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Marginal Analysis of Cheating Compare & Contrast Essay

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Updated: Jul 4th, 2018

In the academic world, tests are used to gauge the level of understanding that has been achieved by the student. As such, failing a test demonstrates a lack of understanding by the students and may lead to many negative repercussions. For this reason, students at all levels strive to ensure that they pass in their tests therefore reaping the benefits of good academic performances.

While some students rely on legitimate means such as intensive reading and carrying out exercises prior to the test so as to increase their likelihood of passing, others resort to the illegal means of cheating. This paper shall discuss the best examples of cheating on test and compare their relative costs and benefits. In addition to this, the paper shall try to shed light as to why some students engage in this practice while others do not.

Of the various forms of cheating in existence, arguably the most prevalent one is the use of cheat notes. In this case, students enter into examination areas with written material that may contain answers to the questions that they anticipate.

By carefully concealing this material, the student’s can avoid the detection by supervisors and utilize this material to cheat in exams with favorable results. The major benefit of this method is the accuracy level since the cheating material is obtained from text books, lectures or other decisive authorities on the subject.

Students write down material that they find hard to understand and use it in exams setting. This method of cheating is favored by most students since an individual can carry it out on their own without relying on outside help. The major disadvantage of this cheating technique is that there exists physical evidence of the cheating act which may incriminate the student.

Another form of cheating involves soliciting answers from a fellow student who is better in the subject at hand. By pooling their knowledge, students utilizing this method can obtain higher results than they would have if they relied on their own individual efforts. This method is especially invaluable in instances where written evidence of cheating would be undesirable.

In cases whereby an exam invigilator is suspicious of cheating, he/she would have a hard time proving it since there is no evidence. Another benefit of this method is that as opposed to the writing of cheat notes method where a student cannot anticipate all questions, in this method, the cheaters can answer a wide array of questions so long as one of them knows the answer.

A disadvantage with this method is the lack of clarity since the supposed “authority on the subject” may not know the right answer. Some exam environments also demand great physical distances between the participants therefore making covert communication hard.

Having discussed the various examples of cheating, it would be worthwhile to highlight why some people engage in this degenerative behavior while others do not. Lack of proper preparation for exams leads to some student’s cheating since they wish to avoid failure. A lack of self confidence may also result in cheating since a student may deem himself/herself incapable of succeeding without external help. As such, most students who perform proper preparation before the exams do not see the need to cheat.

Students who have high confidence in their abilities to remember the concepts they have been taught also abstain from cheating. Another group which does not cheat is students who are afraid of the consequences of being caught in the act of cheating.

This paper set out to highlight various methods of cheating and outline reasons why some people cheat while others do not. From the discussions presented herein, it is evident that the major motivation for cheating is to excel in exams. The paper has suggested that the fear of being caught is what makes some students shy away from cheating or adopt one cheating method and not another. Nevertheless, cheating is illegal and should be avoided by all students by making proper preparations prior to the tests.

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"Marginal Analysis of Cheating." IvyPanda, 4 July 2018, ivypanda.com/essays/marginal-analysis-of-cheating/.

1. IvyPanda. "Marginal Analysis of Cheating." July 4, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/marginal-analysis-of-cheating/.


IvyPanda. "Marginal Analysis of Cheating." July 4, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/marginal-analysis-of-cheating/.


IvyPanda. 2018. "Marginal Analysis of Cheating." July 4, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/marginal-analysis-of-cheating/.


IvyPanda. (2018) 'Marginal Analysis of Cheating'. 4 July.

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