|Cheating is when a person dishonestly tries to take advantage of the system and fulfill their own needs while deceiving others in the process. I am a high school student here, and I will present the most common form of cheating first---cheating in tests.
Often when I am taking exams, I find people taking out notes secretly and jotting down answers. Others find it easier to copy from a fellow student’s paper while he is not looking. Whatever the methods, cheating is a common disease in students.
Now let us come to the most basic question: Why do students cheat? No prizes for guessing the answer to this: Yes, because some students just do not like to study. Either they are too lazy, or they are weak in the particular subject. Most of the students I found cheating in the exams are the ones who do not even care to open their books during classes. Another reason might be they could not make out time to study the particular subject the night before the test. In all the above cases, the easiest way to keep your grades clean is to cheat. You do not have to work hard, you can have all the fun you wanted to have at the party the night before and yet you get the best grades in class. Easy and tempting, isn't it?
But just stop for a minute and think. Does cheating really help you? I mean, yes, it does get you good grades, but after that? Do you really get to learn the subject? If you are required to answer the same things once again in different circumstances, do you think you could manage? Well, the answer is no. The reason is simple-you never learnt the thing in the first place. Therefore, even if cheating gets you good grades one time, it is not going to save you the next time. You might be happy that you fooled your teacher and got away with it, but here’s the bottom line: Through cheating it is only yourself that you deceive. Because tests are not just about the grades, they are about assessing how well you understand the subject. When you cheat you undermine the very reason of conducting the tests.
Second, cheating in tests is not only bad for those who cheat; it is equally bad for those kids who work hard all the time for the tests. They spend endless hours sacrificing fun and enjoyment on learning something and try to take the tests on their own without indulging in foul means. Often because of that, their answers might not be as accurate as the student who is copying them straight from the books. As a result they might not get the best marks in the test. This totally shatters their self-confidence and even motivates them to cheat- because when honest work is not rewarded, who will want to be the idiot and get bad grades? Cheating is much easier!
Cheating has other consequences too: Cheaters are not thought of very highly among peers. People do not respect them and think less of them. Teachers lose faith in them and even if they put an honest effort the next time, they might not be rewarded. Even the person who cheats gets his own confidence lowered. He might be ashamed of it and feel guilty about his misdeeds. That puts additional stress in today’s stressful life.
Not just tests, cheating in student life can span from stealing someone else’s ideas for the physics project to taking part in a sports event which is meant for younger kids by faking age. Moreover, as these kids get older they form the habit of cheating and then they start cheating on everyone to make their lives easy. They cheat on their friends, their parents, relationships. In short, they cheat society itself.
In the broader spectrum, cheating flourishes highly in sporting events. Often players use drugs and steroids to perform better in the competitions.Evading taxes is one of the most common forms of cheating that plagues economies of all countries today. And we all know how much harm that causes to the country’s economy.
Once you start cheating, you enter a vicious cycle from which it is difficult to come out. You get more and more tempted everyday and at one point you have no other way to solve a problem than to cheat. As I have explained in the above paragraphs, cheating might provide temporary relief, but it never solves our problems permanently. What is needed at this point is a change in mentality---we all have to understand the pros and cons of cheating and its effects in our lives. Secondly, we should have the will to change.
In this respect some change is also needed in the education system itself. In today’s schools we are taught just to take tests, as if taking tests is the only goal of education. Such a system fails to inculcate a love for learning in the students. If students love what they do, they would take the tests willingly, learning at the same time. They will also learn to respect the education system. This might help a bit in checking the alarming rate of cheating in students.
But above everything else what is needed is that we must understand the harm that cheating causes to us and others and we should have the mentality to get rid of it. Because though in today’s fast-paced world getting away with your darkest deeds seems to be the coolest thing, honesty is still the best policy for the overall happiness in life.