie and steal. In other words, to cover up your cheating, you may find it necessary to come up with a story that isn’t true. The problem with lying is that you can never keep your story straight, because it never really happened. This can lead to being trapped by a web of lies—and that's hard to get out of.

6. You'll lose self-respect.

If you have enough bad experiences as a result of your cheating, you might realize that you have brought these things upon yourself. Cheating is willful and wanton behavior. When you awake to your awful situation, you will see that you are a chump and not a champ.

7. It's embarrassing when others find out.

Cheating is a reflection of who you are and who you want to be. Cheating is a tacit admission of incompetence, laziness, selfishness, arrogance, and disrespect. If you want to see yourself as others see you and as you really are, you should admit that your cheating has hurt others, including yourself and those who care about you. Then, you should change your cheating ways. It's never too late to change!

8. People may not like you anymore.

Cheating is very anti-social behavior, and people (especially successful ones) don’t care to associate themselves or their reputations with cheaters.

9. You could get a bad reputation.

When others hear about your cheating, their opinion of you will go down. Not only that, but when you apply for a job and the hiring manager asks about your work ethic, you probably won't like the information that is passed along by those who know you.

10. You might not be able to quit cheating easily.

The thought of cheating “just this once because I have to” can become an ingrained habit. Just like gambling, infidelity, stealing, and lying, cheating on exams can be compulsive and even addictive. When this happens, research suggests that you will start cheating in other areas of your life as well.


Dennis Maynes

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About Caveon

For more than 18 years, Caveon Test Security has driven the discussion and practice of exam security in the testing industry. Today, as the recognized leader in the field, we have expanded our offerings to encompass innovative solutions and technologies that provide comprehensive protection: Solutions designed to detect, deter, and even prevent test fraud.

Topics from this blog: Test Security Basics