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Subject: Have you ever cheated on a test? [Poll] rss

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Joe Lott
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I will justify putting this here in RSP because I just read about how people cheat on the civil service exams, even going back in time to say the Qing dynasty.

There tied it (however flimsily) to politics.

I personally have never, but I hear about rampant cheating, and I'm curious. It seems insane to me. Thanks for honesty, and I don't expect if you are a cheater for you to say HI, unless it was a long time ago in like elementary or something.

Poll
1. Have you ever cheated on an exam?
Never
Yes, before high school.
Yes, in high school
Yes, on college entrance exam (SAT, ACT included)
Yes, undergrad exam
Yes, GRE or other upper division entrance exam
Yes, as a grad student
Yes, on a professional exam (not academic, licensing, promotion, etc...)
2. If you did cheat, was it incidental or planned?
Incidental
Planned
Elaborate Planned (More than just looking over a shoulder)
3. What motivated you to cheat?
I wanted good grades.
I knew I was going to fail.
I wanted to get a license, or other professional exam.
To see if I could (for the hell of it).
4. If you did cheat, did you have help cheating?
They helped, and were taking the test also (but did not cheat themselves).
They helped, and were taking the test also and did cheat too.
They helped, and were not taking the exam at that time.
They helped, and were not taking the exam ever.
No, I did it solo.
      117 answers
Poll created by masaakunokouchi

Poll
If you did cheat do you feel it helped you be successful in life?
Yes
No
      56 answers
Poll created by masaakunokouchi

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Jonny Lawless
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I'd like to say I'm too honest to have ever cheated, but the truth is many times I was just too scared of being caught.
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Most surveys state that 65-75% high school students cheat, yet so far 75% of the respondents state they have never cheated.

Apparently, we have quite a few cheaters on this survey.
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Joe Lott
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MWChapel wrote:
Most surveys state that 65-75% high school students cheat, yet so far 75% of the respondents state they have never cheated.

Apparently, we have quite a few cheaters on this survey.


Not answering honestly is not cheating, its simply lying.
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This Guy
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Missing one of the most common reasons for cheating: people are more likely to cheat if they feel the test or its subject are meritless.

I don't remember cheating on a test in school, but have cheated on tests at work for mandatory training. People just decide that it would be good to have their employees get familiar with Topic X and require us to take an online course for it. For example, I've had to take sales courses and tests, which included calculating commissions and dealing with international law on those sales, but I am a web developer in marketing.

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Joe Lott
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Aetheros wrote:
Missing one of the most common reasons for cheating: people are more likely to cheat if they feel the test or its subject are meritless.

I don't remember cheating on a test in school, but have cheated on tests at work for mandatory training. People just decide that it would be good to have their employees get familiar with Topic X and require us to take an online course for it. For example, I've had to take sales courses and tests, which included calculating commissions and dealing with international law on those sales, but I am a web developer in marketing.




Good point.
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Doe Gibson
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MWChapel wrote:
Most surveys state that 65-75% high school students cheat, yet so far 75% of the respondents state they have never cheated.

Apparently, we have quite a few cheaters on this survey.


I think it might be an age thing. It's possible that the percentage of cheaters is lower for other age groups.
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Joe Lott
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doelion wrote:
MWChapel wrote:
Most surveys state that 65-75% high school students cheat, yet so far 75% of the respondents state they have never cheated.

Apparently, we have quite a few cheaters on this survey.


I think it might be an age thing. It's possible that the percentage of cheaters is lower for other age groups.


Interesting thing from the paper I read: In the Qing dynasty the estimated percentage of cheaters: 63%.

You should read the attempts the goverment put to stopping it. Sound just like today, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
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Damian
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I've never cheated to my own benefit. In high school I had no need to, and I would sometimes let people cheat off of me. I suppose that counts as cheating though. I've only gone back to college recently, so as an adult who chose to go back I definitely have no reason or desire to cheat, as that would be counter productive.

