The Most Creative Ways Students Have Tried To Cheat

Student doing homework
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There's little that frustrates teachers more than when their students are caught cheating on their work.

Most of the time, the frustration stems from the fact that these students were obviously peering over at the student next to them or handed in a paper that was completely plagiarized.

Leaving the teachers baffled at the idea that these same students thought they could get away with it.

Some students, however, go to somewhat greater lengths to ensure they aren't caught and come up with more original ways to cheat on their assignments.

Leaving their teachers no less frustrated, but perhaps impressing them with their efforts and ingenuity.

Redditor german900 was curious to hear the most original and clever ways students were caught cheating, leading them to ask:
"Teachers of reddit, what is the smartest/most creative way of cheating that you've seen?"

Keep The Package, Change The Contents

"In a lot of my college courses I wasn't allowed to use anything higher than a TI84."

"So I took the guts of my TI89 and swapped it into my TI84."

"Never got caught."- NakedEngineer

Lost In Translation

"Not sure if this would work anymore, but if I had a paper to write on a book I didn't read I would find a well written paper online."

"Then translate the entire thing from English to German, German to French, French to Spanish, then Spanish back to English."

"Pull the original paper and the new one up side by side and clean up the grammar on the new paper and you've got the same concept, but written just different enough to not be plagiarism."

"Worked like a charm."- Throwmylifeaway000

Sneaky, But Not Sneaky Enough

"I remember a story from my O-chem professor."

"This student all semester who wasn't showing up to class kept getting his score improved significantly after re-grades."

"They got their tests back, had a day to review them, and were allowed to re-submit for a regrade."

"They knew he was cheating because of the unlikelihood of the grading mistakes on multiple exams but the TAs who graded it couldn't confidently say it wasn't their handwriting."

"Ultimately it was an office worker for the department who figured it out near the end of the semester, his staples were angled different than the exams handed out that were mass stapled."

"He was recreating the test, printing it, re-answering it, and then grading it in the same pen as the TAs and had done a good job copying the writing style."- 11JulioJones11

Homework GIF by One ChicagoGiphy

Color Coded

"My teacher shared with us a story about how since she allowed eating during her tests, one person pulled out a giant bag of M&Ms and ate a specific color corresponding to A/B/C/D."

"It was a two student duo and they only got caught when another student ratted them out."- babydragon0

Keeping Up Appearances

"Not the student but the teacher."

"So, the teacher, let's call him Mr. A, had a reputation for being a phenomenal teacher who had every student engaged/invested in his class, no matter how mundane the subject."

"Any time he asked a question, every student's hand would shoot in the air with them shouting things like 'call on me!' or 'I know the answer!'

"Simply, Mr. A developed a reputation in the district as one of its best teachers."

"Fast forward a couple years and I'm grabbing coffee with Mr. A and I ask him 'what's your trick? How did you get every student bought in?'"

"His response, 'well, I told the kids every time we had a visitor in class, I need you all to raise your hand like I was giving away free candy'."

"BUT if you don't know the answer raise your left hand."

"If you do know it, raise your right hand, so I know who to call on and we all look good."

"Worked like a charm'."- JuiceCastillo

imagine one direction GIFGiphy

You Never Know Who Speaks The Language

"I was supervising a final chemistry exam along with another coworker."

"Not 15 minutes in, a hand slams down on a desk and I turn around expecting the worst, only to see my coworker angrily shouting at a pair of really frightened 10th graders whose desk he smashed."

"Amidst the shouting I caught the words, 'Morse code'."

"The guy proceeded to take them to the office."

"I called a hallway supervisor to take over and ran after the group."

"Apparently, the kids were silently tapping the answers amongst themselves in Morse code."

"Not even with their fingernails, just their fingertips."

"I never heard a thing, my coworker happened to catch 'B' in Morse code or something."

"I honestly thought he finally went crazy solely because of his appearance, picture Robin Williams in Jumanji going WHAT YEAR IS IT."

"I’m 100% sure that if this coworker weren’t in the room, they’d have gotten away with it for sure."- itellteacherstories

Does This Even Count As Cheating?

"In elementary/middle school we had to write a paragraph each week featuring all the vocabulary words included in that unit."

"One clever kid wrote something along these lines:"

“'One day [kid’s name] had to write a paragraph for English class'."

"'He sat down, picked up a pen and used these words in it: proceeds to list out all the words'.”

"The teacher only let it go once because she never saw that happen until then."- lukeydukey

Season 3 Running GIF by The SimpsonsGiphy

Time Was Not On His Side...

"One of my old teachers told us a story about a student who had rigged up a tiny scroll of paper in a wristwatch with notes written on it."

"He turned the scroll by winding the watch."

"He ended up getting caught because he was winding his watch so damn much during the exam, but the teacher loved the creativity."- vancouver-duder

Computer Loophole

"In high school I was in a computer based learning program and our science tests were taken digitally. However, they used a program where once you entered the test your entire screen was locked into the test and the only way to exit it was to click the finish button on the test or turn off your computer which effectively did the same thing. Another feature of the program was that once you were in the test, anything you had in your clipboard (copied text) was not able to be pasted into the answer sections on the test to prevent the only other way to cheat. However, after creating my own classroom at home , making fake tests and playing with the program to figure out a way to cheat I realized that it would allow you to copy things from inside the test and paste them elsewhere in this test. The developers of the program also did not take into account the sign in screen where you have to find the test and enter it."

"Long story short, I could copy my entire page of notes I had taken on the test material, paste it into the section where I would enter my login information. Then recopy it, enter the test and paste it again in one of the answer sections, using it to answer every question and then deleting it before clicking 'finish'."


Pixel Play

"My exams that used a graphic calculator (TI-84) required us to show the examiners a “proof of reset” screen before the papers started so instead of actually studying for my papers, I painstakingly redrew the “proof of reset” screen pixel by pixel in the TI-84s pixel art program and stored all my notes in it."


Eraser Head

"Not a teacher but I used to use one of those rectangular erasers because the pencils the teacher gave us were cheap and the erasers only smudged the marks. The eraser came in a cardboard sleeve and I ripped it open and would write test answers on it then erase it after exams for reuse."



"College physics, girl with a really intricate tattoo on her leg wrote formulas in between the tattoo lines. Even looking closely you couldn't tell unless you knew what you were looking for. You could tell it was test day because she wore shorts."


"My bio department examines any visible tattoos before lab exams. Thought that was a little over the top, but I guess there’s a reason for it."



"High school kids recreated a Snapple label where the nutrition panel on the back had all the answers, formulas, etc. only got caught because I’d never seen the flavor before and wanted to see how much sugar was in it."


Tripped Up

"I can name the worst, and I’ve definitely shared it before, but it wasn’t my student, it was a friend’s."

"She’d downloaded a worksheet for the kids to do while she was in a meeting of some sort. Kids found the worksheet’s answer sheet online and proceeded to copy the answers. Last answer said “student responses will vary.” And that’s what one kid wrote as his answer."

"Other times you’ll see one kid misspells something or gets an answer wrong, and everyone who copied from him has the same error."


"This happened to our entire group of chem students last year. Everyone in the classes were cheating on the homework, because the answers were always online. In the second semester, someone made the mistake of writing answers may vary, and the teacher finally realized we were all cheating."


Good Theory

"If the original poster of this question is a student crowd sourcing cheating strategies, then this is one of the most creative ways of cheating that’s I’ve seen."


One can't help but admire the effort and creativity these cheaters put in to cheat on their assignments.

However, one can't help but ALSO wonder if they might have saved themselves a whole lot of trouble simply by studying.

Something they might want to consider before their next assignment...