The portrait of the perfect academic cheater

The portrait of the perfect academic cheater.

An academic cheater is a person that makes use of illegal means to obtain undeserving marks in their school work.

How to Discipline Your Child for Cheating in School

Students are mainly involved in cheating when they are not fully prepared for their exams or when the happen to be working on a very important paper for the class.

Cheating involves making use of unauthorized information or sources in completing academic activities. For instance:-

  1. Copying in an exam that is meant to be done individually.
  2. Plagiarism whereby a student adopts another person’s words or ideas without acknowledging the source from which their information was obtained . This also includes paraphrasing or direct of the task given from another person’s work without full and clear acknowledgement.
  3. Fabrication which involves the unauthorised creation or alternation of an academic task. For example making up a reference that does not exist probably for the purpose of adding onto the number of words required to complete your essay.
  4. Sabotage which involves destroying another person’s work so that they may fail to complete the academic task assigned to them especially when it comes to projects required for graduation.
  5. Engagement in any behaviour specifically prohibited by a lecturer set of rules governing the examination policies of an institution for instance sharing of answers in tests meant to be done individually by whispering, being in possession of small papers carrying short notes on the topic or unit being tested and making use of them while answering the paper is clearly and having in your possession a mobile phone ,smart watch or any other electronic device that can be used to either share or access answered despite whether or not you are using it for that purpose.
  6. Ghost working in group discussions whereby all members of the group are expected to participate and give a share towards earning marks but instead, some individuals choose to relie on specific members of the group to complete all assignments solely as they just spectate and wait for results.
  7. Being in possession and making use of extra writing materials during a test so as to be able to pass notes or share answers. Others also make use of them to make around 2 to 3 copies of answer booklets containing different answers with different probability of obtaining different kinds of marks. This is mainly meant to confuse the teacher into having him or her record only the one with the highest marks for you.
  8. Paying other people especially strangers to have your academic task done on your behalf instead of doing it yourself.
  9. Bribing lectures with special gifts such as money and favours so that they can award you undeserving marks. Some students go ta a desperation point of slipping a note between their exam answer booklet attached to a note beseeching the lecture to mark their papers more leniently.

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It is generally assumed that all students are most likely to take part in cheating an hence most people never consider to find out who is more likely to be involved in cheating than the other. However, studies carried out on students from various universities and courses show that not all students are the same hence some are more likely to cheat than others. The study uncovered that:-

  • Slightly over 15% of the students have copied answers from others during an exam
  • Over half the percentage of students were pressured to give answers during an exam
  • 6% of the students wrote answers on their body parts
  • About 20% of the students paid someone to complete an assignment for them.

Reasons provided by the students for cheating varied, including:

  • 52% said they cheated because the exam was difficult
  • 43% said that they had not prepared enough for the examination
  • 96% complained that they did not have enough time to study
  • 78% mentioned having a lenient invigilator made them cheat
  • 61% of students argued that they cheated because it was fun
  • 52% said that they cheated because having good grades is important
  • 5% of the students said that cheating was ethical.


Who’s more likely to cheat?

The portrait of the perfect academic cheater

The study also revealed that students taking the humanity courses were more inclined to cheating as compared to the other students in other courses. When it came to comparing students with different education levels, it was discovered that neither was more inclined to cheating than the other. However, a pronounced difference was noted between persons of different gender where males are proven to be more inclined to cheating than their female counterparts.

When it came to comparison between students that are fully dedicated to schoolwork and jobless and those are employed and working and also do studying, it was discovered that the jobless students were more likely to cheat in their tests than the working ones.

A clear picture of the perfect academic cheater was therefore becoming more and more clearer with every new part of the research being pieced together. The picture painted was that of a jobless, male person doing a humanity course.

Why Students Cheat and How to Stop It

Personality and cheating of the portrait of the perfect academic cheater

It is important to also look into a person’s personality as it acts as a good predictor of his or her most probable behavior. The study carried out revealed that most students that were involved in cheating had specific personalities for instance, some of them tended to be manipulative, narcissistic, arrogant and egocentric, while others demonstrated antisocial tendencies. These types of behavior play a great role in pushing their choice to cheat as they tend to care less about the consequences that could possibly come with getting caught.

Bottom line

The portrait of the perfect academic cheater

The evidences provided show that difference in gender, status of employment as well as certain behaviors highlighted above can are some of the factors that play a big role in determination of who is most likely to cheat. It is also becoming quite alarming to see how students are turning to cheating as they consider it to be a fun and ethical practice more so because there are no punishments issued by the professors to curb this unethical practice.


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The portrait of the perfect academic cheater.

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