# Morality and Cheating in School

Gold Member
MHB
I am a senior in high school and I have major problem with homework. My feeling is that the purpose of homework should be to educate, not to waste time. This year I am feeling overwhelmed with the workload of the latter. I do not feel that homework I am given adequately helps me learn the material expected to be known and is superfluous. I would love to simply say to some teachers "I can do well on your tests without your work!" and do so.

Here is the dilemma though.

In order for me to receive my "A" that I want when I apply to colleges very soon, I must comply and turn in that work. If I refuse to do what I'm expected to, I must face the consequences and I am not ready to accept them. So what happens is I copy, copy, copy. I copy homework from anyone that will give it to me.

My question is: Do you think that copying homework is morally and/or ethically wrong? If you accept for the purposes of this discussion that the system of how homework is set up is wrong, are my actions wrong as well?

I would say no. And here's why. I believe that the way my high school has put so much emphasis on rephrasing what's in the bold print of our books for half of our grade is a system which doesn't test real retained knowledge of the subjects. I would call this copying as well, just from a book, not a peer. So I think that if I honestly understand the course, giving the teacher what he/she wants to see by this method is ok.

I waver back and forth on this topic, and I definitely see the other side to my argument. The side I hear most often is that when I submit a paper to my teacher, it is an unspoken contract that I claim to have done this work solely on my own, and that by copying I am lying to him/her.

What are your thoughts on this?

Jameson

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
I see it as clearly and obviously morally and ethically wrong. Frankly, I don't see how your rationalization has any bearing whatsoever on this.

And quite frankly, you simply cannot understand the material as well if you do not do the homework -- remember that the goal of your education is to learn, not to ace tests. Your ability to recall information is not the ultimate in learning: you also need to acquire an understanding of the material and be able to apply your knowledge.

The more experience you have with a subject, the greater the depth of your understanding, and the greater your ability to apply your knowledge of the subject will become. As a bonus, this will also increase your ability to recall information about the subject.

Furthermore, even if I've not convinced you that you should be aspiring to anything more than getting a passing grade, I have yet more ammunition!

There will come a time when you won't even be able to do adequate work through pure memorization -- the ability to apply knowledge will not come automatically, and you will have to sharpen this skill to be able to do anything. You will be at a serious disadvantage if you have firmly entrenched yourself in the habit of avoiding homework when possible, because you will find it extremely difficult to make yourself spend the time to hone your ability to apply knowledge, particularly when it involves spending effort beyond attaining the superficial knowledge provided by memorization.

neurocomp2003
Personally i do not think copying homework is technically wrong. If its the way you choose to spend your education then its up to you...especially in university where your paying for the course...if some other student is more than willing to let you copy(even for a small fee) then consider yourself lucky.
if your only aspirition is to just get through school and to get ANY job...then i don't see why you should think of this topic as morally wrong.

however if your an inspiring reseracher, then you should see it as being personally wrong. And i agree with hurkyl in that its another way of learning...if you feel uninspired and unchallenged then here is your chance at the start of the school year
to ask your teacher for a separate project to do in class. Write a proposal and if they agree to it then your destiny is in your own hand and the grade you achieve is to your own accord. Some teachers are more than willing to challenge a student...if they dont' agree then head for the higher powers.

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Personally i do not think copying homework is technically wrong.

Okay, I'll bite. Upon what technicality is this assertion based? You write as if how he chooses to spend his education has some bearing on the morality of copying homework -- would you care to attempt to back that up?

if your only aspirition is to just get through school and to get ANY job...then i don't see why you should think of this topic as morally wrong.

You write as if his aspirations have some bearing on the morality of copying homework -- would you care to attempt to back that up?

Specifically, I would like you to explain why you think one's goals and desires have a bearing on the morality of an action. An act doesn't suddenly convert from being morally wrong to morally okay just because you think it's unimportant... :grumpy:

Agnostic
You could look at it like this, although I am not saying its necessarily morally correct...

In todays society, it doesn't matter how you produce results as long as you get results. Who does your average business owner want for the job, someone who will get the job done by any means necessary or one who will give up if they can't get it the "right" way...

I am just explaning what I think some people my reason for not thinking it is morally wrong or even if it is something that can not have moral consideration applied to it...

