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Students, professors battle over cheating tricks

Senior Reporter

Published: Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 01:12

Students, professors battle over cheating tricks

Connor Hyde | The Houstonian

CHEATERS According to the Educational Testing Service, between 75 and 98 percent of college students have cheated in high school.

Students are increasingly creative in the ways that they cheat on tests. With finals just a week away, professors are on the look out for tricks of the cheating trade.

Students mastermind cheating schemes like the notable "typing your notes on the labels of water bottles and soda bottles" and the "taping your notes to the bill of your hat" tricks.

Professors commonly ask students to keep their drinks on the floor or turn their caps backwards during tests.

More than ever, students are using technology to cheat.

According to the Educational Testing Service, "Today between 75 and 98 percent of college students surveyed each year report having cheated in high school."

"I know people that use [the search engine] Bing on their phones," Saxon Smith, sophomore business major, said.

The Internet isn’t the full extent of technological cheating: texting friends and classmates for answers or downloading audio files of notes to iPods and other MP3 players to listen to them on headphones during exams.

In larger classes, where professors do not know each student by name, students are known to take tests for other students for a fee.

To combat this, some professors require students to have their photo ID on it out on their desk. As a result, students have come up with a way to cheat using IDs.

"Some people write notes on the back of their IDs," John Sordia, freshman kinesiology major, said.

Despite Sam Houston State University’s strict Academic Dishonesty Policy, some students are not afraid to risk their education.

According to university policy, "The university and its official representatives, acting in accordance with Subsection 5.32, may initiate disciplinary proceedings against a student accused of any form of academic dishonesty including, but not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, collusion and the abuse of resource materials."

Cheating has many faces according to university policy: Copying from another student, using unauthorized materials during a test, collaborating with another student during an exam or in preparing academic work without authorization. Other examples include: Knowingly, and without authorization, using, buying, selling, stealing, transporting, soliciting, copying, or possessing, in whole or in part, the contents of an unadministered test; or substituting for another student, bribing another person to get an unadministered test or information on it. Purchasing, or otherwise acquiring and submitting as one’s own work the work of another.

All academic dishonesty actions are considered and reviewed by the faculty member teaching the class. The faculty member has the ability to fail the student, reduce their grade on the test or in the course, or make the student do extra coursework.

"I haven’t really seen anything too bizarre while in college," Devon Beatty, mass communication senior, said. "In high school I had a friend who’d tape notes on bookcases and the ceiling, though."

To make it tougher for students to cheat or get away with cheating, many professors give out multiple versions of exams or walk around the classroom during exams. Typically, professors do not allow the use of any technology, including cell phones, iPods and anything with Internet.

To avoid plagiarism, some professors require students to turn written assignments in to sites like TurnItin.com.

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