Tampering with Test Scores? Consequences When Your Teen Is Caught

Life for most teens has gotten extremely competitive, not just for academics but for sports and other activities that they must include in their resume when they apply for college or work. Sometimes the pressure put on a teen to succeed at everything can be overwhelming and have negative consequences. 

Pressure and Stress 

Some parents are guilty of placing too much importance and stress on their teens to score high on college entrance exams or on standardized tests in high school. Parents are also guilty of encouraging kids to pile on too many after-school activities, which reduces their study and down time. 

Fierce competition to do well has raised the level of cheating in schools. Academic cheating occurs most frequently at the high school level, when students feel the most pressure to excel, and to get into prestigious colleges. Schools nationwide have had to develop stricter cheating and plagiarism policies. 

Caught Red-Handed 

With the prevalence of sophisticated computers and hackers, cheating has become more widespread and not with just students. Teachers, administrators, even whole school districts have recently been caught tampering with test scores. Districts have lost their accreditation and reputation and students have been disserved. 

If your teen alters his test scores, not only has he disqualified himself from being accepted by any prestigious school he was hoping to attend, he most likely has prevented himself from attending any college. But what exactly would happen if your teen got caught? 

Failing Grade 

Depending on the teacher, the school, and the circumstance of the cheating, your child might have to face many consequences. He might fail the course and have to repeat it. He might have to face a peer honors court, which would decide on his punishment. 


Your child might be put on academic probation. Policies differ from school to school but generally, academic probation means your child is put on a watch list. He must perform according to what the policy states, he must keep his nose clean for a set amount of time, and he must prove to them that he can continue to be a worthy student. 


Your child could be expelled or dismissed from the school. If this happens, his chances of getting into college or getting a job becomes considerably more difficult. This will show up on his permanent record, which means it will follow him into adulthood. Colleges and employers will ask about his academic history. He would have to re-establish his academic reputation all over again.

Criminal Charges

In addition to all of the above consequences, he may have to face criminal charges for the tampering. Taking answers from another student may be considered theft. If your son hacked into a system, and depending on how the system was hacked, there may be many different entities that are going to consider pressing charges against him. If your teen should need legal help as a consequence of this infraction, look into: http://www.devorelawoffice.com

Your teen's life will ultimately change because of cheating, and it will not be for the better. This is why families must realize that as important as test scores may seem, earning them with honesty and integrity is more important. Your teen must know that whatever score he ends up with, your love and support for him will not change.

Instill in your teen that test scores are important. Hire a tutor or coach to help if you believe that your teen will benefit. However, make sure that your teen knows that college acceptance is also due to other factors, such as their extracurricular activities and their community service. They must know that altering scores is an unacceptable and dishonest way to gain college entrance. 

Debbie Nguyen is a freelance graphic designer and blogger with two teen boys. Her youngest will be starting the college applications process soon.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/albertogp123/5843577306/


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