These students definitely deserve an A for effort, but not for reasons most teachers would appreciate! Instead of devoting time and effort into studying for tests, these students used their energy to create elaborate cheating schemes. Hidden scrolls, invisible writing, crawling through ceilings, communicating through code and throwing tests out the window are just a few of the illicit ideas that these Redditors share. Some were shockingly successful; others…not so much.
1. Unfair Advantage
Back in 2005 or so, we had one teacher who barely spoke English. In order to avoid doing the work, a couple of the guys would just copy an article and then swap the first and last halves of each sentence before handing it in. Because he spoke extremely broken English, the teacher wasn’t able to distinguish it from proper English.
2. Invisible Text
I was grading a written assignment that had a 1,000-word count minimum. One particular paper felt really short to me, despite Word telling me it was roughly 1,100 words long. On a hunch I hit CTRL-A and sure enough, after the paper concluded, there was a lot of white nonsense text on a white background, making up for the missing words.
3. A Global Effort
My girlfriend works for a dental exam company, which obviously runs super high-stakes exams. Since the exams are worldwide, they have actually found people from one time zone paying people from another time zone to email questions to them right before the exam starts.
4. Sweet Setup
Our teacher told us that a student had pulled out an enormous bag of M&Ms shortly after a test began one day. Since she allowed eating during her tests, she didn’t think much of it. She never noticed that the student was eating a specific color corresponding to A/B/C/D, so that his friend beside him could get the correct answers!
They only got caught when another student ratted them out.
5. Praying for Answers
When my Dad was in high school, he used to write out the answers on a piece of paper and tape them to the ceiling. Before the test, he and his friends would pretend to pray by looking up and putting their hands together. The teacher never caught on, and thought it was heart-warming how my Dad and his friends would pray together before each test.
6. Answer Transmission
Someone at my college was taking a psychology exam and he convinced the professors to let him listen to music while taking it. It was the same music he had listened to while studying, and the material we were being tested on was partially about how sensory input, like music, can help you recall past memories, like things you learned while studying.
Impressed with his practical application of the study material, the professors agreed. They checked his portable CD player and verified his CD was store-bought and everything seemed fine. Once the test started, he switched his CD player to the radio and a friend started broadcasting the test answers from the parking lot using a short-range radio transmitter.
He probably would have gotten away with it, if not for one thing. Another professor had been driving to work at the time and came across an unfamiliar radio frequency broadcasting “Question 1: A. Question 2: C…”
7. Scroll Down
One of my old teachers told us a story about a student who had rigged up a tiny scroll of paper in a wristwatch with notes written on it. He turned the scroll by winding the watch. He ended up getting caught because he was winding his watch with suspicious frequency during the exam, but the teacher loved the creativity.
My friend once climbed through the ceiling tiles on the outside of the professor’s office, across the doorway in the ceiling, and then back down through the ceiling tiles on the inside of the professor’s office to take a copy of the test.
9. Body Art Cheater
In college physics, a girl in my class with a really intricate tattoo on her leg wrote formulas in between the tattoo lines. Even looking closely, you couldn’t tell unless you knew what you were looking for. You could always tell it was test day because she wore shorts.
10. Technically Speaking
In my college English class in Japan, a professor had an open book test that allowed the use of “anything that isn’t connected to the Internet.” One student brought an American native English speaker to the test. The teacher allowed it because he was impressed by the creativity.
I was always a fast test-taker, so I decided I could probably make some money doing it. In a math test where everything was multiple choice, I would take the test really quickly, and then put all the letters in my graphing calculator and slip it to the person next to me, who had prepaid, when I got up to turn in my test.
Made me some good money in high school!
12. Almost-Flawless Forgery
My chemistry professor once had a student who didn’t show up to class all semester but kept improving his score significantly after re-submitting. He allowed his students to have a day to review their marked tests and then re-submit them in order to try to improve their grades. When this student re-submitted his tests, they always seemed to have grading mistakes on them that would raise his mark significantly.