Gold Member
And who here would like to have their car built by engineers who all copied homework all through college and got their lil engineering degree without really wanting to learn the "superfluous work"

Agnostic
Pengwuino said:
And who here would like to have their car built by engineers who all copied homework all through college and got their lil engineering degree without really wanting to learn the "superfluous work"

I don't think anyone would, but that's often the reality...The hard sciences are the only great exception in my opinion...

Gold Member
MHB

The problem I have with the way my school system has set up homework is that it not thought provoking nor worth while for true understanding.

Hurkyl said:
And quite frankly, you simply cannot understand the material as well if you do not do the homework -- remember that the goal of your education is to learn, not to ace tests. Your ability to recall information is not the ultimate in learning: you also need to acquire an understanding of the material and be able to apply your knowledge.

I agree completely. I think that the education system I have found myself in is completely about spitting out the right answer instead of really understanding it.

I also feel however that if one honestly comprehends all of the given material for a homework assignment, then it doesn't serve a purpose to do the assignment. For instance, I am in an AP Calculus class. The other day my teacher gave us a trig review where we converted angles from radians to degrees, reviewed trig inverse function, etc. Now if I understand the material, should I have to do the homework?

My frustration comes with the fact that my teacher doesn't care if I understand or not, she just wants to see my paper with work. So let's say I honestly understood the material for the first semester and did not do any of the homework, but aced every single test because I really knew it. I would receive an F for the course and any college I apply to wouldn't care if I told them I really knew Calculus, they would look at my grade!

Gold Member
Jameson said:
Now if I understand the material, should I have to do the homework?

If you really know the material, the homework should be a breeze so just do it. Plus once you start doing the homework, you'll start realizing how little you actually understand.

How is the homework when you actually do do it yourself?

Gold Member
MHB
Good point. The assignments I've done for Calc have been a breeze. The thing is, once I get to a section that I don't know, I plan on doing the work to learn it. The homework doesn't test whether I know the information or not, the tests do, or should. If I was failing the tests or felt I honestly couldn't understand, I would work my butt off to comprehend the material. I plan on being a math major and doing TONS of homework and any other kind of work in college.

neurocomp2003
Hurkyl what is the difference betwen copying homework, asking someone for 80% help, for 60% help for 40% help? 20%help? asking no one help at all except a reference book. What about group studies to do homework? AT what percentage of copying or asking for help does it become wrong? I'm sure you've been a TA...and a student has asked you for 80% help which means 80% copying...asking for what step to look, and then getting most of the answers outta you. Or even different students approaching for differnet steps of the same question.

Now going back to the issue of whether copying homework is morally wrong. I see it as the education system is suppose to teach you...but what if it doesn't? Or what if it doesn't challenge you? OR what if, what it teaches you is useless to where you want end up as a career, like learning shakespeares for english as oppose ot scientific writing?? Then what? you wasted all that time doing homework for nothing, when you could have been learning other things. I understand that high school is suppose to make you a generalized well rounded person, but in all reality its a rather useless concept.

From my own experience I spent all my high school doing homework. THen in my first year of university...for the first half to 3/4 of the semesters I repeated most of what i did in 2nd last year of high school( itook all my science OACs in gr12) while most of my classmates and resmates were partying and copying homework ALSO they need outta province students to catch up. Did i think it was wrong to copy at the time? YES. did i get angry when someone asked for my help for a complicated question yes. Do i regret doing all those quesiotns myself no...because i learned to learn by myself and do more questions then asked..because i like the challenge.
BUt to see most of my friends struggle with the homework and see them now...those courses were and are useless to them now,majority don't even use that knowledge.
And i personally should have been spending most of my homework time learning programming for the reserach that i wanted to pursue to get myself into grad school.

So i think the "morality of copying homework" would be a relative opinion.
[1]Students know the consequences of copying homework
[2]Students should learn to decide on a career path in high school
[3]When they choose a path, they should do the homework that comes with it.
[4]If the homework is unchallenging OR useless...they should attempt to ask the
prof for more challenging work(or projects) like i had done and many intelligent students that i new had done.
[5]if they are unable to do these projects then they know that they should go back to doing the homework then copying it.

In your posts you address the PLUS'S of doing homework but not the topic of "is it moral to copy homework"...and who is this morality associated to?
Is it a general qeustion?
Specific to the individual?
Specific to other students?
or to the schoo;?

If its the individual, then its their choice. If it was usefull then they will regret it later.
If it was not then they won't. If they should choose to learn out side the box go for it.

