Teachers Reveal The Cleverest AND Dumbest Way They've Ever Seen A Student Cheat.
While cheating is wrong, we have to admit...students can get pretty creative with it. On the other hand, they can be downright careless. Here, 28 teachers share the cleverest AND dumbest way they've ever seen a student cheat.
1/28. One of my professors said when he was in college in the late '60s, people could smoke indoors during exams, so they'd just write information on their cigarettes and smoke away the evidence, churning through a half/whole pack over a couple hours.
2/28. Kid sat at the back of the exam hall, all backpacks piled up at the back. One bag keeps beeping as messages come in. Regulations state bag must be removed and phone investigated. Phone is receiving texts with the answers to the exam being sat. Pupil in question has Galaxy Smart Watch on. He takes photo of questions with his watch when he knows he is not being observed. Watch auto-syncs with phone which auto Dropboxes his photo. Parent at the other end then accessing dropbox to see questions and replying with answers. Phone sends text message to the watch. Kid messed up and was caught because he forgot to put his phone on silent mode. Was a mock exam. I still don't know if they were doing this as a trial run or were just a little dumb.
3/28. I teach first grade and my students have no idea what a test is so they just talk and ask each other questions during it. It's adorable.
4/28. I wasnt the teacher, I was another student at the time. Girl recorded the answers to a test on an mp3 player. She ran a single headphone up her shirt, taped it to the back of her neck, and then to her ear.
The thing is, she wore her hair the same way every day. It went just past her shoulders, so her hair hid everything perfectly and she looked no different than she did any other day. It worked flawlessly.
5/28. The girls at my school had it covered. They put on black tights with the information all over their legs..... Couldn't see it when the tights were slack.... Stretch it out however and all was revealed. Sneaky!!
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6/28. The task was to write a sonnet.
Student hands in Shakespeare's Sonnet 125 claiming it is his own work.
7/28. When I was in middle school, we had a teacher who was oblivious to what was going on in the room during tests. We began the year with complex cheating systems, but by the midway point of the year when we had the States and their Capital test, one kid walked over to the USA map on the wall, pulled it down so everyone could see then walked back to his desk. Our teacher did not notice.
8/28. I had a guy in my Spanish class who lived in Spain for most of his childhood. He finished our final in about 15 minutes, then went to the bathroom. Another guy went to the bathroom 5 minutes later, and when they got out, they changed places. Spanish guy took another 15 minutes to finish his final too, went back to the backroom and took another students seat. He did this with about 10 students. They all graduated with A's.
9/28. One of the dumbest things I've ever seen was when I was teaching at a private college. I taught night and weekend students, who had no base of English, little time to study, and zero desire to learn. Some students literally spent more time and energy complaining about having to learn English than actually attempting to learn it.
In one of these classes, there was a written (short essay) test. Another computer lab that was even worse as far as keeping an eye on students. Anyway, the assignment was to write about your favorite holiday, why you like it, and what you did last time. Mother's Day had just passed, so I made that one of the options/suggestions, it's worth mentioning then, that the term "Mother's Day" was written IN THE INSTRUCTIONS. Anyway, one of my students submits this essay talking about "Day of the Breast" and what she did on Day of the Breast. What happened was she used Google Translate, as many students do, and had zero language skill for identifying misnomers and basic proofreading. So what's with Day of the Breast? She wrote "Dia de la mama" in Google Translate instead of "Dia de la Mam."
10/28. My PhD advisor shared this story with me:
He was teaching an organic chemistry class, and after the exams, the students could look over their midterms and submit them for regrades if they believed there was a grading error on their test. A certain clever student used white out to turn a couple of particularly low scoring pages of his exam blank, then photocopied these pages. With these blank exam sheets in hand, he then correctly answered the questions on the page, and used red pen to "grade" these phoney correct responses as incorrect. He carefully re-stapled these pages into his original exam and submitted the doctored test for a regrade. When my professor saw how utterly horrible the grading errors were, he became suspicious. (continued)
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He went into lab and examined this exam under a blacklight, what he discovered confirmed his suspicions. 7/10 pages of the exam glowed green, while the other three pages (the ones with the blatant grading errors) fluoresced blue!
