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How to Cheat in Exams

By James Anthony

Ned Kelly

Cheating - 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.

Simple Cheats

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 than not.

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 least.

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 pen.

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.

Mobile Cheats

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 answers from.

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 of learning.

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.

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