How much will "posession of a stolen test" hurt me?

<p>In my sophomore year, I was suspended for cheating, because my friend had stolen a test and I ended up with a copy of it. I've got pretty good stats otherwise - GPA in the high 90s, president/founder of several clubs, awards, active community service - but will this be the factor that prevents me from getting into the Top 20 universities?</p>

<p>What do you mean by "I ended up with a copy of it"?</p>

<p>Yes, it could prevent you from getting into top 20 universities. Not only do they abhor cheaters, but they also don't want to accept students who don't take responsibility for their mitakes. "Ended up with a copy of it" doesn't sound like taking responsibility. The top colleges can fill their classes with students with strong stats and ECs who haven't been caught for academic dishonesty.</p>

<p>By "ended up with a copy of it", I mean that he told me he had a copy, and I asked for and took one.</p>

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By "ended up with a copy of it", I mean that he told me he had a copy, and I asked for and took one.

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<p>You made it sound like he like hid a copy of it in your folder and then someone caught you which goes back to what Northstarmom said about not taking responsibility for your mistakes</p>

<p>Yes, it probably will hurt you. Understandably, schools frown upon those who attempt to cheat.</p>

<p>"You made it sound like he like hid a copy of it in your folder and then someone caught you..."</p>

<p>Poor choice of words, and I apologize. How do I fix my wording so I don't convey a sense of irresponsibility?</p>

<p>"Poor choice of words, and I apologize. How do I fix my wording so I don't convey a sense of irresponsibility?"</p>

<p>Someone who's smart enough to be concerned that colleges will care about such an incident also is smart enough to know how to take responsibility for what they did.</p>

<p>Suspension will not look good when colleges look at your information.</p>

<p>Yes, it will hurt you. Not only is it a suspension, but you cheated--not a good thing at schools that value their honor codes.</p>

<p>Hello asian8. I sincerely hope my post helps you, as I went through a very similar situation three-ish years ago (I just completed my sophomore year at a top-tier university). It's been forever since I've been on the CC forums, but I saw your story and it immediately struck a chord with me and I knew I had to respond. I created a new account just for anonymity's sake. This is not a troll post, I swear to God. </p>

<p>Let me start by saying you are not alone. When I was a junior in HS, I made the same mistake. I won't go into details but essentially I went into my teacher to get help, she wasn't there, and I saw a stack of tests on her desk. I made a <em>stupid</em>, heat-of-the-moment, rash decision to take one. I was so racked with guilt that the next day that I went in and confessed what I had done to her.</p>

<p>I was suspended by my dean (the punishment was brought down from 10 days to 3 b/c I confessed) and ended up getting a C in the class b/c I got a 0 on the test. I thought my chance of getting into a good school was ruined. I like you, was top of my class, did a ton of ECs with a lot of leadership, had good test scores, etc. and I thought that would all go to waste because of this one stupid mistake. My life, I thought, was ruined.</p>

<p>Fortunately for me, my principal recognized that this punishment was much worse for me than it would have been for someone at the middle/bottom of the class who didn't have a shot at an elite school. He realized that everybody makes mistakes, and the consequences for someone like me were exponentially worse than they would have been for many kids. After many many meetings and many many tears, he made a deal with me. He said that he would remove the suspension from my record if I promised to have a sqeuaky clean record through the rest of high school. Needless to say, it scared me straight. I never had to explain the suspension to colleges (although I did have to explain the C) but I did get into a lot of good schools, and I'm now attending one of the best schools in the country (I still don't want to say too much to protect my anonymity).</p>

<p>Here's what I recommend you do. Talk to your principal about the situation. Hopefully, if you're lucky like I was, he'll have some compassion. Tell him you know you ought to be punished, but a suspension for you is much worse than for others in your class b/c all ur hard work goes to waste. See if there's any way at all to get it removed (ask if you can do a lot of community service or something).</p>

<p>Next, learn from your mistake. I have to say that my experience scared the <em>living daylights</em> out of me, and I haven't done anything remotely close to cheating since that incident. I feel so remorseful and bad about the whole thing, and I definitely learned my lesson. I will never ever ever ever ever participate in anything remotely academically dishonest <em>ever</em> again. </p>

<p>I must say that I don't understand why colleges frown upon cheating more than they do, say, drinking. A ton of research suggests that almost all good students cheat at some point in their life b/c the whole process is so competitive. You were the unfortunate one who got caught. Don't get me wrong, it is an awful mistake. But, like being peer pressured into drinking, it can be chalked up to a heat-of-the-moment, stupid decision. Not to mention that drinking and drugs are <em>illegal</em>. It still baffles me why they're more willing to forgive the latter than the former.</p>

<p>But anyways sorry for that side-note. I hope my story helps you and I hope things work out for the best. I'm sure you're a studious, hard working kid who deserves to get into a good school-- and I'm sure you will. Learn from the incident and don't ever cheat again, and I'm sure things will work out for the best.</p>

<p>Best wishes,</p>

<p>anonymous</p>

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I must say that I don't understand why colleges frown upon cheating more than they do, say, drinking. A ton of research suggests that almost all good students cheat at some point in their life b/c the whole process is so competitive

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Because drinking is considered "experimenting" while cheating is dishonest and gives someone an unfair advantage. Despite your words it's pretty obvious you didn't learn anything from your own experience. If you were a sports fan I would have you look at the discussions about Steroids in baseball.</p>

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Despite your words it's pretty obvious you didn't learn anything from your own experience.

