What Has Turned Us Into Cheaters?
"The writing topic for this year's CET-6 was revealed again before the day
of testing. ""A student has been expelled due to misbehavior in a final
examination. "This kind of titles has been very popular these days, and all
these have revealed a public secret:cheating on exams. This behavior, which was
denounced by almost all, is spreading at a high rate, and this has puzzles not
only teachers but also the whole society. Then why do students cheat on exams?
In my understanding, there are mainly three reasons, (namely unscientific
testing, completion for scholarship, and pressure from future job hunting).
Some students cheat on exams to protest against the improper testing
format. The purpose of university education should be teaching students to use
knowledge to solve problems;therefore, exams and tests should test
students'ability to use certain knowledge to solve some problems. But most tests
in China just test understanding instead of application, and some exams are even
worse because they only test students'memory. Some students think it unnecessary
to spend time and effort to prepare for such exams, so the just cheat in order
to get a decent score, which in their mind, means nothing. Dr. Wang who
specializes in education assessment supported this view in one paper, and he
said that teachers should blame themselves because they forced students to
More students cheat on exams in order to struggle for scholarship. As
universities are collecting tuition from students, they also increase the amount
of scholarship. This money of course is very attractive to students, who have
virtually no income. As scholarship is mostly decided by examination scores,
students willing to get the money will try every means possible. In a recent
survey, some good students admitted that they cheat on exams because"if most
students are cheating, it is unfair when you choose not to". This probably
represents a breach of traditional ethics, and is a more important reason than
conscientious protest against improper tests.
The most important reason, in my mind, should be the pressure from job
hunting. In the past few years the situation in the job market is deteriorating,
and this forces students to prepare as early as possible. Due to its importance,
students naturally want to make their reports more attractive, and one way to
realize it is cheating. As a student said in a news report, students are aware
of the cost of being caught, but the profit of not being caught is too much, so
many of them just"go ahead". Maybe it is not unreasonable to say that it is the
society that makes students cheaters.
To sum up, the desires to get a good job and a high scholarship, or simply
to signal a protest in current education, have forced us students to copy in
exams. It is undeniable that some suffer from weak moral principles, but it is
wrong to blame them only. Only when the society and the university find the real
source of the problem and deal with it can we restore the traditional criticism