ChatGPT in Schools: How Students are Using ChatGPT

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ChatGPT in Schools

  • What is ChatGPT?
  • How students are using ChatGPT
  • Possible implications of ChatGPT being used in Schools
  • Benefits and limitations of using ChatGPT in schools
  • Detrimental effects of using ChatGPT in schools
  • Actions taken by schools to mitigate use of ChatGPT
  • How to maximise usage of ChatGPT in school
    • Examples of specific prompts for students

As the use of AI-powered language models becomes more common, schools are grappling with how to address potential student misuse of these tools. One such model, ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, has gained popularity among students as a tool to assist them with their homework and essays. 

Some educators and school administrators, however, are concerned about the possibility of cheating and academic dishonesty. In this article, we will look at how schools are reacting to their students’ use of ChatGPT and other AI-powered language models.

With the rise of ChatGPT, the value of home tuition has not been eroded given the quick reactive stance of schools to stem the usage of ChatGPT.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an OpenAI-developed natural language processing (NLP) model. It is built on the GPT-3 architecture, one of the most advanced NLP models available. ChatGPT is intended to generate human-like text, making it a versatile tool for a variety of applications such as natural language generation, machine learning, and conversational AI.

Example of ChatGPT response

User: When is Singapore’s birthday?

ChatGPT: Singapore’s birthday, also known as National Day, is celebrated on August 9th every year. This date marks the anniversary of Singapore’s independence from Malaysia in 1965.

National Day is a significant national holiday in Singapore and it is celebrated with various activities such as parades, performances, and fireworks. The main event is the National Day Parade, which is held at the Marina Bay Floating Platform and is attended by government officials, dignitaries, and members of the public. The parade features a display of military hardware, cultural performances, and a speech by the Prime Minister.

Singaporeans also celebrate the National Day with patriotic events and activities, such as singing the national anthem, waving the national flag, and participating in community events. Additionally, many buildings and landmarks are decorated with lights and flags in the colors of the national flag, red and white.

As you can tell, ChatGPT’s response is extremely detailed based off a short prompt. You can already wonder the potential of this GPT-3 monster.

How are Students using ChatGPT?

There are a number of ways in which students are using ChatGPT to enhance their learning experiences. Some of the most common ways include:

Writing Assistance

One of the most common ways students use ChatGPT is for writing assistance, including essay writing. The model can be trained to understand and generate text on a specific topic. This is especially beneficial for students who are having difficulty writing or coming up with ideas for their essays.

What students have been doing:

  • Summarising paragraph: Inserting entire chunk of text on ChatGPT, asking the bot to summarise in one sentence (English Paper 2, Comprehension)
  • Comprehension: Dumping the chunk of comprehension text and requesting ChatGPT to answer the short-answer questions from the passage (English Paper 2, Comprehension)
  • Writing essays: Asking ChatGPT to provide an outline for an essay, and subsequently generating a response for each point in the outline in greater detail (English Paper 1, Composition / Essay & English Paper 2, Application Question)

Prompts for Essay Writing

  • Outline an essay about how technology has assisted the transformation of industries across the world
  • Use the outlined responses that ChatGPT provided and ask ChatGPT to craft rich, comprehensive, detailed paragraphs, with lots of details
  • Combine each response to form a full essay
  • Double check the facts and figures provided

Example of ChatGPT output

User: Provide an essay outline on how technology has shaped industries


I. Introduction 
A. Definition of technology B. Importance of technology in shaping industries C. Brief overview of industries that have been impacted by technology

II. Impact of Technology on Manufacturing Industry
A. Automation and robotics B. Computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing C. 3D printing D. Internet of Things E. Impact on productivity, efficiency, and cost

III. Impact of Technology on Healthcare Industry
A. Electronic health records B. Telemedicine C. Medical imaging and diagnostic technologies D. Robotics and artificial intelligence in medicine E. Impact on patient care and access to healthcare

IV. Impact of Technology on Retail Industry
A. E-commerce and online marketplaces B. Mobile commerce C. Social media and influencer marketing D. Big data and analytics E. Impact on consumer behavior and the future of brick-and-mortar retail

V. Impact of Technology on Transportation and Logistics Industry
A. GPS tracking and logistics management systems B. Autonomous vehicles and drones C. Electric and hybrid vehicles D. Blockchain technology in supply chain management E. Impact on transportation efficiency and reducing carbon emissions

VI. Conclusion
A. Recap of the impact of technology on different industries B. Future implications of technology on industries C. The need for continuous innovation and adaptation to technology.

Language Learning

Another way that students are using ChatGPT is for language learning. The model can be trained to generate text in a specific language, allowing students to practice reading and writing in that language. Additionally, the model can be used to generate translations, which can be helpful for students who are studying a foreign language.

Research Assistance

ChatGPT can also be used for research and study purposes. The model can be trained to comprehend a specific topic and produce summaries or explanations of that topic. This can be beneficial for students who are having difficulty understanding a concept or who require a quick reference on a specific topic.

Things to look out for:

  • ChatGPT is notorious for providing wrong facts and figures – please double check and sense check the figures
  • Preferably replacing the numbers provided by ChatGPT to a more reputable source and cite the source
  • There have been academically cited essays that have been written by essays, though have to be very specific in the prompts

Quiz Assistance

ChatGPT can also be used for tutoring and tutor assistance. The model can be trained to understand a specific topic and generate responses to questions on that topic. This can be useful for students who need extra help with a specific subject or who want to practice their problem-solving skills.

