How 7 months ago
admin #howto

How to Deal With the Situation when You Are Caught Cheating in a Test

If you were caught red-handed in the moment, or if your teacher has irrefutable evidence against you, you should confess. The worst thing you can do after being caught cheating is to dig yourself into a deeper hole. While it can be scary to be completely honest with an authority figure, it may be your only choice.



Own up to your mistake.

If you were caught red-handed in the moment, or if your teacher has irrefutable evidence against you, you should confess. The worst thing you can do after being caught cheating is to dig yourself into a deeper hole. While it can be scary to be completely honest with an authority figure, it may be your only choice.



Show remorse.

You got caught doing something wrong, and you should act sorry.



Explain why you cheated.

This doesn’t mean you should start spouting off excuses, but rather give some rationale behind your actions. Instead of letting the teacher or counselor assume you are lazy or simply mischievous, try to offer them a reason they can understand. For example, tell them you were overwhelmed by the course material and simply were terrified of failing. It doesn’t undo the cheating, but everyone can relate to being scared.



Evaluate the evidence against you.

If a teacher saw you looking at an answer key in the middle of an exam, you aren’t going to be able to convince anyone that you weren’t cheating. However, if your teacher simply has a hunch that you cheated, you may be able to successfully deny the allegations. The repercussions of cheating can be intense, such as losing financial aid, getting suspended, getting expelled, and more. Unless you were caught red-handed, you may be able to convince your teacher that you’re innocent.



Tell authorities you did not cheat.

If you believe you can get away with it, go for it. The most important thing to do is to act surprised that they’re questioning you in the first place. Imagine if you worked hard and completed an exam or a paper without cheating… wouldn’t you be shocked if you were accused of cheating? Channel that reaction.



Stick to one story.

Keep it simple. If you are going to deny cheating, you don’t need to come up with a winding, elaborate lie. Continuously repeat that you did not cheat, you are not a cheater, and you are saddened by the accusation. Do not tell different people different stories, and do not confess to a friend or sibling, no matter how trustworthy you think you are. Maintain one solid story, and don’t budge.



Accept the consequences.

Tell your punisher that you understand whatever punishment or consequence they dole out, whether it be a week of detention, a month of detention, or a failing grade. Arguing will probably not make them change their mind about a punishment, but will only make you look worse. By accepting your punishment graciously, they will see that you have learned your lesson and understand the seriousness of your offense.



Prepare for a discussion with authorities.

These can be different groups or people, depending on your situation. Often, schools will have “honor councils” that will determine your punishment, almost like a jury in court. Other times, a dean of discipline, the principal, or your teacher will decide your fate. It’s important to prepare for these discussions. Prepare a great explanation, rather than a whiny excuse. Explain what lead you to cheat, and how you will fix this moving forward. If you have a great academic or behavioral record up until this incident, point that out.



Get it over with.

Whatever your punishment is, just do it and move on. The longer you put it off, the longer it will stress you out.



Keep a positive attitude.

This will make you look better to your teachers, but it will also make the punishment easier. Focus on making the best out of a bad situation, and use your punishment as a learning experience.



Understand your rights.

While it’s important to accept reasonable punishment, it’s also OK to fight back if you genuinely believe the punishment does not fit the crime, or if you don’t believe the punishment was determined properly. You have a right to due process from authority, and the teacher cannot dole out punishment without letting you share your side of the story.



Determine the cause of your cheating.

This can be tricky, and it might take a little bit of self-reflection. However, it’s extremely important to determine what led you to cheat in the first place.



Create a plan to deal with said issue.

If you were confused about the subject matter on the test, make a plan to work with a tutor, study an extra hour after school, or meet with your teacher to ask questions. If you couldn’t find the time to study between your other after school commitments, you need to quit some of your extracurriculars (or rearrange your schedule) in order to make school a priority.



Commit to your new plan.

This is your chance to prove yourself and show that you are not a cheater. Hold yourself accountable, and remind yourself how unpleasant your punishment was. If you need to study more, turn off your cell phone and really commit to studying for a block of time without distractions. If you need extra help, reach out to your teacher and schedule a time to meet that you can’t flake on.

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