Students weigh risks of cheating during finals

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Pacific University preaches academic honesty and integrity, and takes cheating seriously, especially during finals season. It is a make or break period for grades and some students are willing to put it all on the line in order to pass.

All students interviewed for this article have asked to remain anonymous and have been given fake names to protect their identity on campus. The tactics which they used have also been changed, so professors cannot single students out in the future.

One student, Clyde, recalled a mathematics final in which he wrote notes on his device so he could have the formulas there in hand while taking the exam. Clyde said the tactic really helped him out as he forgot a formula on a four point question.

“It really saved my bacon,” Clyde said.

Clyde is not the only student to put it all on the line in order to pass the final. A second student, Jeremy, said he once had someone memorize the main points of an exam they had been able to take early due to a medical complication.

“It was a gift from God and I am not even religious,” Jeremy said. “But seriously, all we did was study what we knew would be on the exam and I have never felt more prepared for something in my life.”

A third student, Elisa, told a story about how she saw a student get busted trying to sneakily use some notes from a notebook while taking an exam in a science class.

“I have no clue what actually happened to her, but our professor was surprisingly cool about the whole thing, Elisa said. “So I assume she was able to retake the exam.”

Most students believe their professors want them to succeed.

“I feel like the professors here really pull for you if you give your best effort,” senior Paul Wolfram said. “No one here actually wants to fail you and I have come close to doing just that. I have had to talk to my professors many times. But if you really try, they won’t want to fail you and you won’t feel the need to cheat.”

Wolfram was not alone about his feelings toward professors. Many students came forward saying they knew their professors did not want them to fail, but they felt no other option. All of these students did admit if they had talked to their professors and asked for some help before the final, they would have never had to cheat.

“I may have never felt more prepared, but I have also never felt more guilty before,” Jeremy said. “Just don’t cheat, the professors here want to help, so let them.”


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