Curbing copying in tests, exams

Curbing copying in tests, exams

Copying during exams has become an easy way to success for many students. In an age of extreme pressure and competition, students feel the burden of scoring well. This forces them to use unfair methods of learning. Cheating happens more when the pressure comes from within the family itself. Adding to this, the latest technological gadgets and accessories are making students lazy by feeding them information at the click of a button. 

But rarely do students realise that cheating is a major obstacle to their overall development. Schools are struggling to put an end to this practice even with strict rules in place. The problem of cheating has spread its roots wide and far. Punishments are a tricky matter in today’s age. If physical punishment is being equalised to a crime, non-physical punishment is being looked upon as harassment. So, how do we curb this menace and ensure that the young minds learn things on their own? An approach that focuses more on changing the mindsets rather than physical punishment needs to be put in place. Here are some helpful pointers:

Adolescent students who cheat
Students who cheat during adolescent years are those who are not prepared for the test and are afraid of getting lower grades. Serious action should be taken only if they are chronic cheaters. But make sure you don’t hurt their self esteem in this process because there may be the possibilities of many students not being able to cope up with the course. It is highly important to ensure that teachers and parents identify the learning capacities of students and act accordingly.

Rationalising one’s behaviour
Sometimes, when students gain an easy access to cheating, it becomes pretty
simple to keep doing it repeatedly and also justifying it. When students see some of their peers getting better grades by cheating, they are tempted into doing it themselves. It is important to set good examples in every classroom by praising the ones who refuse to cheat and reprimanding those who resort to such unfair practices.

Teachers are to blame?
It may be surprising to know that the perception of teachers regarding students becomes a motivating factor for cheating in many cases. If a teacher is unfair and partial in her attitude, students cheat with a vengeance. To keep a check on this, teachers must reduce the competition and be fair in rules. One easy step towards this is to stop displaying the grades publicly. This reduces the competition to a great extent. Collaborative group work like projects and assignments also play a big role in bringing about a sense of equality amidst the students.

Vigilant supervision
Yes, passive supervision conveys the message of a nonchalant attitude towards  rules. Supervisors have to conduct strict checks during examinations so that no untoward incidents occur. If he chances upon cheating instances, he should collect proper evidence before investigation and punishment.

Role of parents
Yes, we all want to tell our children about the right and wrong things in life. But sometimes, you have to let them decide it for themselves. When your children come to you regarding a cheating incident they have been a witness to, listen to their conversation with an open mind. Make them understand the downside of cheating while ensuring that you don’t sound preachy. A healthy conversation is the best way to get your point across to them. Do not unnecessarily pressurise children. Know their talents and focus on bettering them rather than giving them false
ambitions.

Role of peers
Many students face a dilemma when they witness their friends cheating in tests.
Although, they know the right thing to do is to report the incident, they hold back due to fear of the backlash from their friends. In such situations, anonymity is the best way to go. Let the teacher know about the incident in a discreet manner. It curbs the cheating incidents as well as keeps the students safe.

In the end, conscience is the best check. As long as children have their conscience intact, they will differentiate between right and wrong. This conscience stems from the upbringing and the morals moulded into the young minds by parents and teachers.

Making students realise that success is worthwhile only when it stems from honesty and merit will take them away from the dishonest practices. Allow them to formulate their own rules and regulations. Giving them the freedom to decide on their own will bring about a drastic change in their mentalities.

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