OK, so Mo and Terry have fallen out. But should Mo tell a teacher about her friend's cheating?  


Mo was waiting in the corridor with her class on Friday morning. She felt sick and her knees were shaking. She always felt sick during exam week. She had two more exams that day and physics was first. She really hated physics. But after today there were no more exams until next year! Terry glanced back at her from the front of the queue and then looked away quickly. She didn’t have a problem with physics. She didn’t have a problem with anything ... Little Miss Perfect! 

“Hi, Mo, are you looking forward to your favourite exam?” said Nima, laughing, as she joined the end of the queue, late again as usual. She was really bad at physics too, but she didn’t care. Terry was looking back at her again. “So what’s wrong with her?” Nima had noticed Terry looking back at them. “I thought you were friends.”  “Yeah, so did I,” said Mo, “but she’s been treating me like I don’t exist for a fortnight now. She’d promised to help me revise for the physics exam too, and then just ignored all my calls and texts. And when I rang her house, her mum just told me she was busy and hung up.” Nima was trying to look sympathetic. “You shouldn’t forget who your friends are!” said Mo bitterly. “Are you listening, Maureen Quinn?” Mr Reed had been talking to the class and the other students were already going into the exam room. Mo gave Nima a worried look and followed them.

She had been staring at question number five for at least ten minutes, hoping she’d remember what the difference between a quark and an electron was, when she looked up. Terry was sitting a few rows in front of her to the right and Mo couldn’t believe her eyes! She had her phone on her left knee and she was reading from it. Mo didn’t know what to think. Is that how Terry always got good grades? It was even harder to concentrate on the exam after that. She just felt really angry at Terry. What should she do? She almost put her hand up to tell the teacher, but then what would everyone else think of her? It wasn’t fair! Mo never cheated and she was often in trouble for failing exams, while Little Miss Perfect had been cheating all this time. Terry had already put her phone away when Mo looked up again. She looked back over her shoulder at Mo and smiled sadly. “OK, stop writing and put your pens down.” Mr Reed was starting to collect the exam papers. Oh no, Mo hadn’t even answered two of the questions. She was going to fail again!

There was an hour for lunch before the next exam, which was history. That was Mo’s best subject but it didn’t help her feel any better at that moment. She was furious with Terry. She wanted to talk to her but she’d left as soon as the exam had finished and now Mo couldn’t find her. She wasn’t in the dining hall or the library. She would have talked to Nima but she went home for lunch and Mo hadn’t been able to talk to her before she left. Mo was sitting in the library with her book open, trying to revise. She didn’t know what to do. Should she tell a teacher? Everyone would hate her if they knew she’d done that. But then she was so angry with Terry. Why should she get such good grades if she was cheating all the time? “We were supposed to be friends!” thought Mo. Just then, Mr Reed walked past her table on his way out. “Mr Reed!” called Mo before she could stop herself.

Mo made sure she was sitting behind Terry again in the history exam. They were half way through, but Terry hadn’t taken her phone out yet. Maybe she didn’t need to cheat at history. Mo felt bad. She wished she hadn’t told Mr Reed but it was too late now. He had said he couldn’t do anything if he didn’t actually see a student cheating and so he’d asked Mo to look up and nod if she saw that Terry had her phone out. Mo had no problem with the exam this time. She was good at history. She was already on the last question, when she noticed a movement. She looked up to see Terry with her phone under the table. Before she’d had a chance to think, Mo looked up and nodded to Mr Reed. Terry was so busy with her phone, she didn’t even hear him as he walked silently up the row of tables. He didn’t say a word as Terry looked up from her phone with a frightened expression. He just took her exam paper, tore it in half and pointed to the door, to tell Terry to leave the room. Terry started crying as she walked to the door. Everyone was staring at her and now Mo felt terrible. What had she done?