Is it to the other students? These students will gain the knowledge/behaviours that you spoke of and see it as a failure to those who wish to copy and not as them being morally wronged.

if its the school? They have consequences when a student is caught cheating. If a student doesn't get caught then the system is flawed or the system needs to improve its curriculum to make it more challenging.

If its in generality? i see it as a choice coming back to the student. If they need it they will do it and learn it. If they choose behave in the manners that you had posted then they did themselves wrong, but they chose to take that path.

Ultimately if a student wants or needs to be challenge I think the education system should tell them that the option always exists, inlieu that they satisfy the knowledge requirements of that course...its like taking a entrance exam to skip some first year courses.

Lastly I remember asking a friend if he wanted to cheat off me for first year chem(they were suppose to scatter identical test editions but we ended up with the same one) because he was struggling so bad. But he ended up taking the high ground and said thanks for the offer but I got to do this myself...he failed but he learned a good lesson.

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Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
The other day my teacher gave us a trig review where we converted angles from radians to degrees, reviewed trig inverse function, etc. Now if I understand the material, should I have to do the homework?

If nothing else, it let's the teacher know you understand the material... but more importantly...

This is a very good example, because it leads directly into a very good example I have from my experience as a tutor.

I have known many people who were fairly smart, and of whom nobody would question that they understood trigonometry fairly well. If you presented them with 2 sin &theta; cos &theta; and asked them to simplify it, they would have undoubtedly been able to come up with sin 2&theta;.

These same people will be working on a more complicated problem, say an integral. After doing a bunch of steps, they will eventually get something like $\int \sin \theta \cos \theta \, d\theta$, and suddenly become stuck, despite the fact they could easily handle $\int (1/2) \sin 2\theta \, d\theta$. Or, they might be working on a problem and wind up with something involving sin² &theta; cos &theta; and again become stuck, despite the fact they could proceed if they had (1/4)(cos &theta; - cos 3&theta;).

I, on the other hand, have done a LOT of trigonometry problems. (mainly due to the fact that for a time as a kid, it was all the interesting mathematics I knew existed), and these sort of transformations are second nature.

You see, the real question is not whether you can answer questions like:

Prove that sin² &theta; cos &theta; = (1/4)(cos &theta; - cos 3&theta;)

or even whether you can answer questions like:

Simplfy sin² &theta; cos &theta; in a form that doesn't involve multiplying trig functions

but whether you can recognize circumstances when this sort of knowledge can be applied. This ability comes from practice manipulating the functions -- simply fiddling with them until you can say "yah, I get it" and prove identities on tests is not sufficient.

You have indicated that one of your problems is that your homework simply takes too much time. I would then posit that you do not understand the material to the point where applying your knowledge is almost automatic: if you did, then it wouldn't be taking you too much time.

(P.S. I'm not speaking as a goody-two shoes who always did all of his homework: I have fallen into the very trap I described in an earlier post, and have found it difficult to teach myself new topics that I find very interesting precisely because I never really developed the patience to work through enough problems. In advanced studies, at least in mathematics, it is very easy to feel like you understand something, and then *bam* you're totally lost and have no idea what's going on, and it's precisely because you did not do enough of the problems to build sufficient familiarity with the material, despite the previous feelings of understanding)

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
As for morality, just because you think the easy route gives the colleges the information you think they want, that does not make it right. Not succumbing to these sorts of rationalizations is part of what it means to be a moral person. You either do the work to get the good grade you want, or you don't do the work and suck it up and get the bad grade.

neurocomp: any copying is wrong, and any help is good. I should specify that help does not mean getting someone to tell you how to do the problem.

I see it as the education system is suppose to teach you...but what if it doesn't?

Then it's still immoral to cheat.

If its the individual, then its their choice. If it was usefull then they will regret it later.

Yes, their choice to do the moral thing or not.

Loren Booda
How you justify your future is how you will live your life. Not only is cheating ethically wrong, but your heart will suffer from it. If it doesn't, your existence will.

Gold Member
MHB
I thank everyone for their input, and I do find myself leaning towards some alternative options that you guys have suggested. I think I might ask my teacher tomorrow for more challenging homework on future topics. Thanks guys.

I have one last complaint about the way high school grades are structured. I have AP classes where homework is a third of the grade, class work/participation another third, and tests the last third. That means that one could do all of the homework and classwork, receive a 50% on all of the tests, and make a B! I just don't agree with that.

