There are many ways one may flourish academically in college. You may be lucky enough to have a natural proclivity for well-structured argument, for research, a thirst for knowledge matched only by your impressive ability to retain information. Or perhaps you are simply incredibly diligent, renowned for your commitment to education and your fastidious and admirable approach to hard-work. More likely however you are none of these things and, like the majority of us, you must content yourself with academic mediocrity. You dutifully slum it from one assignment to the next, your litany of essays, projects and assignments completed under a fug of grim obligation rather than with any genuine enthusiasm or passion.
Or maybe, you are someone who lusts after good grades and, rather than actually studying what is required of you, you spend perhaps an equally great amount of time and effort contriving some unreasonably complex method of cheating the system.
Well according to research conducted by The Irish Times, this latter group, while remaining small, has been growing since 2010. It describes that, since 2010, there have been some 2,300 cases of students caught cheating at universities and institutes of technology.
What's more, throughout the majority of colleges and ITs there has been a year on year increase in the number of students caught cheating.
The study also reveals that business studies students are the most likely to be caught cheating in exams. It states that in UCD, 40% of the students that are reprimanded for academic misconduct are business students, despite business students making up just 20% of the student body. While this seems to imply that business students are more open to the idea of cheating during exams, it is also equally possible that they are simply worse at cheating and thus more likely to get caught. Perhaps students in other subjects are simply more ingenious at hiding their methods of cheating rather than just trying to glance down at a smartphone they've slid of their pocket while they presumed no invigilators were nearby.
Who's to say that there aren't vast swathes of engineering students creating elaborate spring-loaded mechanisms, which remain secreted within their trousers, and fire out the requisite exam notes at appropriate times.
Again, there is no evidence for or against this hypothesis, it is simply idle speculation.
However, aside from directly attempting to cheat, cases of plagiarism were far more likely among arts students, with approximately 80% of UCD's recorded cases of plagiarism involving arts students.
So it seems that none of us are without sin. We are all just dirty dogs trying to get by.
H/T: The Irish Times