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Are French students bigger cheats at exams than English students ?

By No author

French students are more resourceful than ever when it comes to avoiding having to learn their lesson. A study recently carried out showed that 70.5% of students have admitted to cheating at some point and mostly by creating a crib sheet for their exams.
According to this survey, cheating starts very early: over 48% of students who took part in the survey, said they started cheating during their secondary school years (between 11 and 14). During their primary school years, there were less than 5% and one in three did it when they were at the Lycée (between 15 and 18). It would appear that when students get to University, they start being more reasonable with only 11.4% confessing to the crime.
In the UK, 4400 students were caught cheating at GCSEs and A level exams last year, a 6% increase on the previous year. But this figure is still very small given that it only affects 0.03% of exams taken.
It is fair to say that cheating has been around since exams were invented. It would be hard to talk about it in terms of a new phenomenon even if the techniques seem to have become increasingly modern over the years. From the piece of paper covered in very small hand written mathematical formulas strategically placed in ones pencil case to the whole programme input into a calculator, it has now become more and more sophisticated with some companies even offering small earpieces to receive information or even material giving access to the internet.
Cheat Watch
Cheat Watch
It would seem that as French students get older, they are more aware that the practice of cheating is wrong and therefore they do it less. The reality, however, is different. Only 16% of French students know that they could be prevented from taking exams for life (this even includes their driving test!). In the UK, the sanctions do not seem as harsh given that students, if caught, are simply disqualified from the unit or prevented from taking the qualification in the current exam series.
There are discussions about the fact that CCTV cameras could be used in examination halls to catch cheats and prevent unfounded complaints against invigilators.
If students are less likely to cheat at exams as they get older it  is probably due to the fact that, unlike the Pythagorus’ formula of 4th form math tests, the information needed to write an 8 page essay is hardly going to fit on a scrap of paper.
What is more interesting however, is that professors are rather more relaxed about exam cheats and tend to concentrate more their efforts on plagiarism cases which have seen a real increase with the arrival of the internet.
A recent survey has revealed that as many as one in five students have included in their bibliography books that they have not read or use summaries rather than original works.
Furthermore, more than 1 in 3 has resorted to copy and paste to prepare a class presentation.
It would be interesting to ponder something once said by a Philosophy professor: “When I see the amount of work you had to put in to write your lesson on such a small piece of paper and placed it in the back of your ruler (the old version of a crib sheet), I tell myself that you have revised and that it is unlikely that you will be using your crib sheet…”
So are French students bigger cheats?


05/08/2010 - huhongyan1987 said :

Thanks for your posting; I really appreciate your ideas. Hope you can keep going


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