These are real engineering student problems that are plaguing universities.
I cheated in my exams several times when I was in engineering school. I copied answers from my seatmates with and without permission. I grabbed my neighbor’s test paper so I could replicate exactly what she wrote. I fixed a few ‘cheating arrangements’ with my friends. However, I never brought a cheat sheet to an exam, if by any case that fact makes my acts of cheating less evil.
That was the time in college when I did not have the moral fiber and just conformed to the common practice in our classroom. Yup, almost everyone else was doing the cheating styles I mentioned and even more, often done by pair or by three.
Looking back, I realized that I only did such academic dishonesty because I was afraid to fail regardless if I was learning the subject matter. When I lost my scholarship, my only aim was to pass the subject. But I also had a difficulty of that as well when I took the major subjects, forcing myself to cheat my way through many exams.
Since it wasn’t in any of my college plans to retake a subject, I gave in to some extent of cheating in several of my subjects. And I apologize for this, my dearest teachers, if you are reading.
I never denied about my acts of cheating in college exams. When I talk with my college buddies and recall the stupid things we did back then, too often we laugh about how much of cheaters we were – we were all guilty, but just never caught in the act because we were that good or our teachers barely cared at all.
Now I am not trying to normalize such activities. Instead, I would like to promote an academic performance built by one’s own hardwork. It’s a different feeling when one passes or fails the subject with dignity, because it is his or her product as an individual, as a future engineer. That’s other than finishing engineering with a clear conscience.
On our Facebook page, we recently asked our Facebook followers about how they would respond to a certain situation that essentially asks about whether or not they will cheat in a final exam where they are supposed to pass, else take the subject again. Here is that situation in full:
You are taking the final exam but you have not studied at all due to certain circumstances. It’s exam day and your classmate knew about your predicament. He, someone who prepared for the exam, offers that you sit beside him so he can help you in answering the items — in short, a cheating arrangement.
In order to pass the subject, you need at least a passing grade in your final exam. Else, you are going to retake the subject next term.
Will you accept your classmate’s offer? Why or why not?
The top comments in our poll are of varying moral standards. But perhaps the most interesting is this exchange of Kent Arizala and Nasser Ramirez Judda.
Kent shared, “An engineer is resourceful. A real engineer will take the offer. Life is so much short to invest so much time with grades that do not really define a [person’s] intelligence or capability. In the real world of engineering, there are no lame exams but rather real world problems that require teal world solutions. Fuck that exam.”
In that comment of Kent, Nasser shared his sentiments. He said, “First, it’s true that engineers are resourceful. Engineers will find ways to make life easier and more efficient for the benefit of mankind.
“However, engineers should also be good citizens of this world. Actually, that exam is not a basis of his/her knowledge about the theories or concepts about what real engineering is all about. Rather, it’s a test to challenge his/her honesty, dignity, and ability to work and think under pressure.”
Nasser was also concerned that it might be dangerous that that one act of cheating could be carried over later as a habit. Ideas could be snatched or copied by engineers, affecting growth in innovation. Substandard knowledge and unfair judgment delivered from repeated forms of academic dishonesty could lead into big casualties.
He added, “Remember, our universities and academic institutions are building and investing ENGINEERS, not criminals who are SELF-PROCLAIMED ENGINEERS. We should break that stigma. Live with honor and excellence. Long live engineers!”
Both went on with their conversation, eventually finding common ground. At one point, Kent mentioned this stark reality about our education. “The academic system is flawed and I do believe is designed to make obedient but competitive employees who will have a tendency to be egoistic and self-righteous,” he said. It is something to think about among engineering schools.
Apart from the two, others have also thought of their decisions under such a circumstance. Prescila Bagangan Y Salipio, Cris B. Ibo, and Jake Basingan will accept the offer of the classmate but as much as possible they will not copy the answers, and instead only verify them or ask for formulas.
Meanwhile, Carlo Balbalosa Musico neglected the conditions of the situation and said, “If you are an engineering student, no circumstance can make you to not study on finals. Even if it is the end of the world, an engineering student will always choose to study above anything else.”
Katarzyna Kapri Dabrowska replied to the poll with the same thought, but still answered in the end. “When I was in school I was young and had more idealistic approach, and I probably wouldn’t be unprepared either way. But if that happened then and there I would say no.”
Many of our followers, like Ahnica Nicole Olila, believe that students should say no because it is the morally right thing to do. Jovienne Lyle Cruz thought that it is better not to copy because sometimes you need to trust yourself and be independent. Kerby V. Togonon also said no because he would rather face the consequences of his being irresponsible than to pass with guilt.
Analiza Malinao Illustracion Legaspi took into consideration the emotions of the teacher, who of course will feel terrible upon learning that his or her students cheated. She said, “This will never be ok. Just imagine if you are the teacher, what would you feel?”
Blessie Galarpe Nuguid wrote no. She reasoned out that failing subjects, she understands, is for her own growth. “I do not care with other [people’s] gloomy and [disappointed] faces, I do not care with what they’ve gotta say, because I know I am doing my best and I [won’t] cheat. I [won’t] do anything that’ll make me look awesome when it’s actually my seatmate who’s awesome. I am trying my very best to take care of God’s name. His righteousness, His glory.”
For several others like John Neil Sanupao Igbalic and Jeric Laurentino Angala, it is an opportunity for them to accept such a blessing and should never be denied.
Clintoy Panchito Espelita, Marinelle Aquino, and Lovelle Northern Lights Capellan said yes implicitly by stating that it’s called teamwork and not cheating, quoting “The students that copy together, graduate together.”
There is nothing to be ashamed of about cheating, Syed Baqir said. He shared that cheating is the basic right of student. Hmmm.
Wajid Ullah Ghazi and Yano Garcia Carreon agreed. Both unanimously said that cheating is better than repeating. Meanwhile, Arth Ryan Acala Flores commented that not all superheroes wear capes.
It was Candy Padua who made a strong conviction on saying yes, she will accept her classmate’s offer. That’s because according to her, today’s schools are all about passing, not learning.
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