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Cheating in College and Its Forms


College cheating is as old as organized learning. Since organized learning was introduced, students started cheating in order to acquire their grades for what they have learned. This tradition has been on the increase over the years and currently, it has taken a higher level due to the use of the internet. There are various forms of cheating in colleges as well as reasons which make students cheat. (Avilla, 1999) This paper looks at the cheating tradition in colleges which has been on the rise. It focuses on the various dimensions of cheating in colleges by students in acquiring their grades, and degrees or certificates.

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Cheating in college

Cheating in colleges takes different forms. The cheating styles also change with time. In the 1960s the most common form of cheating was buying projects and term papers from qualified people. The professors and lecturers could not know between a genuine paper and a fake one. However, with the improvement in technology in the 21st century, this form of cheating became hard as plagiarism of scholarly work can easily be detected by use of software but this does not mean that cheating in colleges has gone down, instead, it has taken other forms. Students nowadays are able to cheat in tests and term papers and even projects. (Harold 2001, pp. 256-302).

In tests, students use sophisticated gadgets such as mobile phones, which can support the internet and can download information right to the exam rooms. In writing reports students have access to a lot of information on the internet and in case of a project, they do not need to carry out any field study and all they need is the internet. Professors on the other hand do not evidence the student involvement in the project or not and hence cheating continues in college.

Students do not find cheating in exams or learning as being bad in any way. The major cause for cheating in colleges is the increased demand for money that makes students lack time for study. Most college students opt to have part-time employment for their upkeep. This sometimes forces them to work at the expense of class time. (Patricia 2001, pp. 208-265) As a result of this, they find themselves caught up in a fix during exams or assignments and they are forced to cheat. Cheating becomes a cycle as students do not take education as learning but just as a step to employment, therefore they use the money that they earn to buy education and get their degrees.

The other form of cheating in college is working together as a team on a paper that is supposed to be taken individually. High-tech cheating also makes it possible for students to present plagiarized term papers without being detected as they can just paraphrase or edit a few things from other peoples’ work.


Cheating in colleges is not good. As much as students are blamed for it teachers may also be the cause of their student’s cheating behavior. Teachers have different teaching styles, some belief in the individual assignment while others encourage teamwork or group term papers. This brings confusion to students and they might find themselves cheating without knowing. Cheating on tests is however becoming higher than cheating on assignments. The solution to this academic decay can only be achieved through teachers explaining to students what cheating and plagiarism are and their effect on their learning, which is long term.


Avilla, J. (1999). High Tech Cheating Hits Schools, 2008. Web.

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Harold, J. (2001). Fraud and Education: The worm in the Apple, New York: Rowman and Littlefield publishers, pp. 234-367.

National Center for Policy Awareness, (1998). College Students Cheating Widespread, 2008. Web.

Patricia, K. et al. (2001). Academic Dishonesty, New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates pp.197-272.

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StudyCorgi. "Cheating in College and Its Forms." October 24, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Cheating in College and Its Forms." October 24, 2021.


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