Cheating in school


Is cheating in school a mortal sin?

Is cheating on exams a mortal sin? Is cheating on online quizzes a mortal sin?


Yes, cheating in school, especially in exams is a mortal sin. I don't want to sound like I am preaching, but it is my experience that all those who cheat in school end up cheating themselves.
In every school I have attended (which is considerable, considering that I served many years in the Navy and have a couple of advanced degrees) all classwork is based on classes you have already completed. So, while you may cheat yourself into a good grade, you will lack knowlege of the subject matter involved. Then, when you progress to the next level, you won't be remotely prepared and will be headed for academic disaster.
Then, there is always the danger you will get caught. When that happens, you are branded for life. If in High School, this will follow you when you apply for college, and can prevent you from being accepted. If in College, it means that you will either be suspended or expelled, which represents a serious financial loss, and it is unlikely that you will find another college to accept you. In addition, all of this can affect your future employability. Businesses do check back on the schools you have attended. Even if they have hired you, they will let you go if they find out you were a cheat!
Believe it or not, it is easier to learn the material than it is to cheat! All it takes is a little self discipline.


I work in a Catholic university and I tell my college students that cheating is stealing someone else’s ideas, and I cannot be responsible for what may happen to them in the afterlife if they cheat.


Thanks for the responses so far.

Is there any official Church teaching on this?


Cheating is a form of lying.


[quote="MyPseudonym, post:4, topic:318185"]
Thanks for the responses so far.

Is there any official Church teaching on this?


Jesus said if you want to enter eternal life obey the commandments.....Thou shalt not steal.

God and your guardian angels see everything you do, so there is NO GETTING AWAY WITH IT. Scriptures says all that is hidden will one day be revealed. do you want everybody to know you are a cheater?

Here is a good principal to live by. If you wouldn't do it in front of____________, don't do it at all. Insert teacher's name, wife, parents, boss, friend....


[quote="Regina_Love, post:6, topic:318185"]
Here is a good principal to live by. If you wouldn't do it in front of____________, don't do it at all. Insert teacher's name, wife, parents, boss, friend....


How's about inserting the word GOD there hmm?

Yes, we have heard it in the Ten Commandments; "Thou shalt not steal" and "Thou shalt not bear false witness to thy neighbour" - We must stay in obedience.

The Catechism (the teachings) of the Catholic Church speaks of Cheating:

A cheater defrauds his victim of their property. It is morally of grave matter unless the damage to the victim is unusually light (CCC 2413).

Observe also from the Catechism;

In order for a sin to be mortal, it must meet three conditions:

 - Mortal sin is a sin of grave matter
 - Mortal sin is committed with full knowledge of the sinner
 - Mortal sin is committed with deliberate consent of the sinner


A person who dies in mortal sin cannot enter the kingdom of heaven and is doomed to eternal suffering in hell. Even when we have not committed mortal sin, we are still obliged to confess our sins at least once a year. Christ, in perfect love, laid down his life so that we may be forgiven of our sins. The sacrifice of the cross should not be neglected or taken for granted. Jesus died for the life of the world and is thus the light of the world.

If you happened to commit the sin without meeting all three of the above conditions, then it is a Venial Sin, which does not doom you to hell, but does temporarily deprive you of Heaven, and thus, a period of Purification is needed - which would be Purgatory.

If anyone has done such a thing and never yet confessed it, Go to Confession! For through Christ, we may all be forgiven in the Sacrament of Penance!

On another note, even if you haven't committed the sin of Cheating, GO TO CONFESSION! We are all sinners, and we can all be forgiven if we are truly sorry.

Forgive others as you expect to be forgiven; "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained" (John 20:22–23)

*God be with you all,

Deus Salus Nostra :gopray2:*


Cheating in school and cheating another person out of say, money, are not equal in moral depth. In school all you cheat is yourself out of an education. That does not constitute a mortal sin. Is it sinful? Yes, but it lacks a necessary component of mortal sin. I suggest speaking to a trusted priest and not taking the advice of keyboard cathecists.


When my daughter was sitting for the 3 day long California Bar Exam least year, a person was caught cheating by using a carefully concealed cell phone. That person is now banned from becoming a practicing attorney in the United States. Even if this is not considered a Mortal Sin, the consequences are life altering…


Thank you for all the replies.

Anyways, is there any Church teaching specifically on cheating in school?


Cheating is cheating. It shouldn’t matter if it’s in school or elsewhere. If you cheat in one area and get away with it, what’s to stop you from cheating somewhere else?:shrug:


I always found the best way to cheat, was to learn the answers. I did that at school. Helped me pass exams, but still felt hollow to know I was cheating.


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