Gold Member
Well take it up with your teacher. All teachers normally are the ones who dictate how their grading works. And what exactly is so wrong with that? Its tough getting 100% on all your classwork and all your homework... which normally also means that your smart enough to do well on the tests anyhow.

Gold Member
MHB
You are correct, but the problem is homework and classwork at the high school level are more of a completion grade. I do think it takes a strong work ethic to do all of your work, I just feel that my education system lacks testing of real knowledge adequately.

Gold Member
Jameson said:
You are correct, but the problem is homework and classwork at the high school level are more of a completion grade. I do think it takes a strong work ethic to do all of your work, I just feel that my education system lacks testing of real knowledge adequately.

That's your teacher's problem. They make the homework. At the end of the year, tell them they suck and should go back to school themselves :rofl: :rofl:

neurocomp2003
copying homework is not cheating. It is a form of learning.

Gold Member
MHB
Pengwuino said:
That's your teacher's problem. They make the homework. At the end of the year, tell them they suck and should go back to school themselves :rofl: :rofl:

I'll do that. Haha.

Gold Member
neurocomp2003 said:
copying homework is not cheating. It is a form of learning.

The worst form...

neurocomp2003
its understanding other peoples logic.

Loren Booda
My Xerox is therefore a great scholar.

neurocomp2003
sure is how many hours I've seen students go to the library to xerox someones entire binder of notes, binder of tests and assignments and previous exams.

Francis M
Jameson said:
Good point. The assignments I've done for Calc have been a breeze. The thing is, once I get to a section that I don't know, I plan on doing the work to learn it. The homework doesn't test whether I know the information or not, the tests do, or should. If I was failing the tests or felt I honestly couldn't understand, I would work my butt off to comprehend the material. I plan on being a math major and doing TONS of homework and any other kind of work in college.

The homework is there to teach you by practice. It does in fact test whether or not you know the information. The tests and quizzes, test whether or not you've retained that information.

Francis M
neurocomp2003 said:
sure is how many hours I've seen students go to the library to xerox someones entire binder of notes, binder of tests and assignments and previous exams.

THere's a BIG difference between copying someones stuff as reference material and copying it to rewrite as your own.

bomba923
As a HS student (senior this year 2005-2006), indeed, Jameson I agree with you. Way to much superfluous work is being assigned.

But mostly in the sense that, well, it is ASSIGNED non-circumstantially, non-negotiably, you see.

Homework is an integral part of one's education. And indeed, one is responsible for his/her education. If your teacher says, "Ok, class. Do these 62 problems for homework"-->that is just wrong. However, if your teacher says,
"Just look over these 62 problems. Should you have any trouble, ask me later." Then there is little to discuss. Merely take the time to look over the problems, and you should be fine :shy:.

The main difference here is that the first scenario "assigns" homework, the second "suggests" homework. In the second scenario, you are free to review, solve, look over,...etc...whatever the heck you want. If you feel comfortable with the assignment, simply move on ahead or just relax for a day; if not, do some hard ones, and maybe 2-3 easy ones to check on the side.

Jameson, it appears your teacher is "assigning" homework, meaning it is required for your grade. I believe that this is, plainly, WRONG...especially since (I believe, not sure) you have demonstrated to your teacher that you have the skill and understanding of the lesson, even without doing homework assignment.

Look, you have accomplished the purpose of the assignment (skill+understanding), and learned the lesson. Seriously, why should you be penalized if you have done so more intelligently? Just Without as much effort?
Homework is only a MEANS of achievement understanding and skill in/of a lesson. It is NOT the GOAL. The goal is to understand and be capable with the material learned in the lesson. Why should you have to mindlessly copy what you already know? Why not move on in life?

In my opinion, the teacher should not "assign" homework, such a mandatory assignment crucial to a class grade. What is really crucial is understanding&skill, and that is reflected within test scores. Of course, "no test is a perfect estimator of understanding." But neither is homework!-->especially since you have hours to do it (and can ask whoever, and can copy...etc...etc...)! That is why sometimes HS students are upset that their effort in homework does not necessarily translate to higher test averages. EVen though neither perfectly estimates student ability, at least tests can indicate some competence.