The TAs thought it was unlikely to have so many grading mistakes on multiple exams, but the TAs who graded it couldn’t confidently say that the grading mistakes were not written in their handwriting. Ultimately, it turned out to be an office worker for the department who figured out his scheme near the end of the semester.
She noticed that the staples on his test were angled differently than the exams handed out in class, which were mass stapled. When he took his test home for the day allowed, he was recreating the test, printing it, re-answering it with the correct answers, and then grading it in the same pen and writing style as the TAs by tracing their “wrong” grading from his original test.
13. Google-Translate Life Hack
I’m not sure if this would work anymore because of anti-plagiarism software, but I had a pretty good cheating system for writing papers. If I had a paper to write on a book that I hadn’t read, I would find a well-written paper online, copy it, and paste it into Google Translate. I would then translate the entire thing from English to German, then German to French, then French to Spanish, and finally Spanish back to English.
I would then pull the original paper up side-by-side with the “new” one and clean up the grammar on the translated paper. It worked like a charm because I would end up with a paper containing the same concepts, but which was written just different enough from the original to not be plagiarism.
14. That Answer is a Stretch
In my high school Latin class, an oversized football player seemed to ALWAYS ace the vocabulary tests. He was not so good at conjugation or sentence structure, but had a failproof mental recall system…or so we thought. In fact, in EVERY class we had together, I began to notice that his ability to answer A –> B type inquiries was phenomenal.
Even his mathematical formulas were always spot on. His actual calculations though…not so much. While tutoring the football player for the Latin final exam, he told me he had no intention of studying any of the vocabulary words, definitions, tenses, etc. He only had concern for descriptive, conjugative, structure, and exploratory-type test questions.
I said to him, “I’m just wondering, how can you flawlessly recite and recall vocabulary and formulas on point like you do, but yet can’t remember how to put it all together?” He said to me, “Rubber band, man!” He proceeded to take the rubber band off his wrist. He stretched it out and placed it around a notebook, long-ways. As the rubber band stretched out, I could see all of the definitions of each vocabulary word written on it.
It included gender variations, prefixes, suffixes, tenses, etc. Then when he took the rubber band off of the notebook, and it retracted to its original size… all those answers disappeared! I had no idea how much information a simple rubber band could actually hold!
15. Project Blue Book
I was taking a Real Analysis class in college, and there was one problem that our professor told us would be on the final exam. And I couldn’t do it. I tried and tried and tried, and studied, and got help, but no matter what I did, I could not figure it out. So I resorted to memorizing the steps and getting it down to a sequence of blanks I could fill in.
Exam day came. I bought two blue test booklets with lined paper inside. In one of them, I very, very, faintly wrote the answer to #1, complete with space to fill in the blanks. I filled in my name on the front to differentiate it from the blank booklet. When the professor told us to take out our blue books and trade with the person next to us—clearly trying to prevent cheating—I traded my blank blue book.
I took the one I was given and slipped it into my backpack at the same time I slid out my written-in blue book with my calculator and pencil. I got my test. #1 was exactly as expected, and I filled in the blanks and wrote over my words, then continued on with the exam and passed the class.
16. Off Key
During a keyboard harmony lab exam, which takes place in a room with 28 keyboards, one devious student had previously recorded another student’s perfect performance of the exam piece. The cheater played the recorded piece through his keyboard but used all the right-hand motions on his keyboard at the back of the room to try to fool me into thinking that he was actually playing it in real-time.
Unfortunately for him, the student he had recorded happened to be my private piano student, and I recognized the distinctive playing immediately. I didn’t embarrass him during class by calling him out on it, but dealt with the problem privately—a lesson he told me later that would stay with him for the remainder of his life.
17. Thanks, Mom!
When I was in middle and high school, a lot of teachers didn’t care about making the tests hard. I had a few who would release a “review” the day before the test, and it was literally just the test. I would take two review sheets, turn in one, and use the other as a cheat sheet during the test. My mom had previously bought me a bunch of cheap, translucent binders.
