PBS Kids GO! It's My Life
Cheating: What Counts, What Doesn't

In February 2003, a sixth-grade boy in Florida sneaked onto his teacher's computer and changed five of his assignment grades. He got caught, suspended, and then expelled from school.

Okay, so that's obviously cheating. But sometimes it's not so easy to figure out if something counts as cheating or not, and it seems like everyone has his or her own opinion. So how can you decide for yourself?

Cheating in school is mostly about two things: dishonesty and breaking the rules.

Another important thing to remember about cheating is that it applies to ALL your schoolwork. That includes:

  • Tests and quizzes
  • Homework assignments
  • Group projects
  • Reports and papers
  • Extra credit work
Here are some examples of being dishonest and/or breaking the rules:
  • Claiming that you did the work by yourself when you really didn't.
  • Pretending you did work that you didn't do, or saying it's your work when it's really someone else's.
  • On the flip side, doing another person's work for him, and letting him take credit.
  • During a test, writing down answers beforehand, getting answers from other students, or helping others students answer questions.
It doesn't matter if the cheating affects your grades or not. It all counts. If you're faced with a situation and you're not sure whether or not it's really cheating, ask yourself:
  • "Am I being honest to my teacher about how I did this work?"
  • "Am I following all the rules that I know my school has about behavior and class work?"
If the answer is "no" to either -- or both -- of these questions, then you know you're cheating.

Recently, IML did a poll about which type of cheating was the worst. Here's what you said:

    Copying from someone's test: 32%
    Having someone else do your work: 44%
    Copying out of a book: 23%

Copyright © 2005 CastleWorks, Inc. All rights reserved.