Is it possible to write an exam without cheating?

Is it possible to write an exam without cheating?

Sometime in my third year, I wrote this killer math exam. Not like it was nothing a student won’t pass with good study, I was not prepared for it. Simple, no excuses.

It became so bad my seatmate noticed my blank slate of an exam script. You know when you see symbols instead of what you know and you’re rooted to your seat in confusion. That’s how I felt.

Long story short, this good guy (one of the best in the department) offered to help me. As in, he was ready to show me as much as I wanted to dub.

I declined his offer.

Being a Christian played a large part in that decision. The second influence was what a friend said when I was in secondary school. According to her, cheating was like lacking confidence in the fact you can read and pass an exam. It’s a simple message that struck a chord in my heart.

There are benefits to writing tests on your own. The pride is overwhelming for one. If you’ve aced a test in the past without asking for help you should be familiar with this feeling. It also builds your self-confidence.

It’s unfortunate how we view exam malpractice these days. Of course, the word ‘cheated/cheating’ is always replaced with something less incriminating. I’ve lost count of he number of times I’ve heard talks justifying the act.

Well, if it was right to cheat during exams, schools won’t have penalties for it.

So back to my initial question…

Is it possible to write an exam without cheating?

Of course, it’s possible.

Is it possible to ace an exam without cheating?

Another resounding yes.

Are there humans like you and me acing exams without malpractice?

Yes, yes and yes.

If that’s the case, then why do you feel you can’t pass that exam if you don’t ask your neighbour for help?


When we ask questions like these and ponder on them, it can open us to good reasons why we should shun malpractice.

Personally, I see exam malpractice as doubt in one’s ability and failure to accept responsibility for poor preparation. You don’t believe you can write an exam and even nick a ‘C’ so you have to cut corners.

It is not meant to be so.

Taking a no-cheating stance may not be easy at first. But the truth is, success is not magic. People put in work to get what they want. We should all strive to put in the required effort to get results we seek AND decide not to cut corners. While we scream at corruption at the highest levels of governance, we should remember that change begins with you and me.

So, my dear friends, it is possible to write and ace an exam without help.

Have you written an exam before without cheating? Let me know in the comments.


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