Thursday, February 23, 2006

About Cheating

Let’s talk about my mid term tests that just ended less than a week ago. And no, I am not going to whine about how difficult these tests were, neither am I going to brag about how well I did. I am just going to talk about the issue of cheating. Oh no no, its not a big issue, we see it in every single test, be it starting earlier, turning to the neighbors for answers, blatantly discussing with each other while the paper is being collected or refusing to stop writing after the time is up. I just cannot hide my disgust when I see such happenings around and it occurred in every single test that I have taken.


Someone told me this before:

“Hey look, your future employer will not be concern with how you attain your grades; they are only interested in that first class honors. So who cares if you did it through cheating? The point is to get the good grades through whatever means available. When there is a chance to better my score, I will grab it. Who cares about integrity?”


Oh yea, I must be so damn dumb to advocate this uprightness. I am so stupid not to start earlier when I have the chance since the invigilators are not watching anyway. Oh yes, even starting a few seconds earlier is going to give me a hell lots of advantage. And I should not hesitate to ask my neighbors if I dunno how to do some questions, making wonderfully beautiful sounds so pleasant to the ears to attract his attention. I will be so satisfied with myself when I finally pissed my neighbor off who eventually show me the answers. Moreover, I must be really dumb not to peek at the person in front of me at the LT exam venues to see which ovals he shaded. And at the end of the day be really really please with myself for getting a high score by doing so. And not forgetting, I must not listen to the invigilators when they tell us to stop writing. After all, there is still some time when they get to me, I could still figure out this problem and get at least ONE mark more. Hey ONE mark is very important, I am so sure it can bring my grade from C to A ok? Furthermore, I should have kept a lookout for my friends’ location so that I can SHOUT out loud to ask them for the answers before the invigilators get to me so that I can change them. To make it less obvious we will communicate in some foreign language which most dun understand so that people will think that we are merely chatting away. Oh yeah, chatting while the invigilators are collecting the papers is perfectly alright here in nus. And finally, 10 years down the road when I look back at my uni days, I will be so enormously proud of myself for achieving impressive grades through such devious means.



On a serious note, I do not see the point in cheating that few marks, gaining that slight advantage and above all annoying all the people around them who are trying to uphold this honesty. Yet, there will be some people with the mentality as the above quote, accusing people like me of not being able to see the big picture. It’s a fucking practical world, they say, it’s just the good grades that matters, what integrity? Yea, perhaps I dun get it, but certainly life is not just a rat race, there is more to it. I just hope I am not alone in fighting for what is morally right.

41 comments:

cheahchuwen said...

its just become so digusting. is it just engine fac or the whole of nus i wonder.

tstar said...

well... ... I see it in FASS...

kaye said...

and in SOC too.

and i believe in other unis as well? not just in sg...

Anonymous said...

People forgets first impressions last. Cheaters will find their deeds coming to haunt them later in their careers. Peer opinion plays a huge part in how far you can progress in life; a lousy reputation doesnt help.

zeenie said...

Not really. My uni (overseas) was really strict about exams and each exam room had about 30-40 candidates seated spaced apart and 3-4 invigilators prowling the room. The rules were made very clear through emails, flyers and written on the board in front of the exam room on the day itself, and usually included "no wearing of caps or headgear" and "no cellphones".

infinix said...

You are not alone. I am also rather disgusted with cheaters. Not only midterm cheaters, exam cheaters, but copiers and "outsourcers". You know who you are. You deserve a bloody F.

But it happens. I've also witnessed people getting caught when the lecturer in charge gets too pissed off at these cheaters. Is it worth it getting caught?

Besides which, it's a matter of integrity. A leopard cannot change its spots, or so they say. To you cheaters out there: You are going to bring the cheater's mindset into the workplace. Good luck to you when you get caught then.

-fir- said...

yeah man the shouting of answers in diff language is super intolerable! see it everytime during mid sem exams... but i guess final exams are more organised...

dun worry man, cheaters dun prosper... one day they'd prob learn it the hard way...

-fir- said...

oh yeah i remembered that during the final exams last sem, someone got caught for bringing a small piece of paper filled wih equations for the physics paper... i wonder what happen to him man... haha..

Anonymous said...

You guys are such losers. Out in the REAL world, grades don't matter at all. An employer looks at how you manage other people, not at your paper qualifications.

sebastian said...

fuck, don't whine la. go and volunteer to be a freelance invigilator or some shit.

cheahchuwen said...

how about, say, webassign for physics? i did the morally right by not asking or checking my answers like most did. it felt right, but the scores didn't felt nice. What's a guy to do?

sebas:
eh, relac le dude. u getting cranky of late.

oh btw ur tomorrow-ed la currytan.

chernwei said...

