AP World cheating scandal highlights academic pressure

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 Monte Vista’s academic prowess is well known throughout the surrounding areas but does the outside community know what actually goes on behind closed classroom doors? 

     On Friday, Oct. 18, Advanced Placement (AP) World History teacher Alison Perruso called in a substitute on a test day.

      After the test was distributed, two sophomores took a photo and distributed it through Snapchat. Like any typical test day, the students were required to place their phones in the phone pockets prior to the test. These two students, however, took advantage of the substitute being unfamiliar with the protocol and decided to keep their phones on them.

     One of these students, who would like to remain anonymous, said, “I just wanted to show my friends the test, so they could do well.”

     The student who took the picture explains that the cheating process was surprisingly easy.

     “Cheating on the AP world test had no complications and it was very easy,” the anonymous source said. “I was able to easily take a picture during the test because of the dividing folders we were given. This allowed me to take pictures while my phone was hidden.”

    The pictures were then sent to many students.

    “After zero period, I received the pictures in a group chat that I am in,” said an anonymous sophomore AP world student, who received the pictures of the test. “After that, the pictures started to spread, even more, I sent it to a few of my friends but made sure that I deleted the pictures off my phone.” 

     While some students were relieved that the test was out and that they might get a grade better than usual, students from earlier periods did not feel the same way.

     “A lot of kids including myself had to study really hard for this test and it just got taken away from us because someone decided to take a picture of the test,” sophomore Justine Price said.

     Similarly, the teachers were unhappy. The teachers found out later during the day about what happened only through a couple of students. The test then got canceled after the two teachers found out.

     “I was disappointed because it meant that we had to make a new test and students would need to study more,” AP world teacher Anastasia Chrzanowski said. “It takes a lot of time and effort for the students, Mrs. Perruso, and I to get ready for a new test all because of one or a couple of student’s actions.”

 

     The two AP world teachers rescheduled the test for the following Tuesday due to the cheating incident, hoping that students could take the test fairly. However, more complications occurred. 

Rumors quickly circulated once again that the second test had been compromised and at least one AP world student has verified that they did see pictures of the second test.

     The test was canceled again after the teachers found out. 

     “I feel sorry for you guys who are in the class because you’re the ones that end up paying for the behaviors of a few,” Perruso said. “I’m disappointed that so many people were involved and only a few people came and told us.” 

     The back to back cheating scandal illustrates a common problem within the Monte Vista community. For most students, sophomore year is the beginning of advanced classes. With the new pressures and accelerated curriculum, some students make the poor decision of cheating to help secure a good grade.

     This isn’t the only time cheating has been a problem in AP classes. It seems to occur every year.

       “In past experiences, cheating has affected me negatively; for example, last year in my honors anatomy class a student in zero period took a picture of the test,” senior Sydney Guastucci said.  “It was sent out and people used their phones on the test in the first period, so they had an unfair advantage since I was trying to do the moral thing by not cheating.”

     Many attribute the stress of AP classes as the cause of cheating, according to the anonymous student who took the photo of the first leaked AP world test. “If they’re guaranteed results without studying, then it relieves stress from students,” the student added.    

     Many students take multiple advanced classes and it’s not uncommon to see even sophomores now with more than one AP class. This may cause students to think that cheating is an easier way to get a good grade without the effort from studying.

     “This tells me about the stress and pressure of kids, especially those who are taking AP classes,” Chrzanowski said.  “Because there’s so much pressure, kids may get desperate and make decisions they don’t normally make; for example, willing to risk getting in serious trouble for a test that they won’t even remember next semester.” 

 

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