Course Resource Kit

How prevalent is cheating?

In their review of data on cheating, Simkin and McLeod (2010) show that studies have indicated rates as high as 86% of students engaging in some form of academic dishonesty and that the practice is on the rise. When looking at specific and intentional cheating, Curtis and Clare (2017) demonstrate that 3.5% of students self-report having engaged in contract cheating in the post-secondary sector, with a high prevalence (62.5%) of re-offenders. Generally, researchers expect that self-report data is lower than actual numbers, as students have good reason to not report acts of academic dishonesty, and even though the surveys are administered anonymously, they may not achieve a level of trust to expect full transparency. Cheating is prevalent at all institutions, and data does not support assumptions about cheating being more prevalent among international students or in distance-education classes (Watson and Sotille, 2010).