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Column One: Students

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Although they feel little pressure to cheat, many of the nation's high-achieving students get their A's and B's by illicit means, an annual survey of high-achieving students concludes.

Conducted last spring by Who's Who Among American High School Students, the nationwide survey of almost 2,000 students listed by the publication reveals some disturbing statistics: 40 percent said they had cheated on a test or quiz; 25 percent had used Cliff Notes instead of reading an assigned book; and 14 percent had plagiarized.

Only 30 percent of the students said they felt "some'' or "a lot'' of pressure to cheat, but 80 percent acknowledged that cheating is common at their school.

How students allocate their time may help explain the discrepancy. More than half said they socialize for eight hours or more each week, but study for seven hours or less.

Summaries of the 24th Annual Survey of High Achievers are available from Judy Casey, Educational Communications Inc., 721 North McKinley Rd., Lake Forest, Ill. 60045.


The National Honor Society hosted 350 of its members at its first annual conference last month in Pittsburgh.

In addition to participating in skills-development and leadership workshops, the student-delegates discussed homelessness and national service, among other topics.

The N.H.S. recognized 10 chapters for outstanding service projects in their communities. The recipients of the new award were: Sumter (S.C.) High School; L.D. Bell High School, Hurst, Tex.; Belle Vernon (Pa.) Area High School; Winona (Minn.) Senior High School; West Valley High School, Spokane, Wash.; Canfield (Ohio) High School; Kittatinny Regional High School, Newton, N.J.; Proctor (Minn.) High School; Chaparral High School, Las Vegas, Nev.; and Wayzata High School, Plymouth, Minn.


Most 6th graders think that children their age understand the dangers of illegal drugs, but they also think it is easy to acquire L.S.D. and cocaine, a Weekly Reader poll suggests.

In September, the national school publication asked 6th graders how many of their peers use drugs or encourage other students to do so.

Fifty-six percent of the 920 students whose responses were analyzed said that "a few'' or "many'' students their age have taken illegal drugs and that almost as many pressure others to use drugs.

"We're not talking just about inner-city kids using drugs,'' observed Chris Johansen, the magazine's assistant editor. "We're talking about country kids and kids in the suburbs, too.''--M.D.

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