People From Around The World Share Their Best 'Creative Cheating' Stories

People From Around The World Share Their Best 'Creative Cheating' Stories

School can be hard, and it's human nature to try to make something that is hard, easy. It's why we invented farming, the wheel, and Netflix. Convenience is everything. So, when you have the choice to either study for a big test or cheat, it's not hard to see the attraction of walking on the dark side. I mean, do you really want to study for EVERY test, or do you learn to cheat just once and never have to study again?

Well at least a few people picked cheating and decided to brag about their methods on the internet, and that's where we come in. We gathered up a bunch of the best cheater stories and compiled them here for you.

That being said: We here at RoughMaps don't condone cheating. We also aren't your dad though, so do whatever you are gonna do with this knowledge. Just, if you get caught, don't say we didn't warn you!

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40. Someone clearly didn't take history in the South

I think my best “cheat” was back when I was an undergrad I had to take history with the strictest grading professor I’ve ever had. Our final was an essay where we had to answer “what was the underlying cause of the civil war” (the answer is slavery btw) he gave us the question on the first day of class so I had A LOT of preparation.

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 no notes all memory. If I had left it the way it was I’m sure he would have known something was up because this essay was PERFECT.

The night before I spent 6 hours imprinting my essay into the blue book. I did this by putting a piece of paper over the blue book page and writing as hard as I could, leaving only the indentation of the words. If you flipped through the book it looked blank, brand new.

But if you looked at it from a certain angle you 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 2 hours we had and I ended up getting a 395/400 on it.

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39. Who knew James Bond cheated on his tests

A few of my classmates found out that they had to take another exam in order to pass physics two days before and they had to learn 3 years' worth of material. Obviously that was not a lot of time, so we decided that one of them is going to record the exam with a pen with a camera inside, hand us the pen while somebody distracts the teacher, we would solve the exam and send it to somebody outside the classroom that was in communication with the guys taking the exam through a spy earpiece.

Well, not everything went according to our plan. The teacher sent everyone that wasn't taking the exam out of the classroom, so the only way we could get the pen with recordings was for the pen to be thrown out of the window. Fortunately, the pen didn't break and we helped them pass the exam!

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38. Everyone made fun of me for wearing a kilt in high school, but the joke is on them, I passed calculus.

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.

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37. Detail is everything

I remember a story from my O-chem professor. This student all semester who wasn't showing up to class kept getting his score improved significantly after re-grades. They got their tests back, had a day to review them, and were allowed to re-submit for a regrade. They knew he was cheating because of the unlikelihood of the grading mistakes on multiple exams but the TAs who graded it couldn't confidently say it wasn't their handwriting.

Ultimately it was an office worker for the department who figured it out near the end of the semester, his staples were angled differently than the exams handed out that were mass stapled. He was recreating the test, printing it, re-answering it, and then grading it in the same pen as the TAs and had done a good job copying the writing style.

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36. Just wait until he learns about Blackjack

I taught kindergarten and between 5-6 is a really interesting age. There’s a cognitive development that occurs between 5-7 where children become much more aware of the perspective of others, and therefore 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 deal out all of the low number cards to his peer while he kept all of the high number cards. 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 bad 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.

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35. Do you know the names of the US Residents, who then became the Presidents, and got a view from the White House loo of Pennsylvania Avenue?

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 just trace the intentions for the quiz. Pretty much the whole class started doing this eventually. One day, the teacher told us to turn our papers over and flip them upside down. We all failed...


34. There are so many ways this plan could have gone wrong

So, my dad once helped a friend of his, let call him Sam, cheat during an exam. Now Sam was miserably failing chemistry in his last year but he was lucky. They were doing two different exams back to back the same day and to ensure no one was sneaking a peek at their neighbor's papers they had one row do French and one row to chemistry. If you finished your first exam you went to the teacher handed in your exam and got the other exam.