Conveniently, the next lecture for the class was on photochemistry. He began this class by discussing the nature of fluorescence. He explained how many organic materials contain highly conjugated molecules that can absorb light and reemit it at longer wavelengths. In fact, many naturally occurring materials, such as cotton, wood, and paper contain polymeric molecules called lignins that exhibit this property. He explained that different paper processing methods could lead to different ratios of these compounds and thus no two batches of paper were ever exactly alike. He brought out the doctored exam and a UV light, then demonstrated in front of the entire class how most of the pages of the midterm glowed green, but certain pages glowed blue. He then said, "To the student who submitted this exam, and you know who you are, would you please see me after class? We need to discuss your continued enrolment at this institution." He showed up after class in tears and admitted the whole thing. He failed the course.
11/28. Student here. For one of our tests, we were allowed to bring an A4 sheet of paper of notes. My teacher then explained to us that it had to be margined and there had to be specific font and spacing, as someone in the previous years copied a whole textbook onto an A4 sheet and brought a magnifying glass into the examination room.
12/28. When I was a freshman in college, first semester, I was in an intro biology course.
It was a big class, probably 200 students.
The syllabus stated that there would be five exams throughout the semester, and at this point we had already taken the first one and knew that the exam consisted of 40 multiple choice questions, each worth 2.5 points.
So the night before the second exam, I was studying in the library and overheard three guys coming up with a plan to share answer.
The number of times that they scratched their nail against the desk and tapped their pencil corresponded to the question number and the answer, respectively.
On the day of the exam, I listened to their scratching and tapping as a reference to double-check all my answer, I don't know what they scored, but I raked in that sweet 95.
13/28. I remember on a middle school history final the teacher had peers grade each other's papers. Luckily some cool kid that I barely talked to (but gave gum too on several occasions) got my test and changed all the answers I got wrong. I got 100%.
14/28. I was a T.A. while getting my Master's and taught a finance course. During a routine quiz, while standing at a podium not 10' from a student, he turns to the guy next to him and says in normal speaking voice, "What did you put for #10?" I just calmly walked up, took his paper and said, "You're done. You may as well leave." So, he leaves but then hangs out outside my door. When the class was over, I walk out there and he very calmly looks at me and says, "I just wanted to check. Do you still drive that silver Civic that you park in the garage?" I said, "Yeah, I do." He says, "Great, I talked to some of my frat brothers and they're dying to meet you."
He was expelled.
15/28. Years ago, I was an Assistant Language Teacher in the JET programme. I was...crap at Japanese. I could buy stuff and manage, but, well, crap. I decided I would learn some kanji, so applied for the 10th level of the Kanji Kaiten, a test of kanji knowledge for Japanese speakers, and this was the easiest level.
So, I showed up for the test, surrounded by five and six-year-olds.
Part of it was translating one form of phonetic Japanese to another (hiragana to katakana). In particular, one question was asking me the katakana version of . I blanked. I quickly looked through the test to see if they'd used the character, as I was sure I'd recognize it if I saw it. No dice.
As I was doing this, I noticed the six-year old girl beside me doing something on the table with her hand. (continued)
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I kinda glanced for a second, but it didn't register right away, and besides, test. Needed to work on that.
At the end of the test they gave you the answers right away, and this question was sticking in my head, so I checked it. Ah, ! Of cour-
And that's when I realized that the six-year-old girl beside me had been drawing that character on the table. She had seen me struggling, and decided to help. And I was too dumb to understand it.
16/28. I had a TI-83 calculator and before every test our teacher would check our calculators and make sure the ram *and archive was cleared and all programs were erased. I wrote a program that brought up the ram cleared message but it did nothing. I then proceeded to write all notes and cheats in individual programs to pull them up during the test. Worked flawlessly throughout high school.
17/28. One of my college professors told a story about a student who e-mailed him a word document filled with random symbols, to make it seem as though the file was corrupted, so he could have more time writing his paper. The professor figured it out pretty quickly.
18/28. I helped my AP politics class develop a foolproof method for cheating. Our teacher would hand out a test each week, and make us write the multiple choice answers on a blank piece of paper with our name and date on it. After the test was done, we would hand the answer sheet to the kid behind us (last kid in the row handed his to the first kid in the same row) to grade it. The teacher would go over the questions orally and give us the correct answers.