I think integrity has lost it's place in light of Singapore's emphasis on "meritocracy" and zeal for results. Waitaminute. Make that the world.

People from priviledged backgrounds have so much going for them, it'd be naive to think that everyone competes on "equal" ground just because we take the same exams. So what do people do? They take the path of least resistance... aka cheating. After all, why suffer so much to achieve the same kinda results, if the results are the only things that matter?

That being said, I still believe that there's value in integrity and honour. I must be old skool. Or stupid. Or both :D

Lucian said...

When I studied in the US, exams accounted for a small part of the overall grade. Everything from homework to attendance mattered. If you wanted to impact your grades you had to cheat consistently, which in reality meant pretty much working hard.

karebu said...

You are not alone. I'm behind you.

Ed said...

In all exams, around all universities and education institution from primary to tertiary, it always happen. Over and over again, time and time again. Ultimately, there are numerous reasons for them to do so. I am not righteous nor am i perfect. What i want to say is, we cannot eradicate such behaviour 100% or completely as long as upbringings and values are not passed down correctly from one generation to another. If a kid is not brought up in correctly, he will learn and do as he deem fit in a survivor of the fittest environment. We all have our own survivor of the fittest mentality and it doesn't mean cheating will win at the end of the day. if u cheat once, u will tend to cheat again, slowly it becomes a habit and habit shows character, character shows mentality , mentality shows what's going in ur brain and your thoughts every single sec it pops up. As long as it is not a habit, your chances of changing this bad choice is higher. We all can make this world a better place, as students, dun cheat. If u dun get caught in school, u might not be so lucky in life. Cheaters dun win. Just a matter of when, where and how you get sniffed out of your actions. Make the right choice.

Ed said...

Someone said " Out in the REAL world, grades don't matter at all. An employer looks at how you manage other people" If u cheat to get ur grades, will u treat others with integrity when u managed them? Cheating shows that a person don't do things the right way to get the end result, so will the cheater be a good manager at work or will he go all out to use his subordinates as human shields when his boss puts him in front of the firing squad a.k.a Higher Management. It all depends on how you look at 1 object. We all look at things differently. I hope i show another way of looking at this.

Currytan said...

Firstly, I wana thank everyone for commenting.

Sometimes, I wished people could read more carefully. Am I in support of cheating? Am I even thinking about doing it? I believe the quote from tomorrow does gave a wrong impression of what I am trying to convey here. I sincerely hope that people dun just jump the gun so hastily.

And to sebastian, I am sorry if I have pissed u off. But you must realize my intention wasn’t to get this tomorrow-ed and spoil the good name of nus. My post was merely to express my disgust of those who cheat; I wasn’t mentioning anything about the tutor’s competency in invigilating the test, although on hind sight there was indeed underlying assumption, which wasn’t my intent.

yi said...

I studied overseas and the problem is pretty bad here as well. My views may be a little cynical but I think if one is really good at cheating, he will be able to get away with it even at work. To say cheaters will eventually get caught is just self consolation.

Cheating consistently does get you significantly higher scores. My classmates are proof of this. Some invigilators close one eye cuz they probably got where they are by cheating too.

I don't cheat though because I freaking hate cheats. They make my hardwork look like a joke. And I actually get a lot of satisfaction sabotaging their plans haha

grace said...

Oh well, that happens in science too. Laboratory manuals are often recycled over the years and the lab reports written by the different batches do not differ much either. I don't know what to make out of this. As a reference? or simply too lazy to research for materials on their own? I remember a lecturer getting pretty fed up over the blatant discussion of answers during a mid-sem test, but no one listened to his futile pleas to 'keep to yourself'.

It happens anywhere and everywhere. Even in NIE. What an irony.

At the end of the day, it really boils down to one's integrity. Being self-righteous doesn't really help things (especially my grades!!), but then again, at least my conscience is clear and I feel good about myself.

cindy said...

it happens in science also, i do the assignments myself and i get pretty low marks compared to the rest... people say i should jus copy from people who know instead of depriving myself of so many marks.

hazylium said...

Cheating is, scarily, quite common in SOC. Copying code from other people and modifying it to look original is done so often that it's not considered cheating at all by a lot of folk. I've even seen someone outsource a big project to some outsider 3rd parties before! Not sure what kind of grade they ended up with. Honestly, I didn't want to know. :-(
Wonder what this says about the university, and the country as a whole that, that we're SO pragmatic and practical that we'll do ANYTHING to get the results we want?

Anonymous said...