Now Sam asked the teacher if he could hand out the exams to which the teacher said yes. Now it's important to note that it was June and very hot so the windows were open. So as Sam approached the end of the first row, which had the chemistry exam, he threw an exam out the window onto the street where my helpful dad just happened to wait with Sam's chemistry notes. Dad picks it up and answers all the questions on a blank piece of paper.

Now when Sam was done with his French exam he asked the teacher if he could go to the restroom. Seeing as he had handed in his French but hadn't gotten his chemistry exam yet the teacher obliged and let him leave the classroom. Now my dad is waiting at the toilets to just hand him the piece of paper with the answer on and all was good. He just wrote the answers on his "cheat paper" on his actual exam papers and handed it in.

Never got caught, also my dad was kinda Sam's guardian and it still amazes me that my dad told me this story.

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33. To be fair, Pollock has a pretty distinct style

I took an "Art Since 1945" course in college. The way the instructor did tests was to show unmarked slides of different art pieces, and we would have to write down the name of the artist, the name of the piece, and maybe the date. Once he had gone through all of the slides, you could request that he re-show any slide that you were unsure about.

One student, instead of asking "could you show slide #10 again?" instead asked, "could you show the Pollock again?" And, the instructor did it, without thinking. No one noticed for a few seconds, and then someone snickered, and the instructor realized he had made a mistake (he had just told us that this slide was a Pollock, instead of us having to figure it out). So, taking it in stride, he then announced that "If you had been paying attention, I just told you one of the answers."

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32. What is this, a school for thieves

In high school me and a group of friends 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 asking questions, another kid would then go up to the tray pretending to turn theirs in and just take the smart kid's quiz which was on 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 every quiz. Pretty risky but obviously the teacher wasn’t paying to much attention and we never got caught.


31. At some point, cheating isn't even worth it

It was an open book exam, and we were allowed to bring only one book, which we don't even really use. A guy had his study guide printed and bound EXACTLY like the book we were supposed to bring. Font size, font colour, paragraphing, same amount of pages, everything.

He was rich though, he paid someone to have this done for him.



30. Poor teacher can never trust a kid again

For context, we had the sweetest old guy as our Chem teacher. He called everyone "Bud" or "Buddy" or "Ma'am", he always helped, he volunteered to teach Driver's Ed after school so kids could learn to drive. He always had a twinkle in his eye because he genuinely showed love and kindness to everyone. A side effect of this was that he was very trusting.

So one day, before finals, he ran to the bathroom during class while everyone was wrapping up their lab reports. While he was gone, someone ran to his desk, found the finals just sitting there, snapped a pic, and then ran back to their desk before he got back.

Somehow, no one tattled. Probably because 90% of our grade level in that class was on board with it.

The pictures got texted around, but a few people were smart enough to Bluetooth it to each other so it couldn't be tracked.

Wellllll after the test, everyone had high scores and apparently, someone confessed. This resulted in a huuuuuuuge investigation by the assistant principals, school police officer, and faculty. They traced every text message and busted so many people, all except the ones who transferred via Bluetooth.

They had to re-issue the test. Man, that was crazy. I felt so bad for the teacher, he was really sad someone had taken advantage of him and I was too. Such a good dude.

To clarify, the school didn't 'trace' the messages. They just had 1v1 interviews with the school cop nearby so kids would feel pressured to snitch. Apparently a few cracked under the pressure, but if I recall a fair number got away with it.

Also, the cop was our school cop. Real badge, gun, car, he was just there to protect us against school shooters, bombers, he patrolled for loiterers, ran drug searches, ran security for after-school events and pep rallies, etc. So, no actual police force was present, just this guy.

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29. When this tone was first "discovered" everyone in school had it set as their ringtone and man, was it annoying

There is a certain level of hertz in sound that only people below a certain age can hear, there are devices who play that kind of sound so if the teacher is old she/he won't hear the sound, using that the students can communicate with morse code and such.

