The Dangers Associated with Cheating on Your Exams

The temptation to cheat on an exam is often irresistible and can lead to severe consequences. It is important to understand why this temptation arises and then seek ways to avoid it.

A lot of students say that they’ve had an unfair advantage at some point in their schooling careers. Colleges, and universities have become stricter and the consequences have become more severe.

Key Points of Article

  • Cheating is never acceptable and there are severe repercussions associated with cheating
  • There are various forms of cheating, and each one has consequences
  • Students can avoid cheating by preparing well for their exams
  • An increase in technology and social constructs has made cheating much easier

Is Cheating on Your Exam Bad?

You won’t end up in jail, but, there are very severe consequences that will follow you for the rest of your life.

Causes and Effects of Cheating on Your Exam

  • Suspension or expulsion
  • Failure
  • Academic Probation
  • Guilt and The Aftermath

Suspension or Expulsion

This is the same as jail time. It leaves a permanent record. You will have difficulty getting into a college or university.


You will fail that exam. Your teacher or lecturer could also decide to fail you for the entire year or course.

Academic Probation

Some institutions also have ‘academic probation’. Students must fulfill a list of duties and tasks before being able to complete his or her course.


There are times where students do not actually get caught for cheating. This is still not beneficial to the student. Even if you get away with cheating, you won’t gain any knowledge expected to come from that lesson.

The Aftermath

There’s a domino effect. Students will find it difficult to understand new concepts. Falling behind leads to more temptation to cheat. Cheating more often means there’s a higher chance you will get caught as well.

Why People Tend to Cheat During Exams

Students cheat on their exams for the following reasons:

  • Difficulty understanding: Sometimes students don’t understand the work. Instead of seeking academic support they cheat.
  • Shifting Blame: Many times students blame cheating on unfair exams or their educators.
  • Obligation to friends/family: Students feel obligated to assist family/friends during exams.
  • Poor study methods: Poor study methods mean students can’t keep up with the work.
  • Competition: Some students compete to do better than other students and cheat.
  • Repercussions: Sometimes students do not understand the severe repercussions of cheating
  • Insignificance: Students who feel insignificant in their classes also tend to cheat

Different Forms of Cheating in Educational Institutions 

The different forms of cheating include:

  • General Cheating

Leaked Exam Papers

In recent events students have leaked exam paper before the exam. To read more on this click here.

General Cheating

Examples of General cheating. The use of crib notes or looking over another student’s shoulder.


Using someone else’s ideas or quoting someone else’s work without mentioning the author.


Paying off a teacher or lecturer to grant you exceptional results even when not deserved.


Providing false information to a teacher or instructor about an exam or test. Examples include giving a dishonest excuse for needing an extension on an assignment.


The act of submitting work as your own when someone else has completed the work on your behalf. It can also be when someone else writes an exam in your place.


The falsification of data, information, or citations in any formal academic exercise.


When either a student or a teacher prevents another student from completing his or her work. This type of cheating usually occurs in competitive environments. 

How to Prep Well for Exams to Avoid Cheating

To avoid the temptation to cheat you can be well prepared for your exams and still do well. Here are some tips on how to prepare for your exams:

  • Organise your study space. Make sure you have a big desk to layout your notes and ensure that you are comfortable. (Tip: YouTube has concentration music playlists to help you stay focused and relaxed).
  • Make use of diagrams and make your study notes visual. Visualising your work and making it more concise can help you remember it easier.
  • USE PAST PAPERS. This is the best thing you can do. Go over previous exams. Your teacher or lecturer will ask similar questions and have a similar layout. This way you know what to expect.
  • Say your work out loud to someone or even in the mirror. Say your work out loud to someone else or even to yourself.
  • Organise group study sessions with friends or people in the same class as you. There are instances where friends have easier ways to study a certain topic and vice versa. This is a chance for you to exchange ideas.
  • TAKE REGULAR BREAKS. You might feel as though you need to get all the study time you can. But this is not always the case. Have downtime and allow your brain to process the information bit by bit.
  • Eat well. Brain food is not a myth, it’s real. Ensure that you have a healthy diet during your study periods and stay hydrated.

Has it Become Easier to Cheat?

It has become easier to cheat for the following reasons:

  • Technology: Technology has taken over the world and you can access it easier.
  • Cellphones: Students are always carrying their cellphones around with them. So cheating is easier now than it has ever been.
  • Quick Answers: Answers spread and the internet can give us answers in seconds.
  • Recording Lessons: Students record their lessons and play it back during exams.
  • Copying and Pasting: In cases of essays, students copy and paste from google, which is a form of plagiarism.
  • COVID-19: Especially with COVID, most institutions went online. The amount of students cheating has risen.
  • Physical Monitoring: No one is monitoring what aids students have access to.
  • Social Structures: The idea of cheating is accepted.
A guy looking over a girls shoulder during an exam

You Don’t Need To Resort To Cheating

If you don’t understand your work or not sure which study method to follow. Contact one of our consultants and they will give you the support you need.

  • Call us for free on 0800 39 00 27
  • Or fill out a contact form for a call back
Last Updated: 2 September 2021