Inside the Cheater’s Mind: Why Do Students Cheat?

Since schooling systems began, cheating has always been present in educational systems throughout the world. However ‘traditional’ this problem is, the issue is becoming more and more common each and every year, with the majority of cases starting out during student’s high school years.
But why do students decide to cheat? I’ve teamed up with Vivien Smith, a college professor and custom essay writer to discover the main causes of why some students cheat and the psychology behind the actions.

The Facts

Don McCabe, an academic integrity researcher based in the US, conducted through research and studies to find out just how prevalent the act of cheating was in educational systems. The results from a 24,000 strong student survey were shocking. He found that over 64% of students admitted to having cheated on a test in past and 58% of students admitted that they had purposefully plagiarised in one way or another.

On top of that, he found that a staggering 95% of surveyed students had cheated on an academic assignment, whether it was a test or homework etc. By why are these figures so high? Unfortunately, there is an extensive selection of answers to this question.

The Need to Succeed

One of the most obvious reasons to cheat would be to get achieve the required grades. By cheating, and not getting caught, students can guarantee full marks on a test, allowing them to achieve the higher grades. Based on what teachers tell them, this means they can get whatever job they want and can follow their dreams. As we all know, however, this is not the case.

Society Influence

Drugs news in sport and athletic individuals having cheated to win a match or game. Politicians are caught by the media in fixing polls are just two out of countless examples where individuals in the public eye have been caught cheating which leads people to think how many people are operating that have yet to be caught.

With this in mind, it’s easy to see why students, especially children, would think it is okay to cheat. I mean, why wouldn’t they if they have heard of their role models doing the same?

Lack in Education Standards

This is particularly important when it comes to homework. When do you ever remember in school being taught the skill of thoroughly researching information?
Vivian explains, “During my years as an educator, I have marked and read through countless assignments, essays and research papers including my working experience with Australian help. I have seen all forms of bad grammar, in particular, a complete absence of citations and references. At first, I believed the student was trying to pass off this work as their own, despite the quality of the work is obviously too high in some places. I soon realised that this wasn’t the case and, in fact, students simply hadn’t been taught how to use referencing and citations properly.”


As we all know, confidence is one of the biggest issues young people face today, alongside social pressure to do well. This goes hand in hand with the first point but if a student doesn’t truly believe in themselves and their abilities, they may turn to cheating to guarantee the grade, despite possessing the mental ability to do well in the first place.
Sara Graham, teacher and tutor at Academized, concludes, “By taking a proactive and firm approach to the act of cheating in schools, we can be sure that we can slowly begin to eliminate the action altogether. By adopting more personalised methods of learning, children and students can work at their own pace, no need to cheat but instead work to the best of their abilities.”

Teachers and parents need to work closely with their students and children to ensure that the child is confident enough to believe in themselves that they can successfully complete the task at hand. With added confidence, the rate of cheating would drop dramatically.

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