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28. Just remember this next time you go to the doctor: they may have cheated to get into med school

When I was in grad school, I went to a prestigious and large university where a lot of people tried to cheat, and the cheating countermeasures they took were often so elaborate. People would try to tape helpful guides to the back of toilets or crumple them up and throw them into a trash can so that they could go to the bathroom and get them during the exam. As a result, the bathrooms were inspected and the trash emptied at the start of every exam and students were accompanied to the bathroom.

Hats weren't allowed because students would try writing things on the underside of the brim. You had to watch out for students who had written things on their bodies because they might be shifting in odd ways during the exams to get a look at them. There were special buildings that were only used for exams, and additional people were there to help proctor. Professors had to submit exams to the school a month in advance, and the school was responsible for securely photocopying and distributing them at the exam.

My field (English) wasn't one where cheating was particularly a big problem, but we still had to take all the same precautions of more high stakes fields (chemistry is a big one because it is often a stumbling block for people trying to get into medical school).

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27. Kids these days have it too easy with the technology

In my high school, we had a facebook group chat with all (almost all) students from the same year. So if two classes had the same teacher we would get the same tests but we would always have the exam on the same day.

So eg. during the exam someone from my class would take a picture of the exam post it in the group chat and somebody from the other class that wasn't having the exam at the moment would send the answers back in the group chat. So everyone (almost) in class would be on their phones and see the answers from the group chat.

Later the class that was giving us the answers would have the exam having all the answers already because as I said they would get the same exam as we did. Usually used for maths, chemistry, and physics.

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26. That's not cheating, that's deductive reasoning

High school, English class. We were reading four books in this two month period and then were to have a test on all four. We had finished reading the first three and we're about to start on the last one, when I got sick. It was about two weeks. Came back just in time for the test.

Multiple choice test, choices a to d. Questions were from each of the books, with each letter answer from one of the four books. It was fairly easy to figure out the answers from the book I hadn't read by eliminating the answers from the books I had.

Was accused of cheating, but the teacher couldn't prove it. We only read the books in class, and I was gone while reading the last book.

She never figured out how I answered the questions correctly about the book I never read.

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25. It is a federal crime to access a computer system without authorization

My friend pulled this off. Before our discussions, the TA would take attendance online. My friend’s TA always forgot his laptop so he would ask students if he could use theirs to start the attendance code. My friend got a key logger, let the TA use his laptop and got his account login. The TA had access to all the quiz answers and they were posted right before the quiz. In the end, he didn’t bother using them because the quizzes weren’t that hard.

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24. I did this in my film editing class, was better than using Final Cut Pro

Back in high school I would corrupt an empty word document so that it couldn't be opened, rename it a legit 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 teachers would be going over the assignment and sometimes using examples of students that had already submitted theirs way earlier.

I'd note everything down and then do my actual assignment until my teacher would realize a few days later that they had trouble opening my (fake) assignment and ask me if I could send it again. Sure, no problem!

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23. The lengths one will go to avoid having to learn something

My high school trig 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 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 (never 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 by 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 found a way to force the code to self-delete after it was run for the first time. He would start the test for each calculator before passing them out, so if you tried to access the edit, it would delete itself if you 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 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 trig that year.

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22. What an absolute madlad

There's this story I've seen about kids being allowed to bring in a note card sized 4 X 6 for their exam. The teacher forgot to say the measurement (e.g. centimetres or inches) so someone bought in a piece of card that was 4 foot by 6 foot covered in notes


21. Animaniacs helped me pass geography

A teacher told me a story from US History when he used to let students listen to music. They were being tested on the US presidents. One kid was listening to music when his audio cord came out of his phone and his phone started blaring a sound clip of the student listing all the presidents in order. Music was no longer allowed, but he got to try again without music because of his creativity.

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20. This is just a good test taking strategy

As a student, I remember when my entire year level was accused of cheating, as the test results came back consistently high. What the teachers failed to realize, was that some of the answers were actually hidden in other questions.

So if you got stuck on one question, you could find the answer later on in another question.

An example would be (this was a Japanese language test) "What does ___ word mean" and later on, a question would use that word in context, so you would understand what that word meant.