I've definitely cheated on stupid, meaningless shit. Countless of those corporate HR type "tests" that come as part of various policy presentations like diversity and sexual harassment. Usually those are poorly created enough that you can just rapidly click through a lame Flash presentations and click answers until it takes them. I don't really consider that cheating.
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MWChapel wrote:
Most surveys state that 65-75% high school students cheat, yet so far 75% of the respondents state they have never cheated.

Apparently, we have quite a few cheaters on this survey.


Maybe, or just different demographic. This IS a boardgame site, after all, not the general public.
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MWChapel wrote:
Most surveys state that 65-75% high school students cheat, yet so far 75% of the respondents state they have never cheated.

Apparently, we have quite a few cheaters on this survey.


Maybe there's an element of self-selection – people who didn't cheat are more likely to vote in the poll.

Maybe people who encounter the poll are less likely than the average to have cheated.

(I never cheated. It's not some moralistic high ground – I never experienced that particular temptation.)

I'd be surprised if that many high schoolers cheated. I'm open to believing it, but I'd be fully surprised.
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Seth Brown
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For academic stuff, no. Unless you'd count the time when I was in elementary school and a teacher marked a question correct even though I'd gotten it wrong, and I didn't bother pointing it out.

However, I actually cheated on my most recent drivers license renewal test -- I couldn't really see the vision portion, but I did a lot of squinting and refocusing, and apparently guessed well enough to pass. (It's mostly a moot point, as I don't drive, so my interest was mainly to have a valid license for ID purposes.)
 
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Sure, I cheated in high school. Once, that I recall. I just didn't want to deal with memorizing a lot of crustacean names or something like that. I figure it was harmless.

I "cheated" once in college in a computer science class (Theory of Computation) where the professor was just atrocious--couldn't teach worth a crap and didn't really seem to want to be there. So, the class started meeting once a week at night to try to decipher what he was talking about. When it came time for a take home exam, we all gathered (except for one woman) and worked together. Took forever and we collectively came up with what we thought were good answers.

Of course, the professor called each of us into his office separately to go over a representative question. We went over one that the group missed and he explained the answer he hoped to see. He asked if I had given or shared that answer and I proudly stated, "Sure...that was one of my answers and I'm surprised I missed it." This led to discussions with the department chair and the group was told we did not violate anything since the professor did not state that we could not work together.

I think that helped me quite a bit in life. Taught me how to work the system and how to get something out of an otherwise worthless situation.
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Wally Jones
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Of course this is a trick question.

Like "Have you ever stolen anything?" is a trick question.

You only have one viable answer and that is to answer affirmative.

If you answer negative you are also a liar.
 
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XanderF wrote:
MWChapel wrote:
Most surveys state that 65-75% high school students cheat, yet so far 75% of the respondents state they have never cheated.

Apparently, we have quite a few cheaters on this survey.

Maybe, or just different demographic. This IS a boardgame site, after all, not the general public.

I agree. Look at the top boardgames here, then tell me they would be preferred by average people. I don't think so. I never cheated because I never felt I needed to. The subjects I cared about, I got good scores on; the subjects I didn't care about, I didn't care about.
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chaendlmaier wrote:


I have to say though, that when I was on exchange in the USA, I found your high school tests to be very simple.


Well of course! By the time your country was willing to let you go for the briefest of periods, our country had stopped giving tests in humility.
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XanderF wrote:
MWChapel wrote:
Most surveys state that 65-75% high school students cheat, yet so far 75% of the respondents state they have never cheated.

Apparently, we have quite a few cheaters on this survey.


Maybe, or just different demographic. This IS a boardgame site, after all, not the general public.


Next you're going to tell us how boardgamers never incidentally cheat at board games.
 
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I may have occasionally let a pretty girl "accidentally" see one of my answers on a high school exam. If I had gotten so much as one handjob out of the deal, I could have avoided years of deep and crushing remorse.

I guess I should have discussed the terms of service up front.
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I blatantly cheated on a spelling exam once in elementary school once. I got caught and had to retake the exam. It was very embarrassing.

