Your 1st Step to Higher Education™
It’s that time of year, and applications to US and UK universities are coming out. As you sift through your mountain of forms and struggle to build a decent application strategy, are you tempted at all to cheat?
No? Are you sure?
You could purchase a customized admissions essay for as little as US$12.55 on custom-essay.net. Why not write your own recommendation letter and forge your supervisor’s signature? I mean, you’ve been such a slacker that nobody really wants to vouch for you. How about sprucing up your resume with a couple key leadership positions?
Come on, it’s no big deal! How else are you going to get into INSEAD? Everybody’s doing it…
Without a doubt, cheating has become the norm today. Upon the commencement of the new millennium, Don McCabe, founding director of the Center for Academic Integrity at Clemson University conducted a survey of over 70,000 students at 120 high schools and colleges in the US: a whopping 95% of his respondents admitted to academic cheating.
Incidences of cheating have been on the rise, and technology is flinging open the doors for creative cheaters. Simply download essays from one of the dozens of sites like Echeat, 123helpme, or Antiessays – for absolutely FREE! From texting answers to friends sitting for exams to photographing future test copies on camera phones, the possibilities (and temptations) are endless.
In a generation characterized by epidemic cheating, it seems only natural that individuals also lie in their applications. The stakes are much higher and how are the admissions officers going to know whether you spent 6 hours or 15 minutes a week leading your community’s volunteer organization? When you feel crushed by the unceasing pressure to get into the top b-schools and outperform your peers; when lying is so much easier, the temptation to cheat may seem overwhelming.
Let’s be real here. Compared to other fields such as social work, theater, and medicine, the business world puts much greater emphasis on profit and prestige. The bottom line for MBA’s is not freeing the human spirit through creativity, or keeping others from harm and injustice; it’s landing the highest paying, highest level job on Wall Street. In such a cutthroat environment, it is not surprising that MBA students are the most likely to cheat in school.
In a 2002-2004 study surveying 5300+ students at 54 colleges and universities by the Center for Academic Integrity, 56% of MBA students divulged that they had cheated academically. This percentage was higher than those reported for students in the fields of engineering, science, law, humanities and education.
In the past years, we have witnessed numerous MBA admissions cheating scandals. In one of the more well-known cases, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) won a legal judgment in a federal district court against the Scoretop website, which reportedly sold live GMAT questions to VIP members. More than 6,000 people were involved, and MBA applicants, current students, and graduates spent many sleepless nights as GMAC canceled confirmed cheaters’ scores, prohibited them from retaking the GMAT, and notified b-schools.
But there is still hope for MBA bound students. In their second school year, 33 Harvard Business School Class of 2009 students created the MBA oath. This pledge emphasizes sustainable development, social contribution and responsibility and of course, integrity. Their initial hope was to sign up 100 classmates, but the number of signatures rose to over 450 in just a few weeks. News of the oath has now spread beyond Harvard to b-schools as far away as Iceland and Norway. The rising popularity of this oath may signal that we are learning from the global financial crisis, and that times may be changing.
So before you hand over this month’s paycheck to a brilliant and enterprising friend to take the GMAT for you, ask yourself this: Will you be proud of yourself after you have done the dirty deed? What does it feel like to lie not only to others but to yourself? A little cheating may not be as awful an act as murder or rape. But it still stains your hands with spots of guilt.
There are countless ways to increase your chances of admission that do not involve fibbing.
If you still have a couple of years before you intend to begin your MBA…
If you are starting your application process now…
Enjoy a special 15% discount on all SAT group classes, when you sign up with a friend!
Offer ends 31st May.
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