Princeton University is one of the most selective colleges in the United States, admitting only 9.25% of undergraduate applicants in 2008. In the “America’s Best Colleges” rankings by the Forbes magazine in 2008, Princeton was ranked first among all national colleges and universities. Its reputation for excellence is bolstered not only by its esteemed faculty but also by its students who pride themselves in upholding the highest academic standards and values.

A testament to this is what a group of students started in 1893, which has become the cornerstone of academic integrity in Princeton University. Implemented since then, the Princeton Honor Code places on the students the responsibility to observe full honesty in taking written examinations, tests and quizzes, as well as the obligation to report any suspected violation of the honor code. The exam instructor distributes the exam papers and gives the appropriate instructions, after which, he leaves the students to take the exams unsupervised and only returns to collect the papers. In turn, the students, prior to taking the exam, would write and sign the following statement on their exam paper : “I pledge my honor that I have not violated the Honor Code during this examination.”

This, to me, is the ultimate test of one’s integrity, which is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.

About anasebrahem

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