How to Cheat in Exams
By James Anthony
it's not worth it
Cheating in exams seems to be big business today and a quick
tour of Internet sites will not only give you some ideas about
how to cheat, but will give you the contact details of people
who will help you.
Now when we say help, what we really mean is people who will
happily take your money to help you cheat.
That could be anything from buying copies of exams to getting
former lecturers to write your essays for you. The cost of
the former is about $US80 from a Hong Kong company, while
the ghost writer - who copies your own prose style - is supposed
to have charged up to $US700.
Of course there are much simpler ways for cheats to initially
prosper come exam time.
There is the age-old long-sleeve shirt method where sneaky
individuals write important information - such as key dates,
people or formulae - on their arms and then roll their sleeves
down. It's basic and should be picked up by an exam supervisor,
but if it is still getting used then it is working more often
Another trick adopted by cheaters is desk notes. The key
data is actually written down on the desk before the exam
starts - and is hidden by papers - allowing the miscreant
to have a pretty handy edge over more moral students.
The buddy system of cheating is still popular and helps geeks
or nerds be part of the in-crowd, well around exam time at
Buddies and Charts
Here the know-all will allow a friend or friends sitting
near him to see the answers on his exam papers. This is achieved
by the person sitting back and stretching, or holding up the
papers while checking them to allow copying.
Cheat sheets are a tried and true method and involve taking
in a small roll of paper covered with key info. It can be
hidden in your papers, in your watch-strap, or even a false
Desperate cheats may try the less-than-subtle stress relief
move in which deep sighs are followed by resting your head
- strategically pointed at your neighbour's papers - behind
your arm. Throw in the occasional stretch and yawn - with
your head turned to one side and the eye nearest to the teacher
closed - and some answers may be discovered.
One of the most original ideas posted on the 'Net was for
a poster-sized cheat sheet to be pinned on to a wall in the
examination room. Obviously this works best with a gang of
cheats and in a room with plenty of wall art. Trying it in
a bare hall may not be so successful.
One of the latest methods of cheating involves mobile phones.
These handy little implements are perfect for immoral cheaters
to text questions to their friends outside the room and receive
At the University of Maryland six students were found to
have indulged in a little text naughtiness, albeit aided by
some dopey academic staff. It seems the professors would post
the answers to the exams on the Internet as they were being
sat - allowing cheats to text their friends and get the answers.
Fortunately for good honest students the cheats were caught
by staff who had placed false answers among the real ones
- thereby catching out the fraudsters.
And, it has to be said, that cheats usually never prosper.
If you are caught you will be humiliated and run the risk
of being expelled. More importantly you cheat yourself out
In the workforce people are expected to have a certain amount
of knowledge and those who have faked their way through will
almost always be caught out and being embarrassed in front
of your colleagues would be much worse than spending more
hours studying to pass exams on your own.
If you are tempted - don't be, the only loser is you.