I don't ever recall cheating again until once in my undergrad. I had three classes with midterm essays due the same day. I did my best to get them all done but ran out of time. I determined I could get two out of the three done. I reviewed the syllabuses for each course and decided to exclude the one that was worth the smallest percentage of the overall grade. The one I skipped was worth only 10% while the other two were worth 25%.

I went to class the next day ready to admit to the teacher that I didn't do the assignment. When I walked in though, she said, "Hey Chris, I didn't get the midterm from you. Did you have an email problem or something?" I jumped on it and said, "That's weird. I'll check my sent mail after class." I went home and wrote the essay as fast as I could and sent it to her with a note saying, "Attempt #2 to send this." She didn't ask any further questions and I got an A on the assignment.

I still did all the work myself so I guess that's not really cheating so much as buying myself extra time with a lie. Still, not the most honest thing I've ever done.
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Paul W
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As a teacher, I could go off on a big rant about why cheating pisses me off, but I'll spare you that...I will however share a story from high school.

It was an exam in AP Chem, and the teacher had to step out for a while (I can't honestly remember why). Shortly thereafter, about half the class pulled out textbooks and gathered together to look up and share answers. Annoyed, after a few minutes I stood up, went to the door, and tossed my exam in the trash as I walked out. Although I didn't name names, I wasn't about to validate the exam by going about my business as though nothing was going on. Apparently everyone went back to working on their own after that.


Okay, I'll get off my sanctimonious high-horse now
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I was too naive to think of cheating prior to college and the work was usually easy to make a B to an A.

I became aware you could cheat in college but never considered doing it. I wasn't outraged by cheating since it didn't impact me. None of my friends in the SF/gaming guild cheated openly or ever championed cheating- to the best of my knowledge they didn't cheat.




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I can think of two options. I consider the first somewhat more likely than the second, but I may be wrong, or it could be a combination.

Option one: Human memory is quite selective biased towards the preferred narrative of the person doing the remembering. Hence, some who claim they never cheated did, in fact, cheat and cannot remember it now. Which is fine.

Option two: You Americans hold a clear moral superiority over the rest of us.


Because, oh boy, did we ever cheat. Out of laziness, desire to get a passing grade or just because everyone was doing it. There were competitions for who could cram the most useful info on an as tiny as possible cheatsheet. The first people to have access to printers which could do really SMALL fonts were heroes.

Many teachers encouraged preparing cheatsheets because making a good one involved comprehending the subject matter and ability to summarize the import parts. Can't make a cheatsheet unless you know your stuff! Of course they still did not condone the actual USE of them, so every test or exam some people would get caught. It was a big game for most of us. Not all the time and not all subjects, but it happened a lot.

Of course I am referring strictly to high school. That stuff does not fly in college / university (or high school final exams for that matter, they were much more strict with those).
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Seth Brown
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As for memory, I'll admit mine is terrible so it's plausible I cheated on an exam and forgot, but to my recollection I just didn't have to cheat in school.

And that, I imagine, may be the reason you see Americans responding with less cheating. Not because Americans are more moral -- a preposterous hypothesis -- but because fewer Americans play good boardgames. I know in Europe and especially Germany, boardgames are a normal activity. Most Americans who do play boardgames, especially if they played boardgames 20 years ago before it was cool, were nerds.

Nerds, simply put, are mostly not going to need to cheat to get a good grade in school. Indeed, prior to the whole Internet boom, they got made fun of a lot because they were good at school as opposed to being good at whatever kids value at that point. So I'd guess at least part of what you're seeing is a bunch of nerds who didn't have to cheat in school.

I assure you, Americans on the whole cheat like hell. I cheated on various occasions as well, I just don't recall school being one of them.
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Osirus wrote:
Not because Americans are more moral -- a preposterous hypothesis --
Dammit man I'm trying to give a complement here
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The only time I cheated was in high school on a test. The whole test was right out the preamble to the constitution with punctuation. I thought the test was meaningless as did most of the class. Almost everyone (some people were honest at least) wrote out the preamble on a sheet of paper before hand and then just turned it in for the test. I probably wouldn't have if it had been a little harder, but knowing how much time I would have had to invest to memorize the preamble I think in the long run it was worth it.
 
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