Published June 23rd, 2008 by Mliesie

To cheat or not to cheat …

It’s time for the exams again. The various national exams like CET-4 and CET-6 as well as the upcoming College exams. 2 Of my friends here have worked really hard to prepare for their CET-6 exams. They are non-English majors, but pretty ambitious AND pretty good at English. Passing exams like these is really important for students as many companies will choose to hire you when you have passed the exams. Absolute nonsense, because these exams have nearly nothing to do with the practical English skills one often needs to work in a company. But that’s a whole different story for another time to tell. Back to my 2 friends…

1 of them has locked himself up in the College library for over a week to study vocab and practise old exams (something I didn’t advise him to do, just so you know…) and we could only get him out for lunch or dinner or for 1 evening of relaxing and watching an English movie with English subtitles (good practise!!). The other student, at an unexpected moment, told me she was not going to take the exam because she was going home to take an exam for one of her relative’s friends… I beg your pardon?! It shouldn’t have surprised me… This is something that happens quite often in China. People will ask other people to take an exam for them because they themselves do not have the abilities. Even teachers here at my College will ask students to do exams for friends or relatives! What’s worse, they pay for it. LL needs money because she is from a poor family and she will continue her studies in Xi’an next year. She has to give up her hard work and the possibility to pass the exam in order to make her relative happy.

I’ve had many discussions about this phenomena with my students. How will China ever be a super power when so many people cheat? They cheat by doing exams for other people, they cheat by buying the answers to exams, they cheat by copying. In short: cheating is a way of life in China. But…. 1st of all they cheat on themsleves. Once they cheated thier way through College and graduate, they will get that really nice job because it seems they did so well in College. Ofcourse they will accept the job, but then it’s too late. As they start working they realize they can’t do it because they always cheated and learned hardly anything. Oooops, what a loss of face that must be! Also, having all those fake graduates in China; how can a country┬ábecome a super power with people who have know true knowledge, no original minds? No wonder this country is so good at copying, it equals the cheating they did in College!

It gets worse actually… Students will do exams for people who are already working, but who need to do certain exams to either keep a job or get promoted. Be it teachers or people in other functions. Can you imagine teachers doing this? What will become of the future generation? Our students who are to be teachers after graduation, cheat their way through College and they are incapable teachers. Then, they will continue cheating after they get a job, by having College students take exams for them. The result? The future generation will get even poorer education.

When I talk about (discuss) this with my students, they all agree to the arguments I give them, but….. I know they will still continue in this way. Perhaps by the time it’s too late, will they realise the effect of what they now do.


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