Opportunity Makes the Cheater: High School Students and Academic Dishonesty

  • Andrej Šorgo
  • Marija Vavdi
  • Urška Cigler
  • Marko Kralj
Keywords: cheating, academic dishonesty, secondary school


The purpose of this study was to reveal data about cheating behaviours in Slovenian upper secondary schools, to raise awareness and to lower tolerance for such behaviour. To acquire information about demographics, cheating behaviour, and opinions on such behaviour, we compiled a questionnaire that targeted a university population of first-year students
(N=323). From the results, it was revealed that cheating is a way of life in Slovenian schools, and almost all students at least occasionally indulge in some academic misbehaviour. It seems that a culture tolerant or even supportive of such behaviour has been established among students, parents and teachers, all working together to “help” students climb the ladder of success. The open question is whether all kinds of cheating are even recognized as such. Cheating is most common in homework, but at the other end, even systems such as external exams are not immune to fraud. At the moment, classic methods of cheating dominate. Differences between characters (e.g. gender) and educational institutions in most cases are non-existent or small, a finding that could aid in establishing measures to prevent cheating inside schools as institutions.


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