If Only They'd Spent the Time Studying

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | May 20, 2022 | 0 Comments

We've all heard stories of students cheating on an exam or assignment… but some stories are crazier than others. Here are four examples of wildly creative cheating that backfired on the students when they got caught.

(Bear in mind that as creative as these cheating schemes may be, cheating which requires intent and planning of the following nature - if caught - will always result in more severe consequences.  Although the following is good for a laugh, when an accused student is facing suspension or expulsion from college, professional school, or other higher educational programs, there will be nothing funny about such dire potential consequences.  As bad as it is to be accused of plagiarism, for example, which is often done unintentionally, devising ways to cheat is always viewed more harshly by a school's powers that be.)

New Meaning to White-out

With so many professors accepting—even requiring—assignments electronically, it's much easier to run essays and papers through plagiarism checkers. However, one teacher ran into a different problem. The assignment had a 1000-word count minimum, and as the professor read through it, the paper felt short. Word's counter at the bottom said the paper had about 1100 words. So, what was the deal? The teacher hit command-a and discovered that they were right! The student had written nonsense words to hit the correct count and then turned those words white.

Staple Snitches

An O-chem professor had a student once who continually improved his test score after re-grades. But the student never showed up for class. How did re-grades work? The students got to take home the test, review it, and then resubmit the test for a re-grade.

The teacher and TAs knew that this particular student was cheating but couldn't figure out how. The TAs couldn't say for sure that it wasn't their handwriting on the grades. In the end, a worker in the department figured it out. The staples on the tests were angled differently! This student had been retyping the test, printing it out and answering the questions, and then grading it using the same pen as the TAs. The tests that were originally used were mass stapled, and the student had missed that one small factor.

No More Morse

Imagine you're sitting in an exam, and you hear a loud crash. You turn to see that one of the teachers in the room is yelling at your classmates and has broken their desk. This actually happened in a classroom, where two kids were tapping the answers to the test using Morse code. The teacher smashed down his hand in anger and broke the desk. He'd happened to catch a ‘C,' even though the students were using their fingertips, not their fingernails!

Label Lies

This particular tactic occurs more frequently than some of the others mentioned above. Sometimes students use Vitamin Water, other times they use Snapple. How can a drink help a student cheat? Make a fake label for the bottle, and then write your notes on the back of the label. How'd this backfire? The student had made up a Snapple flavor, and the professor noticed it was a flavor they hadn't heard of. As they looked closely at the label, they realized the label was false and that the inside of the label had notes.

National Academic Misconduct Defense

Cheating is never a good idea—and even super-creative ideas can end with you or your loved one getting caught. Whether you did the deed or you are being falsely accused, you need professional help because your academic goals and future are on the line.

Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have helped hundreds of students across the nation as they navigated accusations of cheating or other types of academic misconduct. Call today at 888.535.3686 to see if they can help you. Or reach out online for more information.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.


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