What students have been doing:

  • Inserting the entire question / problem set from the assessment
  • Watch ChatGPT solve the problem in real time
  • The output would be correct 90% of the time

Benefits and Limitations of ChatGPT

While ChatGPT is a powerful tool that can be used to enhance students’ learning experiences, it is important to be aware of the benefits and limitations of this technology.


  • ChatGPT can be used to generate text on a wide range of topics, making it a versatile tool for a variety of applications.

  • The model can be trained to understand a specific topic, allowing it to generate text that is relevant and accurate.

  • ChatGPT can be used to help students with writing, language learning, research, and problem-solving.


  • ChatGPT is based on a machine learning model, which means that it is not perfect and may make mistakes.

  • The model can be trained to understand a specific topic, but it may not be able to understand more complex or abstract concepts.

  • ChatGPT is not a substitute for human interaction and cannot replace the benefits of working with a teacher or tutor.

Despite these limitations, ChatGPT is a valuable tool that can be used to enhance students’ learning experiences. It can be used for a wide range of applications, including essay writing, language learning, research, and problem-solving. However, it is important to be aware of the limitations

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Detriments of using ChatGPT in Schools

Decline in Critical Thinking and Value of Education

Students are less likely to engage in critical thinking and memorisation, and trust the outputs provided by ChatGPT.

Without writing the sentences themselves, students are less adept in the whole development and thinking process, widely thought of as important while a student is still in their formative years

ChatGPT has also passed several high-profile exams such as the Wharton MBA exam, medical degrees, and several others. The value of education is significantly reduced, as the work done by low value workers could be replaced by AI-assistants such as ChatGPT in the future. 

As such, students and workers alike need to evolve to suit the changing business needs of businesses, and not be stuck on to the old syllabuses of the past. 

Cheating and Academic Dishonesty

One of the major concerns about the use of ChatGPT and other AI-powered language models by students is the potential for cheating and academic dishonesty. With these tools, students can easily generate high-quality, plagiarism-free essays and other written assignments in a matter of minutes. This can make it difficult for teachers and professors to detect when a student is using such a tool and can lead to a decrease in the quality of education.

To address this concern, many schools have implemented strict policies and procedures for detecting and preventing cheating. For example, some schools have implemented software that can detect plagiarism in written assignments. Others have implemented strict guidelines for citing sources and require students to submit their work through a plagiarism-checking tool. Additionally, some schools have implemented measures to prevent students from using AI-powered language models during exams and other high-stakes assessments.

However, ChatGPT is known to provide close-to-original responses, and can evade plagiarism-checkers. To add another step, students have also adopted the use of AI-paraphrasing tools to restructure the sentences to evade detection further.

Limiting Access to ChatGPT and Other AI-Powered Language Models

Another approach that schools have taken to address the use of ChatGPT and other AI-powered language models by their students is to limit access to these tools. Some schools have blocked students from accessing these tools on their networks or have implemented strict controls on the use of these tools during school hours.

Additionally, some schools have implemented strict guidelines for the use of AI-powered language models, requiring students to seek permission or guidance from their teachers or professors before using these tools. This can help to ensure that students are using these tools ethically and in a way that aligns with the educational goals of the school.

Actions taken by schools to mitigate the use of ChatGPT

Since the inception of ChatGPT in December 2022, we have summarised various measures that schools have taken to mitigate the usage of ChatGPT.

With adequate prompts, ChatGPT has been used to pass intensive examinations such as Wharton MBA exam, medical licenses and business degrees. As such, schools in Singapore are immediately stemming the possibility of ChatGPT eroding the value of education, while taking steps to shift away from regurgitating to more critical thinking based assessment.


  • Less take-home work, more surprise assessments
  • In-class homework without access to internet
  • Homework without the use of computer devices
  • Paper and pen ‘surprise’ assessments
  • Identification of AI-assisted writing styles and penalising accordingly
  • Less continuous assessment criteria that score students based on take-home work


  • Timed, closed book examinations
  • No computer devices allowed
  • Computer devices allowed but ChatGPT / similar AI-assisted websites access prohibited by school’s web provider
  • Pen and paper assessment
  • Less time for timed examinations

While the above would only slow the usage of ChatGPT, the AI-assisted technology would only improve further from here.

Hence, these measures would only be temporary, and more drastic changes to the syllabus would require to be made.

Encouraging the use of ChatGPT in Schools

Another approach that schools have taken to address the use of ChatGPT and other AI-powered language models by their students is to educate students on the proper use of these tools. This can include teaching students about the potential consequences of cheating and academic dishonesty, as well as providing guidance on how to use these tools ethically.

Some schools have implemented workshops and other educational programs to teach students about the capabilities and limitations of AI-powered language models. These programs can also help students understand the ethical considerations surrounding the use of these tools, such as issues of privacy and data protection. Additionally, some schools have begun to incorporate AI-powered language models into their curriculums, teaching students how to use these tools to generate creative and original content.

Maximising the usage of ChatGPT for Schools

Detailed prompts are required for ChatGPT to provide the best responses.

Here is what has worked so far for most students:

The topic is XXXX. Write a long, fully markdown formatted article in English. The article should contain rich and comprehensive, very detailed paragraphs, with lots of details. Do not echo my prompt. Do not remind me what I asked you for. Do not apologize. Do not self-reference. Do now use generic filler phrases. Get to the point precisely and accurate. Do not explain what and why, just give me your best possible article. All output shall be in English

(Replace XXX with the topic)

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Miriam is part of the team that operates CocoTutors: #1 Home Tuition Agency in Singapore. We connect Parents and students to Tutors, via our tuition-matching system. You can try out our services at ( or by calling +65 9177 9055 directly.

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