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<p>I wouldn't go that far. S/he makes some good suggestions for the OP. But it's obvious why cheating is a more serious infraction in college admissions--it's more relevent to an academic institution than is drinking. </p>

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Needless to say, it scared me straight. I never had to explain the suspension to colleges (although I did have to explain the C) but I did get into a lot of good schools, and I'm now attending one of the best schools in the country

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<p>What I want to know is if anonymous explained the C by explaining the cheating. I can't really think of another reason why a C would be overlooked, but I also don't see someone who admitted stealing a test getting into a top school...</p>

<p>'What I want to know is if anonymous explained the C by explaining the cheating. I can't really think of another reason why a C would be overlooked, but I also don't see someone who admitted stealing a test getting into a top school...'</p>

<p>The reason that anonymous was admitted despite having such a blemish on his/her record may have been due to the fact that Anonymous turned himself/herself in the next day because of feeling guilty. Anonymous truly sounds like a person who learned from a mistake and isn't likely to do it again.</p>

<p>That's very different than the OP, whose initial way of describing his infraction here was to avoid taking any responsibility for what happened.</p>

<p>@Northstarmom, I wish you would stop insisting that I have "avoided taking any responsibility for what happened". Clearly, my words of "ended up with a copy" don't relay properly what happened in the situation, but what other way do I convey the fact that in the end the test was possessed by me? The reason I was suspended wasn't for looking at it in someone else's hands, it was for having taken one of the copies, and I don't want people to think the former when it was the latter that happened.</p>

<p>@anonymous138: I completely agree with what you are saying about the drinking thing. I haven't touched alcohol or drugs ever in my life, yet the vast majority of my class has and continue to do so (our valedictorian came to school baked once, and she's my best friend, who is a genius). Everyone cheats at some point, I have (ok not like OP-level or even on a test, but like copying a homework assignment or two, nothing major so don't kill me CC haha) also, but drinking and drugs, like you said, is ILLEGAL. Technically, the schools are admitting potential "criminals". I understand that cheating is dishonest, but I think they should be given equal weight.</p>

<p>It's almost as unfair as this example (assume same class schedules, standardized test scores, ECs, etc):
Student A partied and had fun his/her freshman and sophomore year, earning straight Bs with a C or two thrown in. Junior year rolls around, and something clicks in his/her head. He/she works like a dog to get his/her GPA up, and ends up with let's say, 4 As and 3 Bs.</p>

<p>Student B worked like crazy freshman and sophomore year, earning a 4.0. Junior year rolls around, and due to stress and AP classes, earns 4 As and 3 Bs. </p>

<p>Colleges (when I say this I don't mean HYPMS, I mean a solid, top-30 school) looks at both applications and say, "Student A has UPWARD TREND, which is great. Student B has DOWNWARD TREND, which is bad. Student A gets preference."</p>

<p>This boggles my mind as Student B could have partied and enjoyed his/her first two years instead of busting his/her a** to get a 4.0, while Student B couldn't care less until Junior year.</p>

<p>The only time where I agree with the university's decision is if Student A underwent some traumatic experience (depression, family problems, etc) that caused the drop in grades; however, in most situations, it's the student who didn't care about grades until junior year.</p>

<p>Sorry haha I needed somewhere to vent and I felt like I made a good analogy :)</p>

<p>"I have (ok not like OP-level or even on a test, but like copying a homework assignment or two, nothing major so don't kill me CC haha) also, but drinking and drugs, like you said, is ILLEGAL. Technically, the schools are admitting potential "criminals". I understand that cheating is dishonest, but I think they should be given equal weight."</p>

<p>The reason that drinking and academic dishonesty aren't given equal weight is that colleges are academic institutions and they don't want to accept people whose cheating may have allowed them to have the stats for acceptance, and who may continue to cheat while in college, thus making their diploma a mockery.</p>

<p>Drinking, while illegal for minors, still is something that most adults do, so colleges don't regard drinking infractions as seriously as they do cheating.</p>

<p>Drug infractions, however, are things that may prevent may colleges from accepting students who otherwise would be accepted. Drugs are illegal for adults as well as minors, and also can result in some serious crimes occurring on campus. For instance, read about the young drug dealer who was killed on Harvard's campus last year.</p>

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I completely agree with what you are saying about the drinking thing. I haven't touched alcohol or drugs ever in my life

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but drinking and drugs, like you said, is ILLEGAL. Technically, the schools are admitting potential "criminals".

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<p>haha come on, now... because someone had a drink they're a potential criminal? think about it - your valedictorian smokes weed. what does that tell you about the arguments against marijuana that are already loosely- and socially-constructed? or the distinction between moral and legal permissibility? college means it's time to think critically... start practicing now.</p>

<p>How will the top 20 know you haven't cheated on any other test. You may of been caught once, but its possible you may of cheated before. </p>

<p>Now how you got in trouble for having a copy of test you should of never had I don't know what to say. Did someone tell on you or did you have the test in front of your teacher. I'm not sure if you should be scared about the cheating on your record or the fact that you where caught. Reminds me when I was i class one time and someone pulled a fire alarm. It was right out side the door and our teacher was there. Some idiot and actually pulled it for no reason. All i can say is that your college essay maybe able to break or make you if you try to explain the hole situation. If you do it stupidly like when you cheated and lied your not going to make it. You may be a smart student, but obviously you got stuck in peer pressure in the moment of trying to be better then everyone else. A test is a chance to learn how much you learned and not see how good of a cheater you are.</p>

<p>Anyway, cheaters always lose (karma)</p>

<p>I'm not saying 1 drink, I don't mind that at all because THAT'S experimenting; but when one continuously drinks and parties almost every weekend, then that's where the equivalence of cheating vs. drinking should come into play.</p>