For this part, you are allowed 30 minutes to write a short essay entitled Education PaysYou should write at least 120 words but no more than 180 words.
Part II Reading Comprehension (Skimming and Scanning)
Why Integrity Matters
What is Integrity?
"Integrity" is defined as "adherence to moral and ethical principles; honesty." The key to integrity is consistency--not only setting high personal standards for oneself (honesty, responsibility, respect for others, fairness) but also living up to those standards each day. One who has integrity is bound by and follows moral and ethical standards even when making life s hard choices, choices which may be clouded by stress, pressure to succeed, or temptation.
What happens if we lie, cheat, steal, or violate other ethical standards? We feel disappointed in ourselves and ashamed. But a lapse of integrity also affects our relationships with others. Trust is essential in any important relationship, whether personal or professional. Who can trust someone who is dishonest or unfair? Thus, integrity must be one of our most important goals.
We are each responsible for our own decisions, even if the decision-making process has been undermined by stress or peer pressure. The real test of character is whether we can learn from our mistake, by understanding why we acted as we did, and then exploring ways to avoid similar problems in the future.
Making ethical decisions is a critical part of avoiding future problems. We must learn to recognize risks, because if we can t see the risks we re taking, we can t make responsible choices. To identify risks, we need to know the rules and be aware of the facts. For example, one who doesn t know the rules about plagiarism may accidentally use words or ideas without giving proper credit, or one who fails to keep careful research notes may unintentionally fail to quote and cite sources as required. But the fact that such a violation is "unintentional" does not excuse the misconduct. Ignorance is not a defense.
"But Everybody Does It"
Most people who get in trouble do know the rules and facts, but manage to fool themselves about the risks they’re taking by using excuses: "Everyone else does it," "I m not hurting anyone," or "I really need this grade." Excuses can get very elaborate: "I know I m looking at another s exam, even though I m supposed to keep my eyes on my own paper, but that s not cheating because I m just checking my answers, not copying." We must be honest about our actions, and avoid excuses. If we fool ourselves into believing we re not doing anything wrong, we can t see the real choice we re making--and that leads to bad decisions.