Students find new ways to cheat on exams

Posted May 18, 2007

IPods are being banned from classrooms worldwide because students are using them to cheat on tests.

From the United States to Australia high school students have found that iPods can be used for more than just downloading music.

Students are putting notes on the iPods and listening to them while taking a test.

“I think eventually it’s going to hurt them,” freshman anthropology major Cassandra Gonzalez said. “Either they’re going to get caught or it’s going to hurt them in the long run.”

Students can download files such as crib notes and hide them under different sections.

Those who have voice recorders on their iPods can read and record their notes onto the music player.

“(This is) probably something the teachers are going to have to start watching for,” Gonzalez said.

During the test students can hide the device in their pocket and slide the cord underneath their shirt or jacket, so the teacher cannot see it.

The earpiece can be hidden by hair, a hood, or leaning your ear on your hand.

Some teachers do not suspect that they are listening to music or notes.

“That’s pretty smart, actually,” freshman accounting major Christopher Beltran said.

The iPod cheating is becoming a growing trend at the high school level, but has yet to reach college students.

Sophomore criminology majors Liliana Lopez and Wendy Rodriguez reminisced about their strategic cheating plans they used in high school.

They would use hand signals, tapping and calculators to help themselves and other students with the answers.

“It’s just funny how we had the time to come up with those codes,” Lopez said. “Now we don’t.”

Rodriguez and Lopez do not use these or any other methods to cheat because they do not think cheating belongs in college.

Students in college want to learn, whereas students in high school just want to graduate so they can leave.

“I think it would be really common in high school because kids are stupid like that,” sophomore liberal studies major Diana Lopez said.

Senior political science major Brandon Martinez said cheating is not popular at the college level because tests are different in college than in high school.

Many of the tests are essay exams rather than multiple choice or fill in the blank.

It is harder to cheat on those types of tests.

Students do not see this new cheating method growing in popularity at the University of La Verne.

Beltran does not think many students cheat anyway, so iPod cheating will not appeal to them.

“Cheating is something that is done in lower levels (of education),” Beltran said.

Professor of Biology Fredda Fox thinks otherwise.

She has had a few cheaters in her classes in the past and thinks iPod cheating may become a trend on campus.

“I just make it clear, no electronics period,” Fox said.

Cheating has not been a major problem for Fox, who has been teaching at ULV for more than 20 years.

She said she can count the number of cheaters she has had on her hand which is due to the small class sizes.

“I catch them, most of the time,” Fox said.

Many of the students interviewed did not know iPods could be used for cheating.

It is hard to say whether this new cheating method will become a trend at the college level or not in the future but even so cheating has a new face.

Sher Porter can be reached at sporter4@ulv.edu.

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