SINGAPORE – More and more higher education students are turning to popular paid services that cost as little as $ 45 to have their homework and exam projects done for them by other people.
Checks by The Straits Times have found that these services are readily available on online platforms like Facebook and Carousell, and also offered by other students at universities and polytechnics for a fee.
For example, a student who did not wish to be nominated for fear of punishment said he paid another student $ 50 to complete a mandatory computer coding job for him.
He said: “I had no choice. Halfway through the module, I realized that I didn’t understand most of what was going on. If I hadn’t asked someone to do it. do for me, I would have failed. “
He also paid the same student $ 80 to complete his online coding exam for him. “It was a relief that the exam was online due to Covid-19. I felt a little guilty at first, but the need to pass this module quickly outweighed any guilt I had.”
The Education Department, in response to questions, said it takes student dishonesty seriously. He added that all forms of academic fraud, including ghostwriting and contract fraud, where students get academic work done on their behalf by a third party, is strictly prohibited.
Violators will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including deportation, the education ministry said.
âEducational institutions rely on a mix of assessment methods to ensure that a student’s grade truly reflects their own efforts,â he added.
This may include more traditional assessment in the form of exams, where the assessment conditions are designed to prevent cheating.
Some universities, such as Nanyang Technological University and National University of Singapore, use software to detect plagiarism in missions. Students should run completed essays through the verifier called Turnitin before submitting them.
When questioned, the students said they were not worried that their essays would be caught for plagiarism because the work they paid for was “written from scratch.”
The students also said they knew they were cheating, but many said they had no choice.
A student who graduated from a local university this year paid Ace Essay Service on Carousell $ 185 to complete an international trade mission.
The checks revealed that Ace Essay Service, which also has a platform on Facebook, has more than 5,700 positive reviews on Carousell. Contacted, he declined to be interviewed.
The 24-year-old student said: âI hired them two weeks before my submission date. It would have been more expensive to get a trial completed in a matter of days.
“I was ashamed, but I only did it once and it was for a redundant module that has nothing to do with my career now.”
He said: “The majority of my friends have used these services before. I even know people who paid to do their work for a whole semester. It wasn’t that common before.”
Students said prices can go up to $ 600 per trial, depending on its difficulty and how quickly a trial needs to be completed.
A local university graduate, who also declined to be named, paid a freelance writer from Nigeria to complete two history assignments for $ 45 and $ 60 respectively. The price difference was due to the complexity of the issues.
When asked why he did it when he knew he was cheating, he replied, âThe price was not prohibitive and there was a low risk of getting caught. Unfortunately, the quality testing was found to be lower than normal. “
ST also spoke to students who offered their essay writing services to their friends at universities and polytechnics.
A student, who graduated three years ago, said she helped her friend complete five trials over a three-year period.
She earned $ 150 for each essay of approximately 1,200 words.
âI didn’t feel bad because it wasn’t me who was cheating, and my friend I was helping had absolutely no guilt about what she was doing,â she told ST.
Another student who helped a friend complete two essays for $ 300 each agreed, saying, “I didn’t see it as helping someone cheat, but rather it was to help them finish.” the module.
The 25-year-old graduate added, “I don’t see a problem with it if it’s a one-time thing. But if a student does it regularly, I think it shouldn’t be tolerated.”