Why not approach the invigilator or examiner about the cheating. You could report the cheating after the test, or even better report it while it is being committed. After all, who stands to lose if the cheaters succeed? Not the examiner, not the invigilator, it's the ones who didn't cheat (remember in schools where answers are graded 'on the curve' every 'A' dishonestly obtained is an 'A' less for those who worked hard). All it takes for cheaters to get away with dishonesty is for non-cheaters to just sit back and do nothing. You're just like the people in the queue who let others cut in, then grumble to themselves or complain to their friends instead of letting the queue jumper know that such behaviour is not tolerated.

Danny said...

Well u just have to accept the fact and face the reality.

Seriously its the geninue cert that counts... no one really bothers how u get it...

To be frank... if one is full of integrity... it doesnt really help him get his cert faster or better? Perhaps make one conscience clear?

Perhaps most of the things we learn now... we mite not even use it in future. Its just for the cert... okie okie for ur knowledge.

Well but i dun think one can cheat during exams lah... perhaps just little test in tutorial rooms blah.

However the great emphasis on exams and test which determine the cert u get... do somehow contributes to this cheating act lah. Everyone want good cert... everyone will find their means to get it...

Anonymous said...

Cheats show that they haven't grown up. Sooner or later, they are going to be caught. They are really cheating themselves. Later on, such people will probably lie about their work experience, salary and other personal data, and companies that do background checks will expose them. Or worse, take them on board then fire them.

You know you can blow the whistle on them. Just drop a note to the lecturer. You can tell where the cheating was going on or go straight with names of the people. The lecturer will have to something on seeing that. I have seen lecturers calling those named to his office, ask them some questions and he'd know if the students really know their stuff.

Anonymous said...

as long as you get the results at the end of the day, employers dont even bother HOW you manage to do it... this is the world today... where ethics dont matter anymore... $$$ is the ruler! @_@

cheahchuwen said...

woah. so much for ethics.
im still not going to cheat. its disgusting.
u can have the best of grades but if ur work ethics aren't right, your colleagues and bosses will know, and you won't last long. they'd rather promote a diligent honest employee than a 'smart' cheating (yet equally capable) employee.
HR ain't dumb you know. They don't have degrees for nothing.

Nicholas said...

I'm hopin all the comments above have come from real people with integrity. If so, then i guess there is hope for society after all. But one thing, it seems that there's a recycled comment about cheats being lousy people.

Someone who cheats in exams, especially here in singapore aren't bad people, they're just being human. Grades are so impt here that even the 1 mark seperating an 'A' and a 'B' could mean the difference in getting a job. Besides, the methods of cheating mentioned are subtle, nth like writing equations on your hand.

I've cheated before. It's not right i agree. But I cheated to pass, not for an 'A'. And you can moan abt cheaters all you want, but if your integrity gets you a 'B' instead of a cheaters' 'A', you'll know why they did it.

half-asleep said...

What exactly is morally right?
Of course, copying answers seems to be clearly wrong. How about situations where for example, this particular person really needed to pass so that he would not fail his exams and waste hard-earned tution fees his parents had to provide for him? Can we say that he is clearly in the wrong just because his actions were so and neglect his intentions?

Some may believe that there should be justice and equality while others may believe that their close ones should come first. I don't think anyone would dispute that caring for close ones is not a moral thing to do.

Of course, this may not be a very realistic example. And I'm not saying that such a person is right either, but rather that everyone has a different view on morality.
What may be considered ethical in their view may not be so in someone else's views.

I tend to believe that our personal views on morality is ultimately defined by societal values. Perhaps one day we won't even bat an eyelid when cheating happens. That would seem pretty sad indeed.

Anonymous said...

Cheating is wrong but I've done my fair share. Yes, I'm guilty. It was the past. A leopard never changes its spots, you say. HELLO???? Are you a leopard? D'oh.

I think, there are times when you have no other option but to cheat because it's the deciding point of your life. Let's not go further into this. If you've read enough books on school life, you should know.

Anyway, cheating in exams is a NO-NO. Unless you are ready to take the risks. Tests..maybe.

But the worst are people who "talk big" about integrity, honesty bla bla and then derive pleasure from sabotaging cheaters. BIG-ASS conscience they have.

Anonymous said...

So to you, the ends justify the means.

Er, we (or at least I) want to be honest upright individuals with clean conscience. If there are people resorting to all sorts of dishonest ways to get ahead of us, you want to sit on your hands and do nothing? I don't think we derive any pleasure out of blowing the whistle. No one set them up to cheat but themselves.

sebastian said...

=)

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Anonymous said...

Well, i agree that cheating is digusting and morally wrong. But what about 19/20 students in a particular class who "coordinated" during a test except you? In the end, everybody had scored well other than you. How would you feel? IMO, one has to act according to circumstances and be flexible,justifiable while trying to be firm. - which hero does not have a past?

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