You can’t see the paper inside normally, but if you press down the outer cover, you can see the paper crystal clear. So, I would put my cheat sheet in the binder and put it on the floor, then casually put my foot on it to press it down so that I could see my cheat sheet. If the teacher walked past, I’d just lift my foot and the cheat sheet would be gone.
Eventually, my friend caught on and asked for one of my stack of binders. They were hard to find apparently, and eventually, the rest of the class caught on and wanted one too. I sold the rest of the stack for $10 each and made $150. Mom wondered why I ran out of binders so fast.
18. Starting Young
My sister-in-law is a teaching assistant at her kids’ school. Her youngest daughter was 7 at the time and a little mischievous. She stole the test the night before, pretended it was homework and had her Mom “help her with her homework.” The next day, she sneaked the answers in for the test. One of the other kids caught her and let the teacher know.
My sister-in-law, who was overseeing test conditions, died a little inside when she realized it was the homework sheet that she’d filled out!
19. Consensus Test
In some tests in university, we had the questions projected on a big screen, so the whole class had the same multiple-choice test. Everyone in the class agreed that we should pair each letter with a sign involving our pens: if it was A, point your pen forward. B? Point it to the right. C to back. D to the left, and E upward. If you didn’t know the answer, you just put down your pen.
So, all we had to do in tests was just carefully look around for a moment and see what direction most pens were pointing.
20. Manipulating the Teacher
During an AP US History test in high school, we had a question asking about the author of a book. A kid raised his hand and said, “Mrs. ______ I read <name of book> this weekend, and I really liked it!” The teacher, obviously forgetting that she had put this question on the test, replied with “Oh! By <author’s name>? I love that book!”
The whole class burst out laughing but no one said anything, because she had just inadvertently given us the answer to the test question.
21. The Code War
My high school trigonometry professor administered all tests via programs he wrote for our in-class TI-83 calculators. Basically, it was just a simple set of questions and answers that automatically graded you after each question. I quickly realized that I could just close the program and inspect the code using the edit function, extract the answers, and give myself a high B or low A.
I never gave myself 100%, as that is a sure way to get caught. He soon realized students were doing this and obfuscated his code to make it much harder to find the answers through simple inspection. It took a little more work, but I was still able to find the answers, and he quickly began to suspect again that students were cheating.
Later, he got wilier—but he was no match for me. He found a way to force the code to self-delete after it was run for the first time. He would start the test on each calculator before passing it out so that if we tried to access the edit, it would delete itself when we tried to run the program again. I ended up bringing a set of dead batteries of the same brand that he used, accessing the edit, and then replacing the batteries with the dead ones and telling him the calculator died halfway through my test.
I think I learned more about software testing than trigonometry that year.
22. Stockholm Syndrome
So, there was this teacher, let’s call him Mr. A, who had a reputation for being a phenomenal teacher. He had every student engaged with and invested in his class, no matter how mundane the subject matter. Any time he asked a question, every student’s hand would shoot in the air and the students would shout things like, “call on me!” or “I know the answer!”
Of course, their answers were always right. Fast-forward a couple of years, I was grabbing a coffee with Mr. A and I decided to ask him how he did it. His response? “Well, I told the kids that every time we had a visitor in class, I needed them all to raise their hands like I was giving away free candy.” But there was a twist.
He told them if they didn’t know the answer, they had to raise their left hands. If they did know it, they raised their right hands, so he knew who to call on. Then he could make everyone look good.
23. Blame Technology
Back in high school, if I wasn’t finished an assignment on time, I would corrupt an empty Word document so that it couldn’t be opened, rename it a legitimate title, and then send it to my teacher at the last possible minute the night that it was due. I’d show up to class the next day, and the teacher would go over the assignment and sometimes use examples of things written by students that had already submitted theirs way earlier.
