When it comes to cheating in school, you'd think teachers have seen it all... but apparently not.
Recently, a Reddit thread asked teachers to spill the beans on the most creative cheating methods they've seen throughout their years... and the results are straight up impressive.
We took the test home and used the textbook to get all the answers. Since it was multiple choice, I decided to make a coded keychain with colored beads on it.
The keychain was 50 beads long and was color coded to reflect the correct answers in chronological order. For instance, red = A, blue = B, yellow = C, and green = D.
I attached it to my car keys and just left my keys on top of my desk as a I took the test. The best part was that the teacher complimented my keychain as she handed out the tests.
I told her my little sister made it for me as a good luck token for finals. I don't have a little sister.
This was during exams, it was one of the "here's a list of ten questions, study these, and three of them will be on your final" type paper.
The empty books for students to write their exam essays were kept in a storage room under a lecture theatre. One student must've spotted this, waited till the janitor left it unlocked, got a pile of the University branded exam books, written out their answers to the ten listed questions, then smuggled the completed books into the exam and placed the appropriate three on their desk.
The lack of writing activity made the person watching suspicious, and they checked the books - it just so happened the student had stolen a batch with a blue margin, but the books handed out for use that day had a pink margin.
My biology teacher told us (and proved it by showing a picture he said he had to take cause no one in the future would be believe him) that a kid had taken apart his watch and replaced the little date dial with a piece of paper he carefully wrote on and put all the notes on this piece of paper and just turned the dial during an exam.
Naturally he got caught for suspiciously staring and squinting at his watch oddly throughout the exam.
Smart idea, stupidly executed
If he caught you cheating he would make you retake the test after school and dock you 10%. I forgot we had a test and thought I was gonna do bad so I purposely got caught cheating and studied in my 5th and 6th hour and ended up getting a 100%. He docked me the grade, but I still ended up with a 90% on a test I probably would've failed. It's not quite cheating but I feel like I cheated the system.
I was a TA for a physics class in college. We give the final exam. The next day, the other TA and I are grading the exams, and two students have very similar answers. Not copied exactly, but similar enough that its suspicious. Especially because one of the students was the lowest in the class, and the questions were pretty difficult. But these kids were nowhere near each other, and neither took bathroom breaks during the test, and we collect all phones at the start. Our only possible theory is that they somehow got the test early. But I kept it locked in my closet for the days before it was given. So I began to think back. I remembered that about a month or so before, this one student was having trouble seeing an assignment online (or so he said), so he asked me to sign into his laptop to download the file for him. So I did, and then signed out.
So my theory is... This kid used some sort of keystroke recorder to get my email password, got a copy of the exam from the email from my professor. Worked on the test beforehand with this other kid who wasn't as good, until they had decent answers, then they both just did the test normally after that.
It still haunts me to this day.
A bunch of students got busted for having cheating programs on their graphing calculators, but who the heck is going to check for commented out text in the middle of the source code for Tetris?
Basically, in the weeks leading up to my French exam, the entire class would prepare our presentations so we just had to learn and recite them.
Well, I am absolutely terrible under pressure, and knew I would take a blank as soon as I walked into that exam room. The saving grace for every student was the SQA (Scottish Qualification Association - basically the exam board) allowed us to write down 30 words in either language & bring it into the exam with us. This was nowhere near enough for me. For some reason, I decide to pipe up in class and ask if we're allowed to draw pictures, but I was half serious about it.
After conferring with the head of the french department of my school about my odd request, they decided we could draw any amount of pictures, as they didn't see what use they could possibly be to me.
Except, I'm autistic, and very good at memory recall with visual stimuli. So I knew how I could make this work for myself.
I separated 2 pieces of paper into grids, one square to represent each paragraph. I drew out everything I possibly could; there were horses, islands, shoes, a basketball, clocks, old buildings, McDonald's fries, Bunsen burners, EVERYTHING in this essay was put into a visual form.
When I went into the exam, I was able to sit with my drawings and read from them. It was like reading my essay in word form in front of me. Each picture triggered the corresponding words in my mind, and I was able to keep myself on track with what I was talking about.
Got full marks. Very bewildered teacher.
She had the same class in an earlier period, so I would write them really small on my thigh so I could see them when I sat down (I wore a skirt) but when I stood up you couldn't see them.
If the teacher walked by, I would just pull my skirt down or put my jacket on my lap or something. I'm sure teachers were suspicious, but none ever accused me because obviously to prove it they would have to ask me to lift up my skirt.
The quizzes were through whatever that crappy website is that's known for kicking back correct answers as wrong.
I downloaded a Firefox plugin called tamper data to see what kind of info it was sending back to the server every time I chose an answer. I found that per answer it didn't actually send anything back to the server, but it did tell me if I got the answer right or wrong - meaning it didn't check my answer against a server somewhere, the check was being done local on my machine.
Using the same plugin I checked the data that's sent when you finish a quiz and found that it sent the number of right answers along with the number of total questions for the quiz. So I opened quizzes, clicked some nonsense answers, and then used the plugin to tell the server that I had a modest 85% to 95% correct. I essentially intercepted my poor score that the local script was calculating and told the server a good score.
If I wanted to I could have reported 36 correct answers out of 12 questions asked if I wanted to, the site was that poorly written.
