How To Cheat On An Essay Test

How To Cheat In College and What to do About It

Student Caring – Resources for Higher Education

UPDATE:  May 8, 2012 – A listener from online was inspired to create this INFOGRAPHIC after reading this blog.

Listen to Podcast Episode No. 15  


This is a podcast for: Students, Professors, Parents, and all of higher education. Our mission is to champion “Student Caring” as a way of addressing the challenges in higher education today.


DAVID NEWS:  Thank you to listener Rick Willems who currently working on my Masters in psychology, for your feedback about our “Career Directions and Your Daily Bread” Podcast.  / Student Caring On The Big Screen? – Yes!  Read all about at I ASKED ON FACEBOOK Have you seen a student cheat on a test? How? Cheat while writing a paper? How. Please share – we are collecting information.

FORMER STUDENT:  This feels like a trap.

FORMER STUDENT: Well in my good ol’ cheating days I would record my answers onto my iphone and put it in my pocket with my earphones hidden- I’ve also written equations onto my calculator in lead so it doesn’t show up until you reflect it off light. Sometimes I’ll write answers on my arms or legs and pretend I have an itch to check them. Before class I will also get there early and write answers on my desk and cover them with my arm until I need them. These are my secrets I’m giving to you David for I no longer need them- use them well.

How to cheat?

Miranda Gorman: Sometimes wonder if those who cheat really come out ahead in life?

Janet Arbuckle:  I’m with Miranda, but I’m also in support of the teachers who want to protect from cheating. Sorry, no specific stories to tell.

FORMER STUDENT:I never cheated, I also never studied. Hence, my grades in college.


(I AM FASCINATED BY PEOPLE’S WILLINGNESS TO SHARE THIS INFORMATION WITH ME) UCI computer science: tapping simple morse code with class ring. (2/3 of the exam was Morse Code, so it worked until they got caught and expelled.)

“Professors just just sit up at their desks and I don’t have a clue what’s going on.”

“Sticky note on the back of the calculator or photograph of notes everything is viewed on the iPhone.”

“We just look up papers online and use somebody else’s.”

“It’s not called cheating.  Just using your resources.”

“Students don’t know how to cite.  If they pull from multiple sources they think it’s not cheating.”

“Someone else writes the paper. Often a girl friend.”

“Wear a hoodie with an iPod, listen to the answers.”

“Pre program answers into a calculator.”

“There is real  vs fake  ignorance.”

“I write the answers in between my fingers or on my shoes.”

“I use white quote marks – surrounding the entire purchased paper for —  it doesn’t catch that I purchased the paper.”

“Submit a bad file to get out of turning a paper in on time. Shows to the Professor as a “Bad file” – It buys you more time to turn it in.

“Put chapstick on a SCAN TRON. All answers come out correct.” (Has anyone tried this?)

“Place notes in a jacket sleeve.”

“Mirrors on the top of my shoes. Answers under the desk.”

“Create sources which don’t exist.”

“I watch people cheat all the time.”

“Answers are placed just under the hem of a skirt.”

“Most of the time nobody gets caught.”

“Have a scantron already made out from a previous class who took the same test.”

“I place a paper under the test and look at it.”


“Get there early and write the answers on the desk.”

“Answers on the floor in the text book.”

“Answers on sandals – under my foot.”

“I ask the person next to me.”

“Professors need to pay attention when someone turns in their paper to you, that’s when students cheat.”

“Answers are placed in side of doodles.”

“Wear a jacket – place the empty arm on the desk – answers are on your arm – inside the jacket.”

“Answers under the bill of a hat.



Maureen Greenbaum @sumware / Saturday, May 25, 2013
I just listened to “How To Cheat In College and What to do About It” from April 11, 2012. I can’t remember what link sent me here to this old podcast but having listened, I must comment. You know, I am a big fan of Student Caring. I think the best way to show we care is to provide our students with learning experiences that prepare them for what is coming next in their lives. There will be few if any test or papers required to be successful in their careers after they graduate. So why do faculty make test or papers that major (or only) basis of grades. More importantly why are students being tested on facts that can be written “on their hand”,, “inside baseball caps” or “on the labels of water bottles” (your infographic is GREAT). Assessments should be of how students use facts. I believe all tests in college (it’s not elementary school) should be open book, open notes and open internet.
Our students’ future employers will not give performance reviews based on how many facts can be recalled. Employees are rewarded for finding the correct facts and collaborating with others to use them to come up with innovative solutions. Assignments and assessments should let students personalize the learning. For example: creating a blog or an Infographic (or video or podcast …) That way not only is it more relevant to the students, more in line with skills future employers find desirable but it is relatively uncheatable.
I was particularly saddened to see cheating equated with collaborating (While students find many ways to cheat, the most common ways are collaborate with other students [copying from someone seated near you..]). Again why are their high stake assessments that require answers so simple they can be copied from someone else. (So that it easy for faculty or a Scantron device to grade … this is not caring)
I inform my class both in writing and in several “lectures” that college, and in particular my classes, is a place to practice collaboration (a skill highly desired by employers.) I encourage them to learn from and teach fellow students. They should gather learning from wherever, books, video, internet sources, fellow students. But when they submit something that they represent is their work then it must be their work with all sources cited otherwise it is a plagiarism, violates our college Academic Integrity policy and is grounds for serious discipline.