I’d note everything down and then do my actual assignment until my teacher realized a few days later that she couldn’t open my (fake) assignment. She’d ask me if I could send it again, and I always said, “Sure, no problem!”
24. Scantron Scheme
In first-year university physics, I got to the final exam, looked at the questions—and realized I did not know squat. I started to panic…until I noticed that I could slightly see the Scantron sheet of the person in front of me. When I looked to my left and right, I could also slightly see their Scantrons, as well as those of the people diagonally left and diagonally right in front of me.
In desperation, I flipped over a scrap piece of paper, started copying the pattern of the Scantron answers of all five tests. I then compared the tests to see what the most common answers were and wrote them down. I actually passed with a B!
25. Covert Code
I learned a lot of ways to cheat but I think the most creative one that I’ve used was a combination of hand and sound signals. My ex and I used to study together for a particular subject, so we usually split the topics into two, one part for him and the other for me. Then during the examination day, the strategy was that I would signal correct answers for my half with hand signals, while he would use the sound signals.
For example, if the question was on something I had studied and the answer was A, I would scratch my head with my index finger. If it was something he studied and the answer was A, he would tap his desk once with his pen. Two fingers or two taps for B, three for C, etc. I can still remember the adrenaline rush that I felt during those examination days.
I felt like someone was twisting my gut because I was so nervous about getting caught, but at the same time, I was having fun!
26. Group Effort
In my high school, we had a Facebook group chat with all of the students in the grade. During tests, someone from my class would take a picture of the exam and post it in the group chat. Somebody from a class that wasn’t having the test that period would send the answers back in the group chat. So everyone in my class would be on their phones and see the answers from the group chat.
Later, the class that had been giving us the answers would have their test, knowing all the answers already, of course.
27. Da Vinci, Reborn
Once, my friend cut open an eraser so that he could place tiny notes inside of it. To hold it closed, he created a genius latching mechanism. To open it, you had to push the top part of the eraser away from the bottom part and then squeeze. If you didn’t pull the top and bottom apart first, the latch wouldn’t loosen, and no amount of squeezing would open it.
Since he was a good friend, he’d share his eraser with me, because I “lost” mine frequently. Someone eventually ratted us out and we got called down to the office. We were lucky though: the principal couldn’t figure out how to open it, and therefore couldn’t prove it had been used for cheating, so we got off scot-free!
28. Cheating in Code
I was supervising a final chemistry exam along with another co-worker. Not 15 minutes in, a hand slammed down on a desk. I turned around expecting the worst, only to see my co-worker angrily shouting at a pair of really frightened 10th graders whose desk he had smashed. Amidst the shouting, I caught the words, “Morse code.”
The guy proceeded to take them to the office. I called a hallway supervisor to take over and ran after the group. Apparently, the kids were silently tapping the answers amongst themselves in Morse code—not even with their fingernails, just their fingertips. I never heard a thing, but my co-worker happened to catch “B” in Morse code.
I honestly thought he finally went crazy solely because of his expression in that moment: picture Robin Williams in Jumanji saying “WHAT YEAR IS IT?!” and you’ll have a fairly accurate representation. I’m 100% sure that if this co-worker hadn’t been in the room, the students would have gotten away with it for sure.
29. Speaking in Toes
When preparing for a particularly difficult test in my high school, a friend and I created an elaborate code to communicate answers during the test. We would start with a small kick to the chair in front of us to alert the beginning of the “exchange.” A toe “slash” had three functions: to indicate you were “asking;” when “broadcasting,” it indicated a shift from tapping the number of the question to tapping the answer; or it meant you’d lost your count and had to restart, since a double slash sounds like erasing.
Toe taps indicated the answer (1 tap for A, 2 taps for B, etc), and if “asking”, incremented the question number by 1. Heel taps incremented the question number by a previously agreed-upon number (usually 5 or 10). This method was barely noticeable yet easily heard, as tapping your foot is quite normal, you’ll only look nervous. Plus, you can mix the toe and heel taps like a beat.
