10 Reasons Why Cheating is Wrong

schoolhelperCheating in American high schools is widespread. A recent ABCNews poll of 12- to 17-year-olds provided these statistics:

  • 70% of teens say at least some kids in their school cheat on tests.
  • 60% have friends who have cheated.
  • 30% say they themselves have cheated, rising to 43% of 16- and 17-year-olds.
  • More than 50% say cheaters don’t get caught.


In our previous blog, Cheating in School, we provided several facts, consequences, and prevention tips for adolescent cheating. In today’s blog, we wanted to offer parents some specific ideas for talking to your teen about cheating.

You can print out these ten reasons to give to your teen and use them as a way to open a discussion.

Top Ten List for Why Cheating is Wrong

  1. Cheating is the same as lying and stealing. Each time you hand in schoolwork, you are basically telling the teacher that you completed that work on your own. That’s either true or, if you cheated on the work, it’s lying. Cheating is also stealing because you are taking someone else’s work and calling it your own.
  2. Cheating causes stress. When you cheat, you inevitably worry about getting caught. The stress of getting caught increases when you consider the possible consequences of your actions, such as getting in trouble at home or receiving disciplinary actions from the school. Even worse, you may have to develop a story to cover up your cheating, which can lead to getting trapped in a web of lies because it’s so difficult to keep your story straight when it never happened. It can be very stressful if you get caught in a lie, or if you thinks someone knows about your cheating and might tell someone else.
  3. Cheating is unfair to others. Have you ever played a game by the rules only to have a friend who was so intent on winning that they cheated? Cheating is very frustrating when you are playing by the rules. When you cheat in school to get better grades, it’s unfair to the kids who actually studied and did the work. You may also receive unfair recognition for the better grade, when it is not deserved.
  4. Cheating is unfair to you. Accomplishment feels good and helps build self-esteem and self-confidence. When you cheat, you are basically telling yourself that you do not believe in your own abilities. You might get an A on a test or an assignment, but you’ll know that you really didn’t earn it. Cheating just makes you feel bad about yourself.
  5. Cheating hampers progress. Learning tends to build on itself. You learn basics first so that you can use those basics in more complicated problems later. If you don’t know the basics, then you will have to continue to cheat, or start over learning the material from scratch. Every time you cheat, you’re not learning skills and lessons that could be important later on.
  6. Cheating is disrespectful. Teachers work hard to share knowledge to help you be successful in academics, career, and life. Cheating shows a lack of respect for the efforts of your teacher and your classmates who did the work.
  7. Cheating kills trust. It only takes getting caught cheating one time to ruin trust. Even if you never cheat again, those in authority will always have a hard time trusting you and will likely be suspicious of your work. When others hear about your cheating, their opinion of you will be compromised.
  8. Cheating can become a habit. People who cheat don’t usually do it one time. It becomes a habit that follows people throughout college and into their careers. Just like gambling or stealing, cheating can become a part of who you are and spread into other areas of your life. Cheaters tend to lose perspective as to what is acceptable behavior and demonstrate a disregard for others.
  9. Cheating eventually leads to failure. By skipping the hard work involved in learning, you will never develop the important traits of persistence, dedication, diligence, and sacrifice. Success takes hard work, and cheating is the easy way out. Eventually, you will find that it is difficult to achieve your goals without these important skills.
  10. Cheating is embarrassing. Your actions define who you are to those around you. When you cheat, you are expressing yourself to others as lazy, incompetent, untrustworthy, selfish, unintelligent, and disrespectful. In addition, many schools are developing tougher stances on cheating. Imagine your embarrassment when you are suspended for cheating or you discover that school personnel informed college admissions officers of your actions.


Final thoughts…

Schools and parents must both actively discourage cheating if we have any hope of stopping this epidemic. Studies show that America is lagging behind other countries in academics. Our nation will not be globally competitive if we raise a generation of undereducated cheaters. Parents and teachers should emphasize the importance of integrity.