Colin Fredericks – I’ve seen some people take advantage of the fact that sitting in banked lecture halls gives you a great view on the diagonal. I’ve had students (both my own and friend’s) cut-and-paste from scientific journals and papers. Hell, I had someone cut-and-paste from Wikipedia and not even take out the [1] footnotes. I’ve had students who copied someone else’s scantron sheet, not realizing that every single person in the 150-seat class had an individually randomized exam.

This is not restricted to my teaching days. I had classmates in graduate school who used the Chinese version of the textbook, which had the answers to the homework. (They failed the tests hard, having never done the work to learn.)

A graduate student at my old college cheated on his qualifying exams by hiding books in a bathroom stall, and the college was too cowardly to kick him out. Later he plagiarized his masters thesis and finally got kicked out. He’ll never work in physics again.

Via LinkedIn / Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Ronald Luellen • I give most of my major test online since online is becoming such a big part of what we do. My college uses the Black board program. I give my students a time limit if 1 minute per question. I also p[resent the questions one at a time with no back tracking allowed. This gives them very little time to cheat. I think this is important on major tests as I want to know what they’ve learned.

Ken Mellendorf • One way to limit cheating is to work the standard cheating methods into the course work. In physics, students are quite anxious to have equations written all over. I let students bring a note page of their own authorship to tests. Rather than using questions that aim at the mathematics, I focus on the reasoning behind the work. Students must explain the reasoning behind the work. This can be difficult for them to understand, as they have never experienced such a test. Still, most do catch on before the midterm. As for copying from the text and copying from other students, weekly quizzes are open discussion. Students can use the books. Students can discuss the problems with each other. As the questions are often conceptual (no numbers and no algebra), this often leads to intense debates between groups. Two fairly simply stated problems can take thirty minutes of intense conversation to finish.

But just type “buy a paper” or “write papers for money” into Google and page through the results. Or check out this article:

YouTube – How To CheatHow To Cheat On Any Test – Links (Millions of views)

DANIEL: Our recent podcast details a number of amazing ways students have developed to cheat on exams and essays, suggesting that cheating is happening much more (and in more sophisticated ways) than we would like to admit.

What should we, as educators who care for our students’ futures, do about this?

1. The Preemptive Presentation: On the first day of class, while discussing the syllabus, share with your students what you now know about cheating. Show them a website, talk about different techniques, and talk to them about your need to take this seriously because academic dishonesty robs them of an education.  Remind them of your knowledge, you policies and the consequences of cheating before exams and before essays are due.

2.  Have a Plan Be active during tests, circulating through the class (or assigning a T.A. to circulate through a larger lecture), and have policies established about not allowing students to leave during the class, not allowing phones, etc.

3.  Know Your Policies Know your college’s policies on academic dishonesty and abide by them–don’t over-punish students and try not to under-punish them as well.  Report instances of plagiarism or other dishonesty per your policies.  If you don’t report a case, a student may continue to act dishonestly in other classes and have a further incident be treated as a first offense.

4.  Understand, Build Relationships, and Care Understand that some students cooly choose to cheat, while others panic.  Try to have a conversation on the substance of what has happened and what cheating does to people, rather than focusing on just the grade implications.  If the student is open to it, give them some advice on studying / preparing / essay writing.

We welcome your feedback to this podcast and our work: YOU MAY  Go to iTunes and write a review or simply, in iTunes, click on STAR to rate us. – we would really appreciate that!

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Dishonest deeds lead to ‘cheater’s high,’ study shows

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  • 1

    The day before the test, write tiny notes on the sheets of paper, that you will need for the test.

  • 2

    If you don't have a cover on your I.D. badge, tape it on the back. (But don't make it obvious!)

  • 3

    The day of the test, have your I.D. Badge hanging around your neck, that way the badge will automatically fall into your lap.

  • 4

    Make sure not to keep flipping the badge over to the side where the notes are, or your teacher will catch on.

  • 5

    After the test, ball the paper up, and put it in your book bag, or in your pocket, until you get to another class.

  • 6

    Get rid of the evidence.
    • You can also write on the back of the I.D. with pencil. It's hard to see, but in the right light is visible only to you. When done, it's easily erasable it with your thumb.
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