An “exchange” would go like this: HHTHHTHHTSTTTT. In the easily recognizable pattern of Queen’s “We Will Rock You”, the code tells you the question number is 33, with the answer D, separated with a single slash. Our teacher caught us during a mock test when we were conducting the first dry run of this code, only because two other guys who were caught cheating ratted us out.
30. What Can’t Money Buy?
Once, my class had an open book exam, but we were only allowed to use the textbook, which was not particularly helpful. To get around this, a guy had his much more helpful study guide printed and bound EXACTLY like the textbook we were supposed to bring. It had the same font size, font color, paragraphing, the same amount of pages, everything.
Since he was rich, he paid someone to have this done for him. Still worked though!
31. Light Bulb Moment
My chemistry teacher in high school once told us a cheating strategy that her old students used several times when there were tests. They would go to the school the night before the test and write the answers/formulas on the cylindrical fluorescent light bulbs. The bulbs, and the casings they resided in, were very big, so the students could write a lot on them and still see what was written from afar.
The students would sit on four chairs behind the light so they could read the answers/formulas, and other students would sit in another four chairs in front of them to read the other answers/formulas on the other side. They eventually did this to every light in the classroom. Every time they needed the answers/formulas, they would just lift their heads and say something like “Oh, I’m thinking” to fool the teacher.
32. If I Could Just Touch the Hem of His Garment
I went to an old Irish Christian Brothers School. One of the Brothers told me a story about a smart kid and a stupid kid who both missed a test. The Brother made them take the test while sitting on opposite sides of the room. He constantly walked back and forth between them to make sure they weren’t cheating. When both got a good score, he was puzzled, and eventually asked the smart kid how he had passed the answers.
It turns out that he had pinned some of the answers onto a little part of the Brother’s rather voluminous robes, and when the Brother went across the room, the other kid took it off as the Brother passed. He had inadvertently helped them cheat!
33. Direction Through Misdirection
In high school, a group of us used to wait for one of the smart kids to go up and turn their quiz in. As soon as they did, I would go up and distract the teacher by asking questions, while another friend would go up to the tray. He would pretend to turn his in, but really just take the smart kid’s quiz from the top and bring it back to his seat.
That quiz would then be passed around to a few people and would get turned back in when we were all done. We did this for every quiz. It was pretty risky, but obviously the teacher wasn’t paying too much attention, as we never got caught.
In high school in the 90s, we had to write a big research paper, but the main point of the project was to use sources from this new thing called The Internet. We could use one or two other sources but had to have a lot of sources from the internet. The thing was, I went to a backwoods school and was one of the few people in the school, including the teachers, who ever went online.
I found all the content that I needed in some book from the library, but had a hard time finding all the Internet sources I needed because there just weren’t many webpages in those days. Wikipedia didn’t exist yet either. So I did what anyone would do. I made an Angelfire page with a URL close to my report topic and put a big “Under Construction” banner on it.
Then I did the same thing with Geocities. I cited both of those as my Internet sources. The teacher never checked, and I got an A.
35. Early Version of Google Glass?
A student in a nursing program came up with an ingenious tool. Every time he took a test, the student would wear glasses that had a tiny camera hidden in the frame, and wear a Bluetooth ear-piece that was disguised as hearing aides. The person would look at the test and whoever was watching—wherever the camera was streaming to—would talk into a microphone and give the student the correct answer.
He managed to sneak through an entire nursing program with this device and was finally caught during the final.
36. Throw It Out the Window
My dad once helped a friend of his, let’s call him Sam, cheat during an exam. Sam was miserably failing chemistry in his senior year, but he was lucky. They were doing two different exams back to back on the same day and to ensure no-one was sneaking a peek at their neighbor’s papers, they had alternate rows doing French and chemistry respectively.
When you finished your first exam, you would go to the teacher, hand in your exam, and get the other exam. Sam was a helpful student despite his academic issues, so he asked the teacher if she would like him to hand out the exams, and she agreed. It was June and very hot, so the windows were open. As Sam approached the end of the first row, which had the chemistry exam, he threw a copy out the window onto the street.
