Contrary to popular belief, honors students cheat just as much or more than students in regular classes do. Honors students are assumed to be hardworking, responsible, and honest. Yet these “above average” students are frequently taking part in the same dishonest conduct of the ordinary students, performing the task better and getting away with it more than the regular students.
Explaining why honors students are better at cheating is difficult because every cheating student follows the same unwritten process to guide him to victory. The process is simple. First a cheater decides how he is going to cheat. He has many options including inscribing answers on various body parts (hand, thigh, etc.), creating pocket-sized notes, asking an earlier class for the answers, and plagiarizing. He can also place his hand upon his face (next to his eyes) angled away from the teacher while turning his head slightly in the opposite direction of the teacher and look at his neighbor’s paper. The following tactics are risky and are reserved for the more adventurous kids. They are snatching the teacher’s answer key, asking for assistance with a question while peeking at the answer key (at a teacher’s desk), hacking into a teacher’s computer for grade adjustments, and opening a textbook on the ground while taking a test. One of the most creative strategies I’ve heard of is peeling the wrapping from a clear water bottle off to write the answers on the blank side; then taping the wrapping back onto the bottle exposing the answers when one looks through the clear bottle. Of course some regular students have been known to try these conniving techniques, they have been mastered by the honors students.
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The second step in the cheating process is when a student realistically imagines himself using the technique he chose in the first step. This is a planning stage that requires a student to pretend and prepare his developing plan of cheating. The better the student can imagine himself cheating, the more likely he is to succeed. After all, practice makes perfect. For example, if a student wanted to write answers on the inside of his band-aid, he needs to picture himself taking the test and slyly pulling off the band-aid when the teacher’s back is turned to reveal the answers. There is no wrong way to accomplish this step, but many prefer to ask themselves questions to prepare themselves. Some students ask themselves, “is the technique I chose in step number one appropriate for me?” “Is the technique too advanced?” “Do I have a good chance of getting caught?” “If I do get caught, how can I lie and convince my teacher that I wasn’t cheating?” “Can I afford to get into trouble if I am caught?” That now brings us to the next step.
The third step in the process of cheating is when a student thinks about the consequences he must face if he is caught. Some students are rightfully humiliated in class when the teacher notices him cheating. The teacher may call the student’s parents or dole out a detention/referral. Since cheating is a violation of the rules in the student handbook, in extreme cases a student may even be sent to BAC, a classroom reserved for Bad As* Children, hence the name. By far the worst punishment is being sent to the deans’ office. I’ve seen kids go in and they never come out.
All of the above steps are basically preformed the same way when comparing an honors student and a regular student. The final step in the process of cheating is putting your plan into action. This is the step that determines the difference between an honors and regular student. Generally, honors students tend to be smarter cheaters than regular students. For example, while putting his plan into action a regular student might hastily write a tiny cheat sheet and noticeably stick it under his scantron. This “regular student method” is outdated, overused, and not very efficient. A (female) honors student on the other hand would follow the steps of cheating and first think of a more unusual place to write her answers than on a little cheat sheet. She could think of wearing a skirt, writing the answers on her thigh, and inching her skirt up during the test to reveal the information. A teacher is much more likely to notice a cheat sheet than answers on a student’s thigh. She would picture herself doing this before the test so she could gain the confidence she needed to go through with the plan. Then she would actually put her plan into action on the day of the test. That is also an example of perfect preparation. Carrying out the plan of action is obviously the most risky step. It needs to be done slyly using the plans you have made from step number one and two. The overall difference between regular and honor students is in how the student carries out his plan of action.
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There are a few more reasons why honors students can cheat more successfully than regular students can. First, they care about their grades more and are willing to sacrifice their neck for the grade. A lot of regular students have an “I don’t care about my grades” attitude and are too lazy to cheat.. Also, honors students know that they aren’t ordinarily suspected of cheating over the regular students. They are sometimes given the benefit of the doubt when a teacher suspects this dishonest conduct is happening. They are trusted more, which is a common mistake. Lastly, some teachers just refuse to admit that their “favorite students” are cheating. They ignore or simply don’t notice the fact that two papers belonging to two students sitting side by side look exactly alike. Honors students have more advantages over the regular students and that’s why they can cheat just as much or even more than regular students without being caught.