Exam cheating among Cambodian students: when, how, and why it happens

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Exam cheating among Cambodian students: when, how, and why it happens

Post by Kung-fu Hillbilly »

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Photo: Hong Menea

Mitsuko Maeda
Published online: 24 May 2019


Analysis of the informants’ narratives revealed five major perceived factors that contributed to students’ cheating practices: curricula, relationships with teachers, parents’ attitudes, peer behaviour, and institutional policies.

In 2002, when strict anti-cheating measures were implemented along with the introduction of new subjects, the pass rate (66% in the previous year) dropped to 40% (Yun 2002a). Similarly, in 2002, the anti-cheating measures caused a similar decline in G9 exam pass rates (Yun 2002b). When this implementation was gradually relaxed, the pass rates increased. However, with the introduction of a new MoEYS policy against G12 exam-related corrupt practices in 2014, the pass rate plunged from about 80% (2012–2013) to 26% in the August 2014 examination; after this exam’s non-passers received a second chance in October that year, the total pass rate reached 44% (2014) and rose again to about 60% (2015–2016) (Khouth and Amaro 2016; for the relevant figure for 2017–2018 [which was over 60%] see Dara 2018).

The 2014 anti-cheating policy was adopted after the ruling party had lost a significant number of seats in the national elections in 2013. The party was under pressure of two expected events: the 2015 establishment of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community and the 2018 national elections. The government wanted to appeal to the youth, the largest voter demographic, which was predicted to face stiff job competition from foreign workers after graduating from an education system that lagged behind other countries (Kelsall et al. 2016). Furthermore, the government needed to fend off severe criticisms regarding not only unemployment but also corruption (Khun 2016).

About half the informants reported that they started cheating in primary school; the earliest reported cheating experiences (Students 1 and 10) occurred in Grade 2, while most started in the late primary grades. In lower-secondary school, all except one (Student 11) committed cheating. One (Student 3) reported that cheating practices reduced after primary school. Unsurprisingly, almost all informants cheated during the critical G9 exam. After entering upper-secondary school, most informants continued to cheat as frequently as in lower-secondary school; one (Student 4) reported cheating more frequently in upper-secondary than in lower-secondary school, and another (Student 9) stopped cheating in upper-secondary school (the G12 exam being the only exception). The other two (Students 2 and 12) increased their cheating practices in the days leading up to the G12 exam.

full https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10 ... 19.1613344
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Re: Exam cheating among Cambodian students: when, how, and why it happens

Post by curiosity »

How exactly do they cheat? Just looking at their neighbor's results who is in turn looking at his neighbor's results? Or googling stuff on their phone?
What about making up original questions that cannot easily be found online. Makes it much harder to cheat. but then again, not many might pass with such questions.
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Re: Exam cheating among Cambodian students: when, how, and why it happens

Post by explorer »

curiosity wrote: Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:44 pm How exactly do they cheat?
There are a thousand ways. Most involve giving money to the teacher. When the teacher marks the exam, they can change the answers of those who paid, so they get good results. In some exams, the teachers give the correct answers to the students while they are sitting the exam. Some students are given cheat sheets they take into the exam with them. Most students study extra classes, which they pay for. They are given additional information at those classes. Students may take a calculator to a maths exam. Students help each other. Often the teacher knows about it.

Those who pay normally pass. Those without money often fail.

Most teachers run extra classes which students pay for. Those who don't attend extra classes normally don't get taught enough to pass exams. So they are forced to attend and pay if they want to pass.
## I thought I knew all the answers, but they changed all the questions. ##
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Re: Exam cheating among Cambodian students: when, how, and why it happens

Post by Duncan »

explorer wrote: Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:53 pm
curiosity wrote: Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:44 pm How exactly do they cheat?
There are a thousand ways. Most involve giving money to the teacher. When the teacher marks the exam, they can change the answers of those who paid, so they get good results. In some exams, the teachers give the correct answers to the students while they are sitting the exam. Some students are given cheat sheets they take into the exam with them. Most students study extra classes, which they pay for. They are given additional information at those classes. Students may take a calculator to a maths exam. Students help each other. Often the teacher knows about it.

Those who pay normally pass. Those without money often fail.