Of course, that’s where my helpful Dad just happened to be waiting with Sam’s chemistry notes. Dad picked it up and answered all the questions on a blank piece of paper. When Sam was done with his French exam, he asked the teacher if he could go to the bathroom before taking his chemistry exam and of course, she agreed.
My Dad was waiting at the toilets to hand him the piece of paper with the answers on it. When he went back, he just wrote the answers from his “cheat sheet” on his actual exam paper and handed it in.
37. A Teacher’s Revenge
In 10th or 11th grade US history, we had a quiz each Friday where we had to state the president of the week (starting with Washington and moving forward) and name his party, years in office, former occupation, VP and cabinet members, etc. Rather than study for this very easy quiz, I would write the answers in my notebook hard enough that it indented the next page.
Then I’d just trace the intentions for the quiz. Pretty much the whole class started doing this eventually…until one day, when the teacher told us to turn our papers over and flip them upside down before starting the test. Needless to say, we all failed that one.
38. Ahead of the Deception Curve
I taught kindergarten and noticed that between 5-6 is a really interesting age. There’s a cognitive development that occurs between 5-6 that causes children to become much more aware of the perspectives of others, and therefore motivates them to learn how to deceive their peers. I could always tell when a student was a little ahead of the curve when they would cheat during games or activities.
I caught one student during a math game. He would deal out all of the low number cards to his peer while he kept all of the high number cards for himself. Consequently, he kept winning every single round. I walked around the classroom and stopped to watch these two students. The student who was dealt the low cards had no awareness that he had been dealt a lousy hand and was happily playing, while the other student won every round and was cheering.
I had to stop the game to scold the student who was cheating, but in the back of my head, I was just impressed that he was smart enough to cheat!
39. Found in Translation
I know Cyrillic script, so for chemistry tests, I wrote the formulas substituting the letters of the Latin alphabet with the Cyrillic ones all over my desk. Everyone thought it was just random scribbles, but it was all of the answers!
40. Accidental Cheating
In high school, it was getting close to final exam time and I was studying in class for a Spanish final. For whatever reason, I looked down into the recycling bin in the classroom and found what I thought were old exams, so I decided to take a few to study with my friend and hope that this year’s exam wouldn’t be too different.
When it was time for the final exam, to my surprise, the teacher brought out the EXACT SAME exam that we had spent a week practicing!
41. Cheating in Plain Sight
I once had a professor who calculated 80% of the total course grade based on two different four-page-long essay assignments. The last 20% was the midterm and final exam. I got to class one day close to the end of the semester, and I was all ready to review for the final exam because I thought it was review day. When all of my peers pulled out their essays, I instantly panicked.
My professor didn’t take late assignments, and I didn’t have an essay ready because I had mistaken the due date! I stood up and just walked straight out of class. I went into the library and printed off the first essay, which I had already turned in and had marked. I put it under my shirt and walked back into class, then turned in the past essay to the prof with everyone else.
When I got home, I spent 4 hours typing and emailing a new essay to the professor. I also wrote a note saying, “Sorry! I accidentally turned in my midterm essay instead of my final essay today. Please see attached.” To my surprise and delight, she accepted the paper! This is still the greatest accomplishment of my life.
In high school, I would wear a skirt every time I had a test and write a cheat sheet on my upper thigh. I would slowly move my skirt up while taking the test. I knew I couldn’t get caught because a teacher could get in a lot of trouble for telling a student to lift up her skirt.
43. Imprint Memory
I think my best “cheat” was back when I was an undergrad, and I had to take history with the strictest grading professor I’ve ever had. Our final was an essay where we had to answer the question, “What was the underlying cause of the American civil war?” He gave us the question on the first day of class so I had A LOT of preparation time.
