C’mon, admit it. You cheated in school at least once or twice, right? I’m not talking about Animal House-style, where you went dumpster diving and found copies of the test. I’m talking about writing a little note on your hand (or your leg) or something like that.
Teachers of AskReddit shared the most creative cheaters they ever encountered in the classroom.
1. Blew my mind
“I’m a high school teacher, but this story is about my own high school math teacher playing us and “cheating.”
It was an honors algebra/geometry class, and it was well known that Mr D re-used the same questions every year, 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 to prevent cheating for the next year.
Well, of course, some of my classmates got their hands on a complete set of tests from the previous year. 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. I confessed to him that this is what we used to do. 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, they totally will, so he managed to get a test packet out and circulating as contraband. Blew my mind.”
2. Tap tap
“I was supervising a final chemistry exam along with another coworker. Not 15 minutes in, a hand slams down on a desk and I turn around expecting the worst, only to see my coworker angrily shouting at a pair of really frightened 10th graders whose desk he 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, my coworker happened to catch “B” in Morse code or something. I honestly thought he finally went crazy solely because of his appearance, picture Robin Williams in Jumanji going WHAT YEAR IS IT. I’m 100% sure that if this coworker weren’t in the room, they’d have gotten away with it for sure.”
“High school kids recreated a Snapple label where the nutrition panel on the back had all the answers, formulas, etc. Only got caught because I’d never seen the flavor before and wanted to see how much sugar was in it.”
4. Tiny scroll
“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 so damn much during the exam, but the teacher loved the creativity.”
5. Smart kid
“There was a class that allowed you to bring one sheet of handwritten notes to exams. I knew a guy that created a font of his own handwriting and used to print the entire study guide onto a piece of notebook paper, front and back. He even set the font color to pencil grey and managed to get the margins and spacing exactly right to look like it’d been handwritten.”
“Stretch a rubber band around a text book, write whatever you want on it, then when you take it off the textbook, it’ll just look like scribble until you stretch it to see what’s written. Spanish conjugations drove me to do some incredibly unethical things.”
“I was grading a written assignment that had a 1,000 word count minimum and one particular paper just felt really short to me despite Word telling me it was roughly 1100 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.”
8. You can tell
“College physics, girl 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 tell it was test day because she wore shorts.”
9. Dynamic duo
“My teacher shared with us a story about how since she allowed eating during her tests, one person pulled out a giant bag of M&Ms and ate a specific color corresponding to A/B/C/D. It was a two student duo and they only got caught when another student ratted them out.”
“During a keyboard harmony lab exam (a room with 28 keyboards), one devious student had previously recorded another student’s perfect performance of the exam piece on MIDI .
The cheater played the recorded piece on MIDI, but used all the right hand motions on his keyboard at the back of the room to try to fool me that he was actually playing it in real time.
Unfortunately for him, the student he recorded happened to be my 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.”
11. Nailed it
“My exams that used a graphic calculator (TI-84) required us to show the examiners a “proof of reset” screen before the papers started so instead of actually studying for my papers, I painstakingly redrew the “proof of reset” screen pixel by pixel in the TI-84s pixel art program and stored all my notes in it.”
12. Impressive…but still cheating
“I was a TA for anatomy and physiology. The professor would ask for me to sit in on finals to prevent cheating.
One kid came in with a vitamin water. No worries. Half way through the test the professor noticed they kept turning the bottle and squinting. This goes on for another twenty minutes.
Professor goes up. Grabs the vitamin water bottle and rips off the label. It had a crib sheet written. On the back. The students had gone to the effort to make a fake vitamin water bottle label and write notes in the back.
The professor was impressed by the creativity and decided to give the student a 0 and not report them to the academic committee.”
“Used a text file on one of the original iPods. Teacher was fine with “listening to music” during tests. Made my life so much easier lol.”
14. Remove all watches
“Writing down math formulas and putting them in the instructions insert of the calculator.
More recently, kids will put the answers on their smart watches. It’s to the point where I make all students removes their watches and place them on the classroom counter before the test starts.”
“I can name the worst, and I’ve definitely shared it before, but it wasn’t my student, it was a friend’s.
She’d downloaded a worksheet for the kids to do while she was in a meeting of some sort. Kids found the worksheet’s answer sheet online and proceeded to copy the answers. Last answer said “student responses will vary.” And that’s what one kid wrote as his answer.
Other times you’ll see one kid misspells something or gets an answer wrong, and everyone who copied from him has the same error.”
Well, those were some resourceful students, right?
Did you ever do something like that? Care to share?
Do that in the comments!