Academic guide to cheating

4th February 2000 at 00:00
AN American academic is bracing himself for howls of protest from parents and teachers after publishing a book setting out 59 ways to cheat in exams.

Cheating on tests: how to do it, detect it and prevent it documents the lengths to which American high-school pupils will go to gain an unfair advantage.

The book's "taxonomy of educational cheating" lists a bewildering array of methods, from the basic looking-over-a-classmate's- shoulder technique to far more sophisticated approaches.

Some of the more bizarre approaches include pupils using strategically-placed coloured chocolates to indicate the answers n multiple-choice tests, and others writing scripts on a tissue and then destroying the evidence by sneezing into it.

A run-down of cheating techniques from around the world includes a case from Kashmir where PhD students turned up armed with assault rifles to take exams on behalf of a class of 16-year-olds. "No one dared complain," the local newspaper noted.

Author Gregory J Cizek, professor of education at the University of North Carolina, accepts some people will be alarmed but he claims that teachers will benefit from knowing more about the deception methods their students deploy against them.

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