A sophomore wrote the following Comment, which explains not only why students cheat, but gives a pretty good rundown of the types and amount of work many high schoolers get each night.
Why I Cheat
by a High School Sophomore
To start off, I’m a sophomore in a relatively prestigious private institution; I have an IQ over 180. I don’t need to cheat. But why wouldn’t I? Hell, I don’t bother on tests, I get all the answers right before most kids in my class, but the sheer volume of homework I receive every night is absolutely ridiculous! Tell me, if I’m already investing 8 hours in school, 2 in sports, 2 in other ECs, how in the hell do my teachers expect me to add 6 more hours to homework?
I’m not stupid, it’s not a matter of me being slow with my work, there just aren’t enough hours in a day for school, rugby practice, play rehearsal, and that much homework! I’ll give a run-down of what I’m supposed to do tonight:
AP U.S. History: Take (meticulous) notes on chapters 40?–?43 (the end of the text, thank [insert deity here].) Prepare for in-class essay on any thing that occurred during Roosevelt’s presidency. Okay, so that’s not so bad, but we still have another 6 classes to cover.
English II: Read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and be prepared for a test tomorrow or the next day. Two work sheets on Moby Dick. I should probably also start on the autobiography due next week, since I can’t really cheat on that.
Latin II: Translate two books of Jason, test tomorrow.
Algebra II/Trig: 78 problems covering material that our teacher has conveniently for gotten to teach us.
Biology: Not too bad, just read and summarize a few articles from Scientific American and write up a lab report.
Gym (yes, gym): Look up all sorts of vocabulary concerning sports that nobody has played since the middle ages, and memorize it in two days
AP Stat: Busyworkbusyworkbusyworkbusyworkbusywork
How the staff a) expects students to do this much work while maintaining sleep/sanity (luckily I’m an insomniac and I went insane long, long ago) and b) thinks that any body does some of this ridiculous @%!&, is absolutely beyond me.
The only kids who don’t cheat are the kinds in all fundamentals classes who don’t know any better. If I could begin to describe to you the network of cheating that runs beneath this school, well, you probably wouldn’t really be all that surprised, but it’s still ridiculous.
Anyway, I feels good to get this off my chest. I predict that nobody will ever read this rant, but if you do, and by some miracle you made it here to the end, please know that this post was fueled by 12 sleepless nights, a fever, and a mosquito that has been in my room for the past hour that is pissing me the hell off.
Thank you, good night.