Academic cheating refers to deceitful violation of institutions rules geared towards testing one’s knowledge in a coursework or discipline. Cheating in exams is an unacceptable vice that interferes with learning forums in many academic institutions. Exams test one’s knowledge on a new concept and identify one’s weaknesses in various and this is lost when one cheats. Learning objectives at times fall short due to students’ engagement in cheating. Among the reasons to cheat is the need to accomplish a task quickly. Cheating does not only deny students chance to master key information but also lowers institution credibility by awarding degree and grades that are unrealistic.  Students despite tight institution rules against cheating, still fall victims of the vice due to reasons that this causal analysis essay seeks to establish.

Students continue to cheat despite the consequences of this vice. The main cause of cheating is to get better grades quickly without putting in much effort. A student may get better results from cheating and get degree or any other certificate of completion of a course that is unworthy. In essence, this is qualification without knowledge in a given career. If such acts are unpunished, a student may make this a culture in his/her future endeavors (achieving everything in life through dishonest means). If students who cheat get into the corporate world, they will be forced into demonstrating skills that they do not have in the first place. As such, they must compensate for their deceitful acts by further reading and research. Take for instance, an IT student engaging in cheating. It would be impractical for such a student to perform duties at workstation because of lack of adequate skills as represented in certificates. Classification of cheaters could be based on the way in which they engage in the act. Cheating takes different forms, for instance, there are those who copy their fellow student’s homework, intentional copying of another student’s work during exam, or carrying written materials into exam rooms. There are students who hack into examination databases to access exam questions and answers. Cheaters also pay their peers to memorize and recite certain concepts to them in exam rooms.   

The vice affects institutions’ credibility in a number of ways. First, it means that diplomas, degree, or any other certificates awarded do not reflect standards set by policy makers in the education sector. Cheating also calls for institutions to make and implement policies to curb the vice. Most policies on cheating require a student to retake exams, face suspension, or expulsion from institution. The teaching staff will not be able to monitor students’ attainment of relevant skills. Examination is a means of assessing knowledge assimilation. Cheating makes statistical representations of results unrealistic and institution heads may opt to raise academic standards in a manner that affects other students who do their own work sencirely. Low enrollment levels and withdrawal of donor funding will affect an institution that has its reputation tainted with acts of cheating.

Students and institutions face challenges in order to avoid cases of cheating. Policy creation is the core in curbing the vice. Institution heads need to draft and implement strict policies on cheating. Policy setting should be just, strict, and sustainable in their implementation. The policies need to be widespread and applicable to everyone who engages in it. Effective mechanisms should be in place to catch incidences of cheating and hold those involved liable. The advances in technology also create new avenues for cheating; therefore, institution must remain updated on latest moves by students and adjust mechanisms to counter new approaches. Adequate invigilation during exams is also critical. Professors’ presence in exam rooms in vital in order to arrest cases of suspicion that may lead to uncovering cheating incidences.  

There are emerging trends in the internet where students auction their assignment for some fee. Professors need to be wary of this form of cheating and engage in tracking and means of addressing the developing challenge. On way of curbing online /internet cheating is by investing in IT programs that can identify potential data exchanges and trace hackers who may intrude into examination and answers databases. Learning activities should also change processes by setting exams that require students to formulate response in order to detect if there is word-to-word copying. This in essence, requires that professors avoid testing questions that require uniform response, but questions that encourage individual responses.

Parents and student too have their role to play in avoiding cases of exam cheating. It is important for parent to instill good discipline to their children, as they tend to emulate what parents do or support. If parents are themselves disciplinarians, their children will have no alternative but to comply. Parents should also be tentative to their children’s academic work and identify possible problems that may make a child cheat. For instance, by ensuring that students finish up their homework in time will help in avoiding last minute rush in accomplishing tasks. A genuine interest in education of a child by a parent is a powerful weapon in avoiding cases of cheating in schools and other learning institutions. Students on the other hand have to challenge their conscience before engaging in cheating. Peer influence to engage in such an act is vice is ill-advised and a student who values moral competence should shun homework or exam cheating. In sum, stumping exam cheating in learning institutions calls for efforts from all stakeholders to come together and address the matter. This will bring sanity in our learning institutions.

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