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How Can I Help Prevent Students From Cheating in School?

Students may succumb to cheating with the pressure of college admission, but it's risky. Here's what one of our experts suggests to help you prevent it.

Stephanie FarahStephanie Farah
Former Writer and Senior Editor
Obviously, cheating will never be entirely eliminated. But I believe you can take steps to stem the flow of dishonest test taking in an age when cutthroat admission and speedily transmitted information seem to have combined into a perfect storm:

  • Work with teachers to minimize or eliminate electronics in the classroom: Your students' texts, tweets, and TikTok For Your pages can wait until after school. Encourage your students to stay focused and keep the phone away.
  • Demystify standardized tests: Yes, they are important, but no, they are not everything. Remind them that if it comes down to it, they can retake their exams. And you might consider pointing some of your students toward test-optional schools. Reduce the pressure, reduce the cheating.
  • Research all the latest tricks of the trade: A quick Google search of “how to cheat on a test” reveals a litany of clever tactics for cheating that students may really be employing in the classroom. 
  • Help teachers learn new tactics: Research and share the ways in which teachers can stop cheating in its tracks, such as administering two versions of an exam or arranging desks in a way that makes cheaters easier to spot.
  • Maintain a frank and open dialogue with your students: As a counselor, you may occasionally end up with cheaters in your office. Ask them about their motives for cheating and discuss how they can avoid it in the future. Whether it was lack of preparation or fear of failure, help them understand that the instant gratification is hardly worth the long-term ramifications.

Take your student support to the next level with more advice like this in our Counselors and Consultants—Ask the Experts section. 

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