19. Democratic cheating

In some test on University, we had the questions projected on the white table/wall, so the whole class had the same test and we had multiple choice "A, B, C, D, E".

So with the whole year we agreed that for each of these letters we should pair with a sign of holding the pen: if it's A - point your pen forward, B? point it to the right, C - to back, D - to the left and E - to upwards AND if you don't know the answer just put down your pen.

So we just had to carefully look around for a moment and see what most pens are pointing at and we know the answer right away.

IMO it is the safest cheating because there's no evidence and no teacher will notice if you made a careful peak for half a second.

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18. Sounds like you played yourself

My own high school math teacher played us because we were “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.

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17. Did you break his fingers? It sounds like you broke his fingers

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 <in-out-through>.

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.

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16. Alright boys, we got him

I was trying to find answers to homework. When I found it I realized the URL was to my teacher's website. Like this (school initials)/(teachers name)/ (homework answers)/(random numbers and letters). So I got rid of the random numbers and I found every single homework answer sheet for the year. What I realized is that on the teacher's website he can make links like “contact me” or “this week schedule” but make them not visible to click on his site.

Used it the entire year and kept it a secret. The next year I had some friends take the class and made them promise not to share it with anyone because it’s an AP class and if we got caught they may take away our credits. That was 4 years ago so I think I’m fine.

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15. The teacher had to pretty much see this coming, right?

That reminds me of a time in my high school Spanish class where we had to make a skit including a list of vocab words, and it had to be 4 minutes long. So the skit went (in Spanish): "Hey, amigo, we have to write a skit containing (lists out words)." "Oh, okay. What time is it?" "It is 1:30. But I put my watch on my table. We can tell the time." "Okay. What is Jose's phone number?" "It is (numbers). What is Maria's phone number?"

(They continue wasting time by asking random phone numbers while staring intently at the watch. After four total minutes have passed...) "Ah, the bell. It is time to go to class. Bye" "Bye." I think they got a B.

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14. I was the guy in class that always forgot his blue book

I did this once in a college class.  The class was real analysis and there was one problem that was absolutely going to be #1 on the final exam. It had been #1 for every final exam this professor had ever written (of which he gave us copies to study from), and it was #1 on the study guide for our final. I couldn’t do it. I tried and tried and tried, and studied, and got help, and whatever I did I could not figure out the finer point of this specific type of proof given in this specific context. So I resorted to memorizing the steps and getting it down to a sequence of blanks I could fill in.

Exam day comes. I buy 2 blue books that morning (test booklets with lined paper inside). In one of them, I very very faintly write the answer to #1 (complete with space to fill in the aforementioned blanks). On the front, I fill in my name- to differentiate it from the other booklet. When the professor tells us to take out our blue books and trade with the person next to us- I trade my blank blue book. I take the one I’m given and slip it into my backpack at the same time I slide out my blue book with my calculator and pencil (so it all looked legit).

I get my test. #1 doesn’t fail, it is exactly as expected. I fill in the blanks and write over my words. I continue on with the exam. And I pass the class.

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13. When the light hits the ink just right, these shoes will sing

I had class in the AM with a kid who was a TA for my physics class the afternoon before (weird period system at my old school). He would tell me the answers to app tests he had graded the day before and I would write them in black ink on the side of the sole of my black boots. I would then sit with my leg bent with my foot on my knee and read the answers during the test. You couldn't see them unless the light hit the ink just right. After the test I would just lick my finger and smudge the answers out.

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12. Modern problems require modern solutions

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.


11. He's got a point, you know

I passed a pop quiz in high school by looking across the room and focusing on the top of the smart girls' pencil and trying to decipher if she wrote A B C or D after the teacher asked each question. It actually turned out more successful than I thought it would.

Also, I'm all about academic integrity when it comes to important higher education when relative to your field of work but I don't understand loading immense amounts of needless information into young, hormonal teenagers and getting upset or surprised that they don't have the mental stamina to deal with it all and would rather cheat.


