Almost 100% Foolproof way to Cheat in Exams?

Teacher here. If we’re trying to get kids ready for “the real world”… well, when are they ever going to be without aids*, reference material, friends/mentors, and the internet?

Isn’t the student who learns HOW and WHERE to find out how to do something much more liable to be successful than a loner who tries to memorize everything and struggle through it themselves?

We keep hearing from potential employers, “We don’t want lone rangers. We need students who’ve learned to work with each other toward a common goal.”

(Though I must admit, I benefitted from the less enlightened techniques of the 60s: I could memorize like a mofo and ace most tests, even if I wasn’t learning anything long term.)
*“Of course you have to memorize square roots. You’re certainly not going to be carrying a big heavy calculator in your pocket In Real Life! ::cackle::” – 11th grade math teacher
(Wrong-o, Mrs. Kolteska)

You want ‘How to Learn AND Retain’?

I have never been able to grok math (illegal cheat sheets got me a D in Calculus.

Then I got a job on a survey/engineering firm.

All of a sudden, the Trig function that stood between me and a task of wading across a cold river made TONS of sense.

And the geometry made calculating the quantity of concrete, crushed rock and rip rap were clear.

IOW: Practical math v Abstract math.

All through university, we were allowed to take bathroom breaks during exams. Not in the first hour (until lockout-time), and not in the last half-hour. Bathroom visits would be proctored.

Would have looked deeply suspicious if anyone ever took a bathroom break in my courses, because no one ever did. We were all far too busy trying to complete the exam on time, to take time for things like bathroom breaks. Not mention the idea of being followed into the bathroom was unapealing.

Also, we were young an fit, not old an incontinent.

That last sentence. The truth.

Occasionally I’ll give students (high school) a chance to make “cheat sheets” for a test. I ALWAYS tell them exactly what Hari said, and that the more thought they put into making that cheat sheet, the less they’ll have to use it. The ideal case it to never look at it at all and instead use it as a chance to organize their knowledge beforehand.

I’ll always remember one class I had in college that allowed us to bring in one page of notes to the final. Anything we could fit on was fine. Me being the brilliant genius I am, I got on the computer, set the margins to zero and the font as small as I could read, and typed in literally everything from the entire course. At the time, this was a new and fantastic idea. But, of course, preparing the sheet took far longer and required a far more detailed review than I would have put into studying for the final otherwise, and in the end, I think I glanced at the sheet once during the actual final. Which I aced.

You laugh, but I had a conversation with a student that was almost exactly like this.

My thermodynamics class and the allowing of one 3 by 5 card was were I learned it was possible to hand print microfiche.

Why would anyone want to cheat on an exam? You’d just be cheating yourself. (Does anyone really believe that line?)

There was a legend at my old school: a group of Chinese students got together and got T-shirts made up with Chinese writing all over it and that was their cheet sheet. Not sure I believed it - I can seem some logistical problems.

Whoa! You should have sent her to me. :wink:

There’s one study aid I found worked wonders. I once read that if you read something three times in a row, just read it and do not even try to memorize anything, you’ll retain a lot. So I would take all my class notes before an exam and read them three times. Just sit down and read them through, no attempt to remember anything. Then just for good measure, I did it two more times. I ended up inadvertently memorizing the notes without even trying. It really worked.

You only read that once?

Yes. Amazing that I could remember it!

My Thirds test with the Coast Guard we not only took bathroom breaks, but meal breaks, showers, shaved, and tried to get a good nights sleep Between sections. The test was given in sections and you had to hand in the section to leave the room.

I thought I’d told this story before but I can’t seem to find it.

My class at USAF pilot training included two Saudi Arabian student pilots. One was a real gentleman, a high quality guy. The other was a useless fatcat frat boy. Both had pretty good English; plenty enough for the job at hand.

Each day began with all of us sitting in a classroom. An instructor would explain an inflight emergency scenario then call on somebody to respond. If you were called the drill was to leap to attention, explain your analysis and response, including rattling off verbatim any of the magic mantras we had to memorize for various time critical problems.

So one day Maj. Instructor says “You’re doing aerobatics at high altitude and lose control. You find yourself in a spin. What now Lt. al-Fratboy?”

The right answer is something along the lines of “Repeat the mantra for spin recovery. Does that work? If so, resume flying normally. If not, keep trying until descending through (in that aircraft) 5000’ above the ground. If still spinning, eject using the appropriate mantra.” So overall this was a pretty black-and-white problem with a pretty black-and-white response. No nuanced analysis of failure symptoms is required.

Lt. al-Fratboy starts off with the spin recovery mantra, getting the gist correct but only about 90% on the magic words. Asks “Does it work?” The instructor says “No.” al-Fratboy furrows his brow; this wasn’t something he’d ever considered. He stammers and stalls for what feels to all of us like an eternity.

Lt. al-Goodguy raises a hand and smoothly says “Maj. Instructor? I believe my colleague is having a language problem. May I translate?” Maj. Instructor has seen this trick before but says “Certainly.”

Lt. al-Goodguy: “Yabbada yabba al bubbala yabbada yabba al bubbala yabba al bubbala yabbada yabba al bubbala yabba al bubbala yabbada yabba al bubbala bubbala yabba al bubbala yabbada yabba al bubbala EJECT! yabba al bubbala yabbada yabba al bubbala yabba al bubbala yabbada yabba al bubbala yabba al bubbala yabbada yabba al bubbala yabba al bubbala yabbada yabba al bubbala.”

Lt al-Fratboy: “Major Instructor, I would eject!” with great triumph in his voice.

Somebody started laughing and we all came unglued. I damn near pissed my pants. Even Maj. Instructor was laughing too hard to give them grief. At least not right then.

Really? I always thought there was supposed to be some method of deriving square roots, and I just never paid attention in class when it was taught.

There are several, but none of them that are anywhere near as easy as pushing the square root button on a calculator.

The bottom line is if it’s easy, it’s cheating.

I see what you did there.

I knew some who would split the single paper allowed into multiple ‘openings’ much like the 12 days of Christmas thing. All the same piece of allowed single paper.
I considered using colored glasses to write in various colors, so I could overwrite that single piece of paper, however I never found the need or more then one full sheet.

Totally inadvertent. But I’ll take the credit anyhow.