Most teachers run extra classes which students pay for. Those who don't attend extra classes normally don't get taught enough to pass exams. So they are forced to attend and pay if they want to pass.



It is that easy when sitting the year 12 exams . ? Or is explorer trying to say , you guys on this forum that are teachers are corrupt.

eg
When sitting the year 12 exams I don't think the teachers that were teaching the students mark the papers.
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Re: Exam cheating among Cambodian students: when, how, and why it happens

Post by John Bingham »

Duncan wrote: Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:04 pm
When sitting the year 12 exams I don't think the teachers that were teaching the students mark the papers.
True, the ministry has become very tough on cheating in the 12th grade exams in recent years. There are loads of police/ gendarmerie stationed at the schools and some teachers have been jailed for attempting to help students cheat.
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Re: Exam cheating among Cambodian students: when, how, and why it happens

Post by explorer »

Duncan wrote: Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:04 pm It is that easy when sitting the year 12 exams?
They have become much stricter with year 12 exams. For example, they have a number of people supervising the exams, so any teacher who may consider doing something wrong is being watched. Then there is the threat of jail time.
## I thought I knew all the answers, but they changed all the questions. ##
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Re: Exam cheating among Cambodian students: when, how, and why it happens

Post by BklynBoy »

Obviously cheating on exams or cheating on anything is not a "student" problem or "Cambodia" problem...

I remember reading about " Dukenfield's Law"-- if you guys get a chance, the link below is an interesting read

One could formulate this as a general principle: any incentive to create a result also creates an incentive to simulate the same result.
Unless we're literally training children to answer examinations, all school tests are merely proxies for things we really care about.



https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/08/dukenfields-law-of-incentive-management/61415/
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Re: Exam cheating among Cambodian students: when, how, and why it happens

Post by xandreu »

When I was teaching at one particular school here, cheating was not only pandemic, but something the students weren't even ashamed about. It seemed to me as if the attitude was, if that's what it takes to pass, or get a good score, then it's entirely justified.

I've had experiences where I've caught students, during an exam, with a copy of the answer sheet hidden under their test paper. On two occasions, they were full color copies which they could only have got from a member staff at the school.

Other times, while marking exams, I would read their written work and know instantly that they'd copied it from the internet. Sure enough, after a quick google search, I'd easily find the article they'd copied from, word for word. We're talking a full A4 paged article that would have taken 15-20 minutes to copy. The exam was being supervised by a Khmer member of staff. It would have been impossible that they could have copied all of that off of their phone without the member of staff noticing. Whether it was a simple case of a blind eye being turned or some money changing hands, I never knew.

There were many other instances of cheating that I won't bore you with, but I twice bought it up with my manager. The first time I was told to simply deduct 10% off the final score of anyone I thought had cheated. The second time was about the student who had a copy of the answer sheet. Before I could even suggest that they should investigate which member of staff had given the answer sheet out, the four managers in the room burst out laughing. It was as if I should have awarded the student extra marks for their ingenuity.

I gave up complaining after that.

That's when the reality hit me that schools here, at least private schools, are not schools. They're businesses. The students aren't students, they're customers, or at least, their parents are.

Even the parents were in on the scam. They knew full well that their little darlings scores at the end of every term were based on false pretenses, but it just didn't seem to matter. Nobody, not the students, not the school, not the Khmer teachers nor the parents could have cared less. The only ones who did care seemed to be the foreign teachers.

I changed school after a while but I have to be honest, in my experience, most private schools tend to operate in similar ways here.

It's good that the government have cracked down on cheating in government run schools, I guess there's not much they can do about private ones.
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Re: Exam cheating among Cambodian students: when, how, and why it happens

Post by Kohker »

There's no need to cheat because the teachers get the test's a few days before the exam then write the exam on the board.
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Re: Exam cheating among Cambodian students: when, how, and why it happens

Post by explorer »

xandreu wrote: Thu Nov 28, 2019 5:08 pm The second time was about the student who had a copy of the answer sheet. Before I could even suggest that they should investigate which member of staff had given the answer sheet out, the four managers in the room burst out laughing.
It is common knowledge to them. It is supposed to be a secret to foreigners. When you find out they are doing something wrong, they need save face. They laugh at you to put you down. So in their mind they are still saving face, or winning.
## I thought I knew all the answers, but they changed all the questions. ##
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