Mo was walking towards the school gate when she heard footsteps behind her. It was Terry. “Mo, wait!” she called as she caught up with her. “I wanted to talk to you.” Mo could see that Terry had been crying, her face was pale and her eyes were red. Mo couldn’t say anything. “Listen, I’m really sorry I’ve been avoiding you lately but it’s been the worst two weeks of my life. My dad had a heart attack and he’s been in hospital. I haven’t felt like talking to anyone about it. He had an operation today and I was really worried. I know it was stupid, but I was trying to text my mum to see how the operation was going, then Mr Reed caught me. He thought I was cheating. He believes me now, but I have to take the exam again. I wish I’d told you what’s been happening. I know I shouldn’t forget who my friends are. Please, will you forgive me?”

Brendan Dunne

Total votes: 872
Language level: 


What would you do if you knew a friend was cheating in an exam? Would you tell a teacher?


Captain's picture
Captain 31 January, 2017 - 17:22

if i had been Terry, i would have felt really sad, because i think that true friends keep together and don't reveal each other. But i can understand Mo because cheating is a bad habit and not fair to the other students in your own class. If you cheat the whole time, you don't learn anything at all. You can have a lot of problems in your future, because you don't have the general knowledge. You can also get bad troubles with your teachers and parents.

16 users have voted.
anyiis's picture
anyiis 30 November, 2015 - 21:50

I advise the person to not cheat better to try to think and think about his answer because at that moment you're improving how good you are, for me I scare being cheating I don't know how to cheat and I prefer to not.

70 users have voted.
Nadoda_362's picture
Nadoda_362 3 May, 2015 - 09:38

In my school cheating is very common..Teachers are very strict about it and warn us about cheating,but still they don't care!! and most of the students who are cheating are also caught red-handed and warned but still they cheat!!!!! But me and my friends never cheat...

102 users have voted.
AnnieSwifty's picture
AnnieSwifty 17 April, 2015 - 01:57

Cheating is common in my country. Almost students cheat in their exam, so i would not tell teacher, because i do not want to destroy our friendship.

110 users have voted.
Carbi's picture
Carbi 2 September, 2014 - 16:55

In My country is cheating utterly common and when i notice that my friend is cheating, I don't do anything, because it would destroy our friendship, but of course I Am very angry, if someone is cheating, becaouse I had to study many hours for exams and They just turn on their mobile phones !!!

123 users have voted.
yuumj's picture
yuumj 30 June, 2014 - 02:35

In my school days, my class friends usually cheated on exam of subjects that they don't like much such as biology and literature. Although I didn't do that but I never talk with my teacher about their cheat. Everyone will responsible for their action.

130 users have voted.
cklj's picture
cklj 2 February, 2014 - 18:26

In my school and in my country actually cheating in a exam is very often. When I have an exam and I know that my friend is cheating I don't do anything specially. I would never tell a teacher that my friend has been cheating, because that means I'm not a good and true friend. All of the students in my class cheat because they think it's better and easier than to study for the exam and we never tell the teachers about that although some of the teachers notice that the students are cheating.

147 users have voted.
MathsGuy1001's picture
MathsGuy1001 14 December, 2013 - 12:07

Cheating is very common in my country. I know it sounds weird but about 90% of students in Montenegro cheat on every test or exam. Only a few of us don't... Situation here is completely different, students don't study so they'd learn something new and use it, they don't study so they'd have more knowledge, they study just so they'd get good grades.Some of them get caught, but some of them never do! I probably wouldn't tell my teacher if I knew someone is cheating cause sooner or later those things they haven't learned will make them life problems.... And the main difference is that here anyone can cheat and succeed, not only the clever ones cheat, everyone does.

142 users have voted.
Little_MichaelTM's picture
Little_MichaelTM 14 December, 2013 - 04:58

Cheating is not fair for every one, not even the person who is cheating.
People are working hard to get better results while those people are cheating? That is simply un acceptable.
If I knew a friend of mine wascheating, then I would tell the teacher personally.

150 users have voted.
angelahappy4ever's picture
angelahappy4ever 14 December, 2013 - 04:58

I would do nothing and i would really not know how to do if my friends did as Terry. It is too difficult to know the truth and you may easily have a wrong jungement on it. So i suppose not to cheat to be good to me and my friends.