I told each kid in the class to write the answer as a lower case "c". If the answer was a, you close the loop and make a lower case "a", and so on and so forth for "b" and "d". Obviously, if the answer was "c", you'd leave it alone.
We all also agreed that no one should get a perfect score. We had to always get 2 or 3 wrong answers to make the con work. The teacher could never believe we were perfect, and he wasn't able to figure out everyone was getting higher test scores. We left the "wrong answers" up to the kid who was marking our paper.
It worked surprisingly well. No kids snitched because we were all riding the good grades gravy train.
19/28. Not a teacher, but when taking tests we were allowed to have water bottles on our desk to prevent kids from digging around in our backpacks while taking it; so this one kid removed the label off of a store brand bottle and printed out his own label resembling it but has all the answers printed. The teacher didn't catch it.
20/28. My teacher told everybody we were only allowed to bring in a few things to class, and gave us STRICT rules.
- The index card SHE gave us, which we could fill with information the day before.
- Pencils which SHE would supply to the class.
- Erasers which SHE would supply to the class.
- A label-less water bottle which we would put at the front of the room.
And the rules for the exam;
- No communicating with any other students.
- No looking at any other people's tests.
- The only time you are allowed to stand up is if you are going to the front of the room.
- You may not leave the class FOR ANY REASON until you've handed in your test.
- Only one person may be up at the front at a time.
So, what did we do? (continued)
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The students, together, wrote EVERYTHING we were going to need on all of our cards. We discussed the night before as a class right after school what we were doing.
During the test, we all brought water bottles. We would go to the front of our class, place down our index card, and go to our seat. In ten minutes' time, all the index cards were at the front of the room. The teacher was at the back and didn't notice. It was arranged so that the information was easy to see when at the front.
If we were stuck on a question, to the front of the class we went, with all the information we needed.
Every single person in the class got 100% and the teacher could never figure out how we cheated.
21/28. Kid in my grad class laid his notes on the ground to cheat during an exam. A friend of mine saw it and told him "if you get a better grade than me I'm telling the professor." Cheater kid didn't believe him and ended up getting something like a 93% on one of the hardest subjects of the class while the rest of us were happy with C's. Cheater kid was kicked out of the grad program.
22/28. My chemistry teacher told us a story of a couple of kids he caught cheating. We would take tests where there is a student at each end of a table with a "integrity board" (a cardboard stand used to block them from seeing each other's paper) between them. They each had M&Ms, and would signal to each other the question that they needed the answer to, and the other one would eat whichever M&M color they had assigned to A, B, C, or D that was the right answer. When my teacher caught on he went over to one of the students and ate a pile of all one color so they couldn't signal anymore.
23/28. A 3rd grader kept bugging this girl sitting behind him to give him the answers to a math pop quiz they were filling out. He was very obvious about it and the girl humored him by mouthing the answers to him. I let her continue after I realized she was giving him the answers incorrectly. She caught me looking at them and gave me this evil grin I'll never forget.
24/28. Not cheating but just brilliant.
We are allowed a 1 or two page formula sheet in our exams. At one point somebody wrote in red ink vertically and blue ink horizontally. He then wore old school red/blue 3D glasses and closed one eye to see one colour ink, and vice versa.
I.e. Close the eye behind the red lens. You only see out the blue lens. Blue ink is bolstered out and you only see red ink.
So he got 2x the information he would have on the same page.
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25/28. I wrote about four formulae on a glazed donut in tan-colored Sharpie in high school for a Pre-Calc quiz. I had forgotten we had a quiz that morning until about ten minutes before class, and this seemed like the best option. It was a short quiz and I got a 100!
26/28. In 7th grade one of my pals showed me a very detailed map of the USA that he had drawn on his leg, labeled with the states' abbreviations. We were being quizzed on the states that day.
He got a C on the quiz!
27/28. Last year for a book report one of my sophomores copied and pasted the whole first chapter of the book and did nothing else.
28/28. In my aquatics class we had a test on the computer where we had to identify 50 fish. I had no idea what any of the fish were so I was panicking and looking for clues. I found that if you clicked save as then it would show the filename, which was the name of the fish.
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