10. The classic "I turned in the wrong paper" gag

I once had a prof who counted 80% of the total class grade on two 4-page long essay assignments. The last 20% was the midterm and final exam. Anyway so I got to class one day close to the end of the semester, I was all ready to review for the final exam when instead all my peers pulled out their essays. I instantly panic, remembering my prof stating she doesn’t take late assignments and I don’t have an essay ready.

I stand up and just walk straight out of class. I go into the library and print off the past essay I already turned in. I put it under my shirt and walk back into class. I turn in the past essay to the prof with everyone else. Then when I get home I spend 4 hours typing and email a new essay to the prof stating “Sorry! I accidentally turned in my midterm essay instead of my final essay today. Please see attached”. She accepted the paper. This is still the greatest accomplishment of my life.

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9. Knowing how to find information is a much more useful skill than memorizing random facts

In school, I found a pen that you could store a piece of paper inside.

Wrote all the formulas for a test on it in minuscule handwriting.

The process of doing that made me remember them all so I never actually looked at the pen in the test.

Luckily at university, we got given a huge folder with pretty much every formula needed written inside it for exams. Knowing what formulas exist and how/when to use them is much more important than endless memorization.

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8. You can study for every test, or learn to cheat once and never have to study again

In high school, I was in a computer-based learning program and our science tests were taken digitally. However, they used a program where once you entered the test your entire screen was locked into the test and the only way to exit it was to click the finish button on the test or turn off your computer which effectively did the same thing. Another feature of the program was that once you were in the test, anything you had in your clipboard (copied text) was not able to be pasted into the answer sections on the test to prevent the only other way to cheat.

However, after creating my own classroom at home, making fake tests and playing with the program to figure out a way to cheat I realized that it would allow you to copy things from inside the test and paste them elsewhere in this test. The developers of the program also did not take into account the sign in screen where you have to find the test and enter it.

Long story short, I could copy my entire page of notes I had taken on the test material, paste it into the section where I would enter my login information. Then recopy it, enter the test and paste it again in one of the answer sections, using it to answer every question and then deleting it before clicking 'finish'.


7. Creative problem solving

In elementary/middle school we had to write a paragraph each week featuring all the vocabulary words included in that unit. One clever kid wrote something along these lines:

“One day kid’s name had to write a paragraph for English class. He sat down, picked up a pen and used these words in it: proceeds to list out all the words.”

The teacher only let it go once because she never saw that happen until then.

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6. Crazy how learning morse code was easier than studying for the test

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.

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5. What happens when everyone raises their left hand, though

So, this teacher, let's call him Mr. A, had a reputation for being a phenomenal teacher who had every student engaged/invested in his class, no matter how mundane the subject. Any time he asked a question, every student's hand would shoot in the air with them shouting things like "call on me!" or "I know the answer!"

Simply, Mr. A developed a reputation in the district as one of its best teachers.

Fast forward a couple of years and I'm grabbing coffee with Mr. A and I ask him "what's your trick? How did you get every student bought in?"

His response, "well, I told the kids every time we had a visitor in class, I need you all to raise your hand like I was giving away free candy. BUT if you don't know the answer raise your left hand. If you do know it, raise your right hand, so I know who to call on and we all look good. Worked like a charm."

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4. Snitches get stitches, and no M&M's

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.

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3. I did this once, only my fake label said "Made ya look" on it

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 vitamin water. No worries. Halfway through the test, the professor noticed they kept turning the bottle and squinting. This goes on for another twenty minutes.

The 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.

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2. There is no way this would still work

Not sure if this would work anymore, but if I had a paper to write on a book I didn't read I would find a well-written paper online. Then translate the entire thing from English to German, German to French, French to Spanish, then Spanish back to English. Pull the original paper and the new one up side by side and clean up the grammar on the new paper and you've got the same concept, but written just different enough to not be plagiarism. Worked like a charm.


1. That’s the way to do it

In a lot of my college courses, I wasn't allowed to use anything higher than a TI84. So I took the guts of my TI89 and swapped it into my TI84. Never got caught.

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