Karis is a 16-year-old living in Middle Earth most of the time. She wishes that she were born 10000 years in the future (or however long it takes to reach the pinnacle of human civilization). She can normally be found between the pages of a book or in the kitchen.
Parents, let’s face it. Your children aren’t the angelic naïve geniuses that you think they are. Your child probably cheats in school. But don’t be afraid. Most likely they aren’t part of the underground school cheating rings that proliferate. But they do probably practice some of the techniques below:
1. Writing Information down Somewhere Hidden: There are a lot of unnoticeable creative places to write things down, on the bottoms of shoes, on erasers, on one’s arm when one is wearing a long sleeve shirt. Each one has something going for it. Information on the bottoms of shoes is unobtrusive and it will rub off. Same with erasers and covered arms.
2. Asking What an Answer is During a Test/Quiz: There’s the simple ‘push, wink, nudge’ “Hey, what’s the answer to this?”. But there’s also a complicated system of asking for the correct answer even across the room. It involves an elaborate system which transforms numbers and letters into taps and knocks on a desk. (I know I was surprised when I was asked to participate.)
3. Asking What was on the Test/Quiz BEFORE the Test/Quiz: Everyone does this. “Hey, was this on test?” “Hey, what was on the test?” “What do I need to study for?” Friends usually answer the question honestly and promptly.
4. Taking Tests Later: Students often skip a class because it has a test or quiz that day. Then they have more time to study and ask what was on the test. Some don’t consider this cheating, but students who have an unfair advantage in extra study-time even though they are not sick or ill? If that’s not cheating, what is?
5. Copying Homework: This is by far, the most common technique. But, there is a fine line between outright blatantly copying homework and asking for help on a difficult problem. The former involves cheating, as they do no work but get credit for another’s.
6. Cheating Rings: Cheating rings are pretty common. It’s when a group of students get together and partition work between them and then get together to share what they have done. It’s the more organized version of technique 6.
7. Using Notes/Textbook During a Test/Quiz: This technique is most often used during a test or quiz that a substitute presides over. It’s most effective if the student is in the back of the room. There are many variations to this technique. My favorite is bookmarking the needed page with one’s foot and when the teacher turn around open it to that page, look down, copy info and close when the teacher turns back around.
8. Texting/IMing: There is a little device called the cell phone. The cell phone enables teens to text and IM answers during a test. They may not be allowed during a test, but who’s to stop them? It’s the modern day upgrade of techniques 2 and 3.
9. The Internet: Cell phones and other devices, such as the iTouch, also come equipped with wi-fi access to the internet. Students can just google the answer courtesy of their school’s free wi-fi. It’s the modern day upgrade of technique 7.
10. Using a Mechanical Pencil: What does a mechanical pencil have to do with cheating? Why does it get its own blurb? Well to the latter question, I think it’s cool. To the former, most teachers tell students to clear their desk before taking a test of quiz so that people don’t have hidden information anywhere. But mechanical pencils are hollow inside. Students write down information on a slip of paper and slide it into their pencils to peruse later during the test.
Why do teens cheat? There are many factors that lead to cheating. It may be a teen’s own personal pressure to succeed that drives them to cheat, or mere peer pressure. But personally, I think that the most presiding factor is the parents who are pushing their kids to succeed. Of course, kids want their parents, who are their role models and judges, to look upon them favorably. They want their parents to not be disappointed in them. So, they cheat. I know. I’m one of them.