I spent a month writing the best essay that I could on my computer. The week before I “dumbed it down” a bit considering the essay was supposed to be written with no notes during the exam. The night before the exam, I spent six hours imprinting my essay into the blue exam booklet. I did this by putting a piece of paper over the blue book page and writing as hard as I could on the scrap paper, leaving only the indentation of the words on the exam booklet.
If you flipped through the book it looked blank and brand new. But if I looked at it from a certain angle, I could read my whole essay word for word. Final exam day came and all I had to do was write over the imprinted words. It took up the whole two hours we had, and I ended up getting a 395/400 on it.
44. A Teacher’s Kryptonite
In one of my classes, I used to get my work done so fast that I was bored for half the period. Eventually, I decided that I knew the material and decided to try an experiment. I gradually started writing more and more in cursive in the class until my teacher got used to it, and then I’d throw in errors to see if she would catch it.
She didn’t, which confirmed my suspicions: She couldn’t read cursive and just gave me credit anyway! So for the rest of the year, I would literally just scribble in my “homework” and the teacher believed it was just my handwriting and gave me credit anyway.
45. Future Hacker
I was in credit recovery for AP Physics because I’d failed. It was all computer-based, so we sat in a lab and just worked on questions through a program. The questions were insanely hard and I was too lazy to learn it, so I devoted my first three weeks to figuring out how to cheat. Here’s how I did it: when you got a question wrong in the computer program, it would bring you to another page saying you got it wrong and then would give you a new question.
I noticed that on the “wrong answer” page, you could find the correct answer in the “inspect element” sidebar if you went digging, but you couldn’t go back and try the same question. To get around this, I would unplug the Ethernet cable to the PC, plug the wrong answer, and since it wasn’t loading a new webpage, only showing an extension of the original page, it would bring up the wrong answer page.
Then I could open “inspect element,” write down the correct answer and then click for the next question. It wouldn’t load because it was a fresh webpage, so then I’d plug the Ethernet back in and it would reload the original question, which I now had the correct answer for.
46. Colorful Code
In a college class called Asian Humanities, I was having a really impossible time remembering Asian names/dynasties and their years. I had an exam that I had to get an A on to pass the class. I had to take the exam in the testing center, which had cameras and monitors at every desk to catch cheating, but I happened to get a copy of the exam from a friend that had completed it before my exam day.
Even so, just memorizing wasn’t working because it was a lot of Asian names and places that I just could not for the life of me remember. I was freaking out on the way to the test, but then I had an idea. I stopped at Wal-Mart and bought a box of little colored beads and a roll of string. I sat in the parking lot and made a “cheating bracelet.”
A= aqua bead B= blue bead C= copper bead and D= dark purple bead. I put a clear decorative bead at the beginning/end to show where to start. It was actually a pretty bracelet. I finished it there in the parking lot in less than three minutes, put it on my wrist, and wore it in the test. Each side of my wrist showed about 1/3 of the answers, so I only had to move a little or pretend to fiddle with it once or twice over the hour to see the rest.
It was amazing. I purposely missed a couple of hard questions to throw off the scent. No one ever knew and I magically passed that class!
47. Unseen Consequences
During my eighth grade year, I dated a guy whose mother taught in our seventh grade English department. We have an online school platform for all of our classes called Canvas. You can put assignments, messages, notes, tests, and pretty much anything else school-related on there. Since there was a test function, most teachers used it so that they didn’t have to print out a million copies and hand grade each and every one of them.
My boyfriend’s mom (I’ll call her Ms. N) had a vocabulary quiz planned for her Advanced Placement students on Canvas. The advantage with Canvas is that it doesn’t put your computer on lock, so you can still look at other tabs and such. The students did the test, cheated by looking up the answers, and scores came out unusually high.
The downside to cheating with Canvas is that you always got caught because teachers have the advantage of seeing whether you left the tab during your test, when you did, and how many times you did. In the end, she ended up finding out that around 80% of her students had cheated on the test. I remember hearing about it on the bus that day and while I was planning on heading over to their house to chill with my boyfriend a bit.