He would stack the completed answer sheets from his multiple choice tests and use the drill press to drill out the correct letters.
Then he would just count how many coloured-in answers remained on each piece of drilled paper and subtract this number from the total number of questions to quickly work out the overall mark.
Of course it was only a matter of time before his students realized they could just turn up, pretend to take the test, and submit a blank piece of paper to get full marks.
I wasn't applying the exam but just watching them to make sure no one was cheating. This guy, which I had been teaching for two years, was acting extremely weird, super nervous, and I knew he was into something.
I did all the tricks I know to see if I could catch him (like staring backwards to them for a minute, then suddenly turning back haha), but everything was fine. Two years later, he told me he was indeed cheating: he voice-recorded all the formulas on his cellphone, and used a little headphone whose cable was perfectly hidden from his back up to his ear and hair. Since he had a badass long hair which he always styled the same, I didn't even suspect about it.
The school has about 9 buildings/sections. Each section has a universal key that only opens doors in that section. He stole the keys to the school from the coaches office in the field house. He just walked in when the coaches were teaching PE, grabbed a handful of keys and walked out.
Then he would go to the school around 6pm when the faculty had left, but people were still around for sports and stuff. This made his presence less suspicious if questioned. He went to each section, unlocked the door, took pictures of the exams with his phone, then left.
He gave away the answers to his closest friends and he was never caught.
Now he is an engineer and makes good money.
He was never dumb, just really lazy and good at exploiting opportunities.
He was skilled enough to text without even looking at his phone, and just typed in the questions to the exam with the phone in his pocket.
He then had it rigged to process the answers via a text-to-speech engine, and broadcast it to the wireless earpieces of him and three other students.
He was an older guy who typed up his exams on a word document, would have the right answer in red, and print the document out in black and white.
Our class was the entire school year and we had an exam every 2-ish weeks. Around the second or third test I noticed that one of the multiple choice answers was slightly lighter than the rest. It had very faint dashes instead of being solid black so I thought "these have to be the right answers," and they were.
So for the rest of the year, except 1 or 2 exams, I was able to get modest A's on the exams. I told one kid a couple months in and he eventually told a lot of people. So before the final, one kid who knew the trick completed the test in 10 minutes, turned it in, and got a 98 since they were graded on the spot. Our teacher realized his mistake then and fixed it for our very long final exam.
I now check all my exams for this.
I was told to watch out for some of the crazy cheating methods they've seen.
My favorite was how one girl covered in henna tattoos (which is normal) actually inscribed all of the answers into the decorative hennas. It looked normal from a distance, too.
One entire class had a fully multiple choice audible code. One student was the leader, and would tap his pencil for A, cough for B, tap his foot for C, and sniff for D. Everyone else would just write down the answers. They got caught, but it was pretty impressive that an entire class of 30 kids worked together like that.
The teacher gave them out the day before the test and we were allowed to cram as much as we could onto them. Everyone filled them to the brim, I took it a step further.
I took a surgical scalpel and carefully split the card into two "leafs" (it was thick paper). Surprisingly, it split perfectly. I left the last half inch or so connected as a hinge. To maximize the now-doubled space, I laser-printed off basically the entire freakin' study guide in 4 or 6 point font onto Betacam tape labels (something I had in stock) and affixed four pages of this to the teacher-provided notecard.
About halfway through the test, the roaming teacher stopped and picked up my notecard, examined it thoroughly, laughed, and handed it back. Said it was a creative exploitation of the rules, and let it go.
Got an A on the test, but honestly it wasn't because of the cheat card, it was because I'd typed out the entire cheat card by hand, thus memorizing it along the way.
I learnt from a friend who loved LOTR back when there wasn't any movie yet.
I passed the test.
I printed off the website. I took a highlighter and highlighted every line on both her paper and the print-out that were identical. I was PREPARED to nail her to the wall.
So I call her in, and show her the highlighted sentences and am just about to tear into her, and she goes "No Miss! I didn't plagiarise! I swear! I paid my friend to do my work! THEY plagiarised!" I literally had to walk away to stop from laughing.
She paid someone to cheat, and that person copy and pasted it.
He cut a hole in each of his pockets and put an end of the scroll in each, running the scroll across the inside of his pants. When he would unzip his pants he could see the middle of the scroll through the zipper and would be able to move the scroll left and right by rolling it up in either pocket. Was a really great idea, except it looked like he was masturbating at his desk during every test.
The creative part is that he brought a second bottle that had no writing on it, so that when I caught him, he could act like he was putting the water in his backpack, and take it out again but replace it with the decoy bottle.
I caught him 3 seconds into the test from across the room, and when I walked over towards him, he went completely pale white, even his lips were white as if he were going to puke, but he did put the bottle back in his backpack. I stood next to or near him for the rest of the test so he couldn't take it out.
At the end of class, I told him "this can stay between you and me if you take the water bottle out of your backpack and put it in the recycling right now." Stammering a bit, he said "I don't know what your talking about." I told him "look, I don't care about the cheating at this point, but the lying is just insulting." He then ranted about his rights and personal property, and finally took out the decoy bottle.
That bottle hadn't been opened, while the first one had been only half full. I just glared and said "leave." He left, I watched him go down the hall, meet a friend and show off the other bottle to a friend, bragging about how he fooled me and what a stupid teacher I am. Maybe I am, but I caught that kid.