Teachers should rather "suggest" that you review "these and those" sections to understand the material and prepare for a test. You take responsibility for what you know, what you are currently able to do, what you currently understand...etc//. YOU know how much work you need to do to understand and achieve skill. How well can you handle that responsibility?--->Look at an indicator of skill: a timed exam. Look at an indicator of ability: proofs and showing work on your test papers. Homework says little, maybe about how much you can accomplish in several hours from copying, asking around whomever, sometimes BSsing...etc...etc..

Go ahead and copy. YOU are responsible for your own skills and understanding, and do so at your own risk. What's "wrong" is a teacher grading homework as a crucial part of a student's grade. What's next? Are your teachers going to grade you on how many notes you write? How many terms are in some "vocab list"?

As with taking notes, homework is merely something we do for ourselves to learn skill and to understand. Our grades should not be based on how much we do for ourselves, but rather on the results of our efforts--->the very skill and understanding itself, NOT whatever arbitrary amount of "effort" we must put in.

Before I conclude this rant, I should specify a major difference (although you probably already know this anyway):
*There is a difference between the "superfluous homework" and an accurate estimator of ability. Not just tests. In history class, a "chapter review" of many short 1/2-sentence answers can be "superfluous homework." A long term essay on Enlightenment philosophy is not "superfluous"; rather, it is a test in of itself-->not the good ol' "class-timed test"-->but rather a test of one's ability to write coherently, fluently, research a topic, sometimes defend a position, support claims with evidence...etc. Indeed, one has the same opportunity to consult others and research without much immediate time constraints; but then again, who writes a six-page essays in class?!??

Well, that is my rant

P.S., Jameson, you are in a math class, and I don't really think six-page essays on Enlightenment philosophies are really required! But understand what I wrote earlier on in my post (that generally I agree with you).

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Blahness
What the above poster is saying is, if you're responsible enough to make sure you understand the taught information(like it's actually being taught), you should have your own choice on what to do.

I'm a mere sophomore in high school, but I notice how much our education system REALLY SUCKS. Don't say I'm just stupid, I scored in the 99th percentile by completing tests that aren't "supposed to be completed". I'll list problems in the educational system later.

I've been wishing for the opprotunity as well, to prove to my teachers that homework is useless for means of grading, when all it does is see if you're willing enough to do repetitive and pointless work on(20% of homework described), on a subject that has no relation to anything you plan to do(95% of homework). Basically put: Allow us to learn what we want to learn, and quit trying to force feed us useless factoids without comprehension of implications of given information. (Force feeding means: Do the work, or have a bad life.) Remember kids, a huge portion of what we learn in school turns out to be useless later(post-college) in life! =D

Now then, if we agree that we don't need repetitive homework to help us remember stuff for short durations (2 weeks is the max I need to remember any given information about a subject in 1 class, for that is how often we take tests), then we need to figure out a good testing procedure that actually sees how much it RELATES TO IMPLICATIONS. The only way you can truly understand something is what it effects every other event. However, to review for a final test, you NEED notes. Instead of focusing on our ability to do homework, how about focusing on notetaking? After all, recording information is a necessiary(sp >_<) skill needed for future life. Since I got sidetracked there, let me go back to testing. As the above poster said, testing one's ability to be coherent and be able to USE skills stated matters more then the information itself, except for in that class.

Though, since memorizing factoids is easy and makes you look good, I could stick with that for a while. It's just not a good indicator of how much we understand, is all.

Math, however, is quite a bit different. You still need notetaking, but you memorize formulas and ways to make new formulas. I don't know about you, but I never know a real-life application for half of what I learn, at least. Know why? I'm never taught applications, only how to do it! There's nothing you can do to really change it, except to tell kids what the uses are(except future classes, which is obvious). I still learn all of it, because I MIGHT find a use for it, but I don't do repetitive (Above poster said the 62 problems) work all the time. I do (saying there are 62 problems), say, 15 of them, then see if I can confirm the answer, and if I get those, then i'll be fine. However, if I can't understand that, then I go back and try some other ones until I understand it. This leads back to the above poster's statement about the choice of doing work, which can teach responsibility in acknowledging(sp?) your need to learn.

Test understanding, not memorization skills, teachers. >=(.

Now for my fabled "Why our education system is screwed up and needs to be repaired at a desperate level" section.

The government runs it. This wouldn't be too bad, if they ran it right. However, we have these problems:

Oversimplified Standardized tests (Seriously, everyone would have a 99th percentile if tied scores were allowed.)

