The Most Creative Cheating Tactics in School We’ve Ever Heard

Students want an easy way to get ahead and sometimes that involves doing the unimaginable. As technology advances, so do the tools available for students to game the system. From hiding notes inside calculators, to writing information on body parts or utilizing online resources – cheating in school is a full-time job for some students.

But cheating isn’t just limited to high-tech gadgets and internet resources. Many teachers have seen firsthand the unique, creative ways that students have come up with to get ahead on tests or assignments.

Here are some of the most creative and resourceful ways that students have cheated in school, according to teachers and students.

Teacher Promoted Cheating as a Way of Motivation

teacher doesnt want to listen

A high school math teacher found an innovative way to encourage his students to study for the upcoming exam.

He had similar exam questions every year but just changed the numbers. He normally picked up the tests each year so no one could bring them home.

However, one year, he allowed a packet of tests from the previous year’s exam to circulate among his students, knowing that they would put more effort into preparing for the test if they thought they were getting away with something.

Color Coded M&Ms For Multiple Choice

eating m and m Custom

One person relayed a story about two students who were caught cheating on their test. Since the teacher permitted eating during the test, one of them pulled out a large bag of M&Ms and ate a particular color for each answer – A, B, C or D. The two were caught when another student reported them to the teacher.

Converting a Basic Calculator To a More Powerful One

writing notes

The TI-89 graphing calculator can get a lot of college work done, but this is usually not allowed in lower-level math classes, because it can solve pretty much everything.

However, some students have found ways around this. One user admitted to taking the internal components from a TI-89, which is a Computer Algebra System (CAS) with more advanced capabilities such as factoring polynomials and taking derivatives, and swapping them into a TI-84, which was allowed for exams.

Raise Your Right Arm If You Know The Answer

children raising their hand 1

Mr. A was known for being an exceptional teacher who could keep all of his students engaged in their lessons, no matter how mundane the material might be. Whenever he posed a question, every student’s hand would shoot up in the air, eagerly shouting out to demonstrate their knowledge. After some time, Mr. A had garnered a reputation as one of the best teachers in the district.

One day, when chatting with Mr. A over coffee, someone asked him what his trick was for getting all of his students fully invested. He revealed that he had instructed the kids to raise their hands like they were expecting a reward whenever visitors came into class, but if they didn’t know the answer to the question, they should raise their left hand. If they did know the answer, they should raise their right hand– that way, he could call on students, and everyone would look good. This strategy worked like a charm.

Wristwatch With Secret Scroll

boy pointing to wristwatch

A student found a clever way to cheat during exams by rigging up a small piece of paper inside their wristwatch. They wrote notes on the scroll and could turn it by winding the watch.

Unfortunately, their tactic was revealed when they were caught fiddling with the watch too often during the test.

Advanced Copy and Paste Method

man on laptop in library

A student was enrolled in a computer-based learning program where science tests were taken digitally. To prevent cheating, the program prevented users from being able to paste text from their clipboard into the answer sections of the test. You also couldn’t leave the test screen.

However, after some experimentation and research, the student discovered that they could copy their notes from the test material, paste it into their login information section, then re-copy it and paste it again into one of the answer sections, and use it to answer every question. This enabled them to answer all of the questions correctly and delete the notes before clicking ‘finish’.

Faked “Proof of Reset” Screen


A student found a way to cheat on exams that required them to use a TI-84 graphing calculator by recreating the “proof of reset” screen on the calculator’s pixel art program. This allowed them to store notes inside and disguise them as a legitimate proof of reset in order to pass the exam.

Tattoos With Cheat Codes

woman with tattoos

A college student taking a physics course was spotted on test day wearing shorts, revealing an intricate tattoo on her leg. Upon closer inspection, it became apparent that the tattoo included formulas written between the lines of ink. It was only noticeable to those who knew what they were looking for.

Custom-Made Snapple Labels

reading juice label

A group of high school students was caught cheating in an exam when their teacher noticed a peculiar Snapple label. The teacher was suspicious as he had never seen this particular flavor before and decided to investigate.

Upon closer inspection, it revealed that the nutrition panel on the back of the label had been recreated with all the answers, formulas, and other information related to their exam.

Calculator Turned Cell Phone

using calculator

A student attempted to cheat during an exam by breaking the screen and keyboard of their calculator and hiding a cell phone inside. Unfortunately, the teacher spotted the student’s attempt at cheating from behind and foiled their plan.

Focusing on The Pencil Placement

students working in class

During a pop quiz in high school, one student attempted to cheat by focusing on the pencil of the smartest girl in the room and trying to guess what letter she wrote after each question. Surprisingly, this method was quite successful for the student.

White Text To Boost Word Count

typing essay

A teacher was grading a written assignment that had a minimum word count of 1000, and when they read the paper, it felt too short for the number of words stated.

They decided to select all the text using CTRL-A and noticed that there was a lot of white text on a white background that had been added to boost the word count without adding any relevant content.

Paying People From Different Time Zones to Provide Answers

shutterstock 2078761168

A dental exam company, which administered high-stakes exams on a global scale, discovered that people from one time zone were paying individuals in other time zones to send them questions prior to the start of the exams. This gave them an advantage over those who did not have access to this information.

Writing the Information on a Rubber Band

playing with rubberband

A student found a creative way to cheat on tests by writing the test material on a rubber band and then winding it around a textbook. When taken off, the information was disguised as scribble until stretched out again to reveal what had been written. This allowed students to access crucial information when needed during exams.

Finding The Homework From a URL

working on laptop 1

A Physics professor had posted the answers to the homework online after it was due. It took some detective work, but a student realized that the URLs were following a predictable format, allowing them to find and access the answers to all homework before they were revealed publicly.

By manipulating the URLs, they could view and copy down all of the answers without ever having done the work. It looked something like this:


Printing the Answers Lightly on the Paper You Bring to the Exam

writing notes

A student attempted to cheat on their exam by printing the answers in a very faint grey color on a sheet of paper. This way, it would be difficult for the teacher to detect them from across the room. Unfortunately, the teacher spotted this when they saw the student trying to read from the empty sheet.

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passing notes in class

Cheating in school is an age-old problem, but students seem to have more ways to cheat than ever before. As teachers and professors devise new methods to detect these cheats, students are developing even more clever ways to get away with it.

Whether it’s scribbling the answers on a rubber band or using ChatGPT to write an essay, let’s remember that cheating is wrong and can have serious consequences.

It’s best to stay honest, put in the work, and use your creativity for more productive things than trying to find a way around an exam or assignment. In the end, you will be better off for it!

This article was produced by TPR Teaching. Source.

I'm an Irish tutor and founder of TPR Teaching. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK, Spain, and online.

I love learning new things about the English language and how to teach it better. I'm always trying to improve my knowledge, so I can better meet the needs of others!

I enjoy traveling, nature walks, and soaking up a new culture. Please share the posts if you find them helpful!

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