I ended up comforting her while she broke down to me. She said she didn’t know what to do and that she feels like a horrible teacher because her students don’t know the material well enough to complete a test without cheating. It was honestly so saddening because she is the sweetest, most amazing teacher ever, really a true blessing to our school.
Pretty much the entirety of the eighth-grade class at the time was super mad at just about everybody in the seventh-grade class for doing this to such an amazing teacher. It really was something.
48. A Near Miss?
It was my senior year in high school. I’ve never been that good at math but I couldn’t get bad grades or else I wouldn’t get into university. One day, we had a complicated test and, as I almost always did, I wrote the solved exercises of the test on Post-it notes and put them inside my pencil case so that I could discreetly copy off of them when the teacher wasn’t looking.
I was on the very last exercise when the teacher unexpectedly came to stand next to me with some papers in his hand and said, “Can I borrow a highlighter from you?” My heart stopped, but I said yes so that he didn’t get suspicious. I was planning to subtly move the notes around to find the highlighter, but he didn’t wait for me to hand it to him.
Instead, he opened the pencil case with all the Post-it notes inside! As I was waiting for him to start yelling at me or rip up my test or something, he rummaged through it until he found the highlighter. Then, to my utter shock, he started doing whatever he was doing, standing next to me. He hadn’t noticed the notes! He highlighted something and I was waiting anxiously for him to give me back the highlighter and finally leave—but he didn’t.
Instead, he opened the pencil case again to put the highlighter back in! At this point, I had seen my life flash before my eyes twice in the span of five minutes, and I was just waiting for him to take my test and report the whole thing and get me in trouble, but he didn’t. Just as unexpectedly as he had arrived, he left and went back to his desk.
I almost cried when he didn’t do anything, and my limbs felt like Jell-O. I later found out that I got an A on the test, but to this day, I just think he did the whole highlighter thing to tell me subtly that he knew I was cheating but wasn’t going to do anything about it. After all, the Post-it notes were very obvious once you opened the pencil case, and he wasn’t stupid.
Needless to say, next time I cheated, I was much more careful.
49. The Prankster Prodigy
A kid’s work kept deleting itself on a computer every few minutes. He was having a meltdown, and I saw it happen. It was impossible to explain the phantom deleting that was going on. Fast forward to the end of the class, and there’s one kid remaining. This kid was sitting at the opposite computer from the kid who lost all his work.
He looks at me and says “You wanna know how I did it, sir?” He had put in a USB keyboard into the back of the computer and had it set up so he could hit the delete key with his big toe. It was the funniest stealth attack I’d seen in a long time. Being the teacher, I should have done something, but it was too funny and smart.
50. Tables Turned
This story is about my high school math teacher playing the students and “cheating.” It was an honors algebra/geometry class, and it was well known that Mr. D re-used the same questions every year and just changed the numbers. He made a big deal about making sure we all gave our exam papers back to him after we had looked at our scores and gone over everything together.
He told it that it was to prevent cheating for the next year. Well, some of my classmates still got their hands on a complete set of tests from the previous year and soon, everyone had a set. Before each exam, we would sit together and make sure we knew how to solve every problem on that test so we could do it on the real exam with different numbers.
Years later, when I became a teacher myself, I saw Mr. D at a funeral one day and I confessed our cheating to him. To my confusion, he smirked and said, “Who do you think leaked the test packet to get you to study?” Mr. D had figured out that kids won’t study if the teacher suggests it, but if they think they’re getting away with something forbidden, they totally will.
He somehow managed to get a test packet out and circulating as “contraband.” It blew my mind.
51. Large-Scale Operation
Students at my former high school made national headlines because of a large-scale cheating scandal. A professional “tutor” was helping students break into teachers’ classrooms to keylog their computers in order to obtain their passwords. Hundreds of students ended up getting the exams early due to its success. Unfortunately, teachers began to get suspicious when failing students started to get 100% on exams.