Due to the competitive environment among students in Australia, there is a surge in the rate of cheating in high schools.

The data from the board of studies have highlighted the efforts of school students to cheat on the Higher School Certificate exam. This data also showed that there were more than 300 instances of cheating last year . A student, in a particular test,  was so dependent on cheating that he used prepared notes three times despite repeated warnings until his grades were revoked, as reported by Mail Online.

The surge in the rate of cheating is also boosted by the essay writing services available online. It is now easiest for students to plagiarise other’s work more than ever. The students are not only directly copying from these online essays but also using mobile phones to find answers during the exam. The data gathered during exams in New South Wales is very disturbing for the president of the Board of Studies Tom Alegounarias. The exposure to technology is the pertinent factor affecting the data regarding cheating in high schools.

The President of the Board of Studies said, “the increased competitiveness might encourage kids to cheat more, but there is also a lot of judgement and self-policing being exercise by their peers.”

“Last year, a kid put up a photo up of the exam room and he was howled down. They are moralising on their own accord, they no longer admire the rebel for their own sake,” Alegounarias added.
Over the past year, there is a jump of 8 percent in the cheating cases, especially with take home assignments which students plagiarise from online essays.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Fairfax Media revealed in June last year that NSW high school students were paying hundreds of dollars to have assignments written for them.

Malpractice instances are much higher in HSC English subjects than mathematics. There were 188 malpractice cases in HSC English subjects across the four levels compared to 15 cases in mathematics. Business services have the highest number of cheating cases as 9.8 of every 1000 students getting caught in cheating.  Consequently, it reveals the influence of online essay services.

Meanwhile, Tom Alegounarias also said that instances of cheating in high schools were still rare when compared to the 70,000 students sitting in the exam every year.

He added, “If a student is absolutely determined, and clever, and wants to spend a disproportionate amount of money, then they can have a go, but the work involved in doing that is much more than what it is worth. In the end, we are always going to have cheats, but after spending hundreds of hours in the classroom with them, teachers know their work.”