  • I think cheating is wrong because at the end of the day you won’t learn anything. So never in your life cheat it is not good for you. If you are going to think about cheat don´t think about it. If you wanna think about cheating at least as for help instead of asking someone for the answer. If you ask people for you will get nowhere in life but where you are now for the rest of you life. Also, I am just a kid. I go to Red Oak Middle School. So If I am In Middle School and I know cheating is bad you should know too.

  • It is true that cheating is bad and i do feel guilty whenever i try to, but personally i couldn’t help it. What i mean is that i try hard and study but sometimes i need to make sure of my answers so i don’t lose marks, and this is obligatory as the field i want to study in requires high grades. As you mentioned, it is quite an epidemic, but a lot of students cheat and get high grades so universities accept them immediately, due to the undeniable fact that universities nd colleges never look at hardwork spent, but on grades.

  • This was really helpful for me. I’m doing a essay about cheating in schools and this is the one that was the best for me. Thank you for listing 10 things to help people out.

  • I do not agree with you, Im a straight A student and I know parents of my friends, many of them put strict rules and limits on their kids if they do not get good grades and in opposite give them rewards for getting good grades, and as a human I really feel bad for them and always help them on exams (im cheating by helping others), no difference between C- or B+, but my friend life will not be miserable! also it helps me to be friends with a lot of bullies or bad guys in school, so I say cheating is good because 1. human feelings 2. peace

    • Ummm I do not agree with your statement. You say your friends have strict parents, well what happens when they find out that they’ve cheated?? MORE LIMITATIONS that’s what! Yes you can feel bad for them, but instead of helping them by cheating maybe help them study and get good grades the RIGHT way. Also being “friends” with the bullies or bad guys in school. That”s not friendship, that’s them using you to get good grades.

      • uve never had strict parents have u? The limitations they put on their kids is to the point where they do cheat. You sound dumb

      • I don’t agree with your statement because what is the point in studying and putting effort in something that is of no value. Its useless. I mean it doesn’t make any sense they tell us to work smarter not harder but don’t like how we do it. Be fr.

    • i understand what you’re feeling. I’ve done that also but I stopped helping others through cheating. although it’s a pity that your friends are in a strict environment with their parents and that the bad guys/bullies you’ve friends with are slow in studying, cheating won’t get them better. they will never feel the satisfaction that they deserve the grades they’re getting because of you. and they’ll be dependent on you. they’ll become parasites. i understand your pity but also you want to belong that’s why you’re relentless on doing the cheating for them. because in your mindset, if they find you worthy like giving them free grades/work, then maybe they’ll hang out with you more and create some bond you want because you never felt what it’s like to feel belong. you’re worth than that. you don’t have to stoop low to have that. what if someone smarter comes along and they find that they can get higher grades from him or her than you? where would you belong now? you’ll be discarded like trash. they don’t see you as a friend you want them to be. what about your grades? what would you feel if that friend you helped has higher grades than you because of your hard work of cheating for him/her? isn’t that unfair? if they keep on using you for their grades only then its an absolute result that they would never mind if they’ll be ahead of you which they don’t deserve. i understand if you want to help your friends from being punished by their parents but if you keep on doing that, you’ll never realize you’ve been taken advantage of. and people will do that until its too late. i hope you’ll guard yourself more and encourage your friends to study more or give some tips of how you study. thAT can help. value your worth. if they’re adamant on just cheating and not even trying to do the effort and just dependent on your works then they’re not real friends instead its a relationship between a host and a parasite. have some kind friends.

    • I don’t really agree with your statement. Yes cheating is morally wrong but some of us have parents who don’t understand that grades aren’t everything and that those grades wont mean anything in life. Also teachers don’t create their own things for the students they have to follow a curriculum so no they are not working hard and there is a lot of pressure on us to ”succeed’ so try to think about that.

  • Yes cheating is a wrong way to deal with exams. I fell like cheating shows that we are weak and are are unable to learn by our own so we cheat other people’s work. Most of the boys thinks cheating is a fun amd it shows you are strong and smart which is actually foolish thing ever to do. Cheating is not a way to way to get out of stress in exams. If we prepare our own ideas that will also make you relive.overall i would say that cgetaing is not good ideas as some people think.

  • Thank you for this thoughtful list.

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