West Ranch Students Say Cheating in Honors/AP Classes

| Gazette, Student Journals | March 19, 2012

By Sooyoung Hu, tenth grade
The ticking of the clock, the sharpening of pencils and the rustling of papers is the normal environment for high school students. Each day, students take a quiz or a test in which they are pressured to do well. As an honors or AP (Advanced Placement) high school student, the expectations are even higher.

“I think students cheat because they are desperate for their grades and always want to do better,” said sophomore Danny Hyun.

Teachers believe that students cheat in order to live up to their standards of maintaining their 4.0 GPA.

“I think they feel driven because they feel like that’s the only way to be better than the person sitting next to him or her grade wise,” said Tracy Kane, a tenth grade honors teacher.

Constantly, honors and AP students are pressured to beat the curve, be admitted into a good college, and earn a solid A. Because students are expected to get outstanding grades all the time, they resort to cheating.

According to Denise Pope, an adjunct professor in theSchoolofEducationatStanfordUniversity, “Nationally, 75 percent of all high school students cheat.”

Although many teachers and students frown upon cheating, over the past few years the percentage of cheating AP students has increased. Not only do these students lose trust, but their record of cheating is recorded in their files.

“When I catch a student cheating, I lose a little trust and I would rather have them take a lower grade and just retake the test, because that shows me so much more about their character than to cheat,” said Kane.

Research shows that AP and honors high school students cheat more because they are expected to give more. These students not only have to be on top of their academic areas, but they also focus on extra-curricular activities. Since these students have a mindset that they need to meet people’s expectations, academic stress comes along with the urge to academically excel. This requires time and effort, which these students do not really have. In order to live up to their own standards and others’ expectations, students resort to cheating.



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