This is inspired by another persons question regarding weather or not it is okay to tell on your peers for cheating during exams.
Since I am new to the site, I am having difficulty responding to the question, so I’m making a question instead.
Some people commented to this question and said that you are not giving a cheater an unfair advantage because students are “not competing against one another.” My question is how do you think this is true? Students are responsible for their own learning, and as a result of that, are not directly affected by another persons cheating. I beg to differ.
Other students cheating does affect other students, or we wouldn’t have to ask questions like this.
It IS an unfair advantage, in many ways, here is an example of just one:
Student A studied hard for his/her midterm. She/he arrived prepared with only 4 hours of sleep. Student B hardly studied, with plans on passing by cheating off his/her friend that was sat next to them. Student B and his/her helpful friend, let’s call him/her student C, are seated directly behind student A.
This is the way this plays out: During the exam, student B and student C begin to whisper every time the prof makes his rounds to the other side of the room. It is a big lecture hall, and the professor can not hear them on the other side of the room. But, all the other students around B and C sure can. Student A is becoming frustrated. The whispering is quite distracting to him/her, and dispite his/her delicate “shhh” every time B and C begin their routine, the whispering continues. At one point, A even turns to B and C and asks “can you please stop talking. This is an exam- you shouldn’t be talking.” B ans C continue to talk. Student A, although successful with her studies and a good student in general, has a common problem: test anxiety. Now, she has become distracted. She has a moral discontent as she does not want to “rat out” her fellow students during the exam. However, she is now struggling with her answers, as her anxiety has been activated, and she is having a hard time concentrating. As a result of this, Student A gets a much lower mark than she would have had she not been distracted during the exam. Student B gets a much higher mark due to Student C helping him/her during the test.
So, my question is this. How is this NOT an unfair advantage?
In fact, regardless of how a student may cheat (distracting or not distracting) HOW is this not an unfair advantage?
Students who study for their tests, and do not cheat, show up to the exam fully prepared. Often they are tired from the preparation, as studying for exams is 100% exhausting. Students who cheat don’t have to commit so much time or resources to exams (or anything). They can get more sleep, enjoy their out of school activities, and still pass the exam due to cheating. In some cases, the cheater may even score higher than someone who actually studied. How is that fair? Also, considering GPA and the advantages of having a high one for scholarship application, and job competition down the road, I fail to see how cheaters do not affect other students. Another point worth mentioning, is the moral dilemma that the cheating student places on their peers. To tell or not to tell?
If anyone has any other points regarding this, please feel free to share... and if you are a cheater- you should seriously consider applying yourself in a way that reflects your true intelligence. Why put yourself at risk?
In answer to the original posting, and just to be clear, I do not think there is anything wrong with reporting your peers for cheating. Especially when it affects your own grade that you studied hard for.