Does a Honor Code Discourage Cheating?

In China, high school students are under a lot of pressure. Getting into college depends on students’ one-time performance at the annual college entrance exams. China, like many other countries, implements an educational system that prioritizes test performance and in some ways practices a “teach to the test” mentality. Inevitably, the increasing reliance on test scores is what pushes many students to cheat. The cheat-or-never-go-to-college conundrum urges many students to overwrite any momentary guilt or moral reluctance cheating might pose.

How do educational institutions deal with this? After the 2012 Harvard cheating scandal, the school is contemplating the implementation of an honor code in order to deter students from cheating. Would that dampen cheating behavior? Students do not only cheat to get ahead, they do it for the sheer delight in doing things they’re not supposed to. An honor code wouldn’t have a significant impact on this type of individual and thus would be in vain.


At ProctorFree we strive to maintain a balance of letting the student know we’re monitoring the exam, while at the same time being as non-intrusive as possible.

Have you ever agreed to abide by an honor code? If yes, leave a comment below and tell us what your experience was like. We’re you aware of other classmates taking shortcuts or cheating on exams?