Clashing between different state education systems (I took Science Processes in 7th grade, Earth Science in 8th grade, then moved from Michigan to Arizona and had a choice of *GASP* Science processes or Earth Science in 9th grade! =OOO. Turns out they wouldn't let me skip, even though I got a 99.2% in the class.)

Restrictions on class changing (As stated above, wouldn't allow me to go to biology, and wouldn't allow me to even TEST my knowledge on the class I wanted to leave)

Restrictions on personal wants (A lot of people want acting classes, and know that math will be useless, so why force them through science and math if they want english and acting? Vice versa applies as well.

Sexual Education has gotten quite weird lately, with 2nd graders running around putting condoms on vegatables.

Teachers are known to rant about unrelated subjects quite often.

Creationism vs. Evolution and how schools are effected: RELIGION, NOT FACT. Evolution = Theory. Relativity = THEORY. HMM, which should be taught, RELIGION OR THEORY?

School resources seem low, which doesn't seem to be the case in privately owned schools. I wonder why...? (looks at national debt)

School libraries are known to ban reading materials, when the government demands "equality". HMM, I don't think anyone cares about wine in the Little Red Riding hood, eh? (Little Red Riding Hood was banned from 2 california school districts.)

Ya know, why can't we choose what we want to learn? Earlier point exemplified.

Thank you for reading this, disagree all you want, and please point out my errors, I might learn from them.

*****FINAL NOTE
Replace "the above poster" with "bomba923", for I am lazy like that.
*****Thanks

StykFacE
if i had it my way, i would have dropped out of school when i turned 16 to go straight to work. lol

everyone thinks education is the key. what ever happened to jumping into a trade? had i done it my way, when i would have been 24, that would have been 8 years experience somewhere. I'm smart enough to know what I'm capable of in a working environment, so in the 8 years it would have taken me to move up, my friends would just be getting degrees and making 33-40k a year salaries.

lol

Gold Member
You can only cheat yourself when in school. Your teacher may suffer a bit of humiliation for being conned, but, your lack of honest, hard earned knowledge will punish you relentlessly for the rest of your life. Play nice, or pay the price.

Addendum: Bom, why do you think teachers give pop quizes, or assign "superfluous" homework? Do you actually believe your future employers will never make such "outrageous" demands? Unless roasting over an open fire [unemployment] is your idea of a good time, get used to the notion of being a trick pony in the real world [i.e., asked to perform on demand.]

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Blahness
See, in real life, we have a good reason for doing the "superfluous" tasks within jobs is because you get PAID and see direct RESULTS.

Being FORCED to do superfluous tasks to "learn", even when pointless? Much different.

"Only cheat yourself in school"? If you have the knowledge, why do pointless work? This is about learning, not working itself.

See, generalizations of students is what makes it difficult, since some students don't care to learn, while others care to learn, but not what is being taught. Very seldom do students learn everything they want through school only.

About homework relating to work ethics: Why can't they teach us good work ethics early on, instead of trying to teach them later in life, eh?

1 last note for the "Unsatisfactory school system" endeavor: I was taught false information in biology, that you can graph the relation of resources to consumers as a negatively correlated STRAIGHT LINE, which is obviously false. That, and for the "Find the independent and dependant variables for this: Measure the speed that a candle burns", She believed that the candle depended on the burn speed, not the burn speed depended on the candle. Z.Z

***End, and sorry for mistakes***

StykFacE
Blahness said:
See, generalizations of students is what makes it difficult, since some students don't care to learn, while others care to learn, but not what is being taught. Very seldom do students learn everything they want through school only.

in the working field it's called "learning the trade." good post. lol

Loren Booda
So people do not cheat for money, but they do for superfluous scholarship?

Blahness
Scholarships are based on school grades, but more importantly, tests.

You aren't cheating, because if you already know how to do it, and can PROVE that you know it, why do the overextensive homework about it?

Francis M
Let me play devil's advocate to all who are arguing the morality of copying home work or out and out not doing it because you "already know it and can prove it". Your teachers will then ( if they're worth their credentials) tell you that you should've brought this up sooner (if you didn't) and then should challenge you with homework more suitable to your intelligence (if it's because you're bored due to the home work not challenging you).

The other thing I will say is what's the problem? If you know the homework that well then you shouldn't have to copy it! You should be flying through it and done well before everyone else thus freeing up the rest of your after school hours for doing other things.