154 users have voted.
miccc's picture
miccc 14 December, 2013 - 04:57

It is good for Mo to know that Terry had never cheated on the exam so that she could feel less guilty. Yet, a good friend should always advise each other not to cheat.

Terry shouldn't have texted during the exam anyways!

142 users have voted.
LittleIsaacTM's picture
LittleIsaacTM 14 December, 2013 - 04:57

It depends on what he/she cheats. If he cheats to to just get a passing mark, I will not do everything. But if he/she does that to get a good mark, I will definitely tell the teacher.

140 users have voted.
chens's picture
chens 14 December, 2013 - 04:56

To me, I think cheating is just very normal as a student whenever they forget to revise or suddenly forget the answers. But if my friend cheat and I see it, I'll better not to tell the teachers, or I need to say like this, if not my friend, but the other classmates, I'm not going to tell the teachers too. I know it's neccesary to tell the wrong-doings even done by friends, but I think it's their own business and I don't really need to be a bad guy:-D

149 users have voted.
IPIPIP's picture
IPIPIP 14 December, 2013 - 04:55

Aren't phones nedd to turn off during exam? Although Terry wants to know more about how her father's operation, she should ask her mum after the exam. I am sure her father wants her to concentrate on her exam! After the exam she can go to the hospital immediately.
I will tell the teacher immediately. But I'm sure my friends won't cheat.

157 users have voted.
HOHOHO's picture
HOHOHO 14 December, 2013 - 04:55

Well I would tell the teacher immdiately. Cheating is very serious and not allowed. It should be stopped or else others will try to cheat too.
BTW, Terry said she was not cheating but who can prove it? She might be telling lies~
Mo had done the right thing (Y) She doesn't have to feel guilty :-)

139 users have voted.
captain_america's picture
captain_america 14 December, 2013 - 04:53

I won't tell the teacher if my friend cheats, cause I dun wanna lose a friend. But I'll tell her after the exam.

141 users have voted.
Miyuki's picture
Miyuki 14 December, 2013 - 04:53

The ending is really shocking. I think Terry is stupid that she shouldn't use her phone during exam. She would be suspected to cheat during exam.

153 users have voted.
Frozen's picture
Frozen 14 December, 2013 - 04:53

Great story with a shocking ending. If I were Terry, I would not use the phone during the exam though her father was having an operation then. I think that she should do all her questions quickly then go to the hospital to wait for the operation to end. Also, if she used her phone in exam, she will be suspected for using her phone to cheat, this will absolutely upset her parents' hope on her.

149 users have voted.
SNIPER's picture
SNIPER 14 December, 2013 - 04:48

We ought to tell teacher that sb cheat. But in this story, I cannot believe that Terry is not cheating but having a conversation with his mum!!

144 users have voted.
AlinaKho's picture
AlinaKho 3 March, 2013 - 05:31

I'd do nothing because it's my friend's business. Nobody knows why this person is cheating, but maybe he\she had some problems and couldn't revise for test or exam. Anyway, we all cheat sometimes, don't we??;-)

183 users have voted.
gayter0203's picture
gayter0203 26 January, 2013 - 10:16

There is no one in the world who has never cheated in tests. In small class tests, it can be fun. But I feel it is not good to develop a habit of cheating in exams.

189 users have voted.
LadyLily5000's picture
LadyLily5000 28 October, 2012 - 14:37

Cheating is something that can't everyone do. All the pupils in my class are working together on exams. We text each other the answers on our phones, so we all get good marks. Well, our friendship is very strong so no one tells the teacher, of course.

185 users have voted.
Prontozoid42's picture
Prontozoid42 4 October, 2012 - 15:57

Great feelings were showed in this text, bit it has an astonishing end. My biology teacher always says - "Cheat, if you can"

187 users have voted.
RussianModernPerson's picture
RussianModernPerson 2 June, 2012 - 08:17

I think that people can cheat, when they study in the school, but in the future...

203 users have voted.