Exam Scams

Urban legends about college quizzes and examinations.

In their perpetual quest to achieve good grades, students of all eras have devised inventive ways of cheating, such as deceptively switching test booklets, obtaining advance copies of examinations, and answering questions they aren't asked. Instructors have devised equally inventive means of tormenting the unprepared student, including pop quizzes, trick questions, and clever means of uncovering cheaters. The struggle between the two sides goes on, save for those few unfortunate souls for whom the pressures of exam time are too much to endure.

  • Cheats:
    White bullet Student writes letter to his mother in blue book.
    White bullet Students claim a flat tire caused them to miss an exam.
    White bullet Stolen exam is identified by quick-thinking professor.
    White bullet Student carries grad student to class to help with open-book exam.
    White bullet Student caught cheating on exam shoves blue book into middle of stack.
    White bullet Student tricks instructor into believing exam booklet was lost.
    White bullet Student tricks instructor into believing first page of exam was misplaced.
    White bullet Music student hands in reversed version of someone else's work.

  • Devious Questions:
    White bullet Ornithology final requires students to identify bird species by their feet.
    Green bullet Actor disguised as a beggar used to test divinity students' compassion.

  • Clever Answers:
    White bullet Professor gives a one-word final exam.
    White bullet Student answers different question than the one asked.
    White bullet Physics professor asks students how to use barometer to measure height of tall building.
    White bullet Student answers difficult exam question by writing "God only knows."
    White bullet Student receives top grade for following exam instructions literally.
    White bullet Student aces essay exam by combining all required elements into one short paragraph.
    White bullet Student provides clever support for his answer about the physical properties of Hell.
    White bullet Student makes humorous guesses at answers on chemistry exam.

  • Pop Quizzes:
    White bullet Professor announces pop quiz by running ad in newspaper.
    White bullet Professor enters classroom through transom to spring pop quiz.

  • Exam Pressures:
    White bullet Student under the influence writes bizarre exam paper.
    White bullet Student commits suicide during exam by shoving pencils up his nose.
    Red bullet Students who take the SAT are awarded 200 points for spelling their names correctly.
    White bullet Erasers thrown at clock scheme turned on students.
    Red bullet To gain a perfect score on a Scantron test, rub lip balm on the test sheet.
    White bullet Students in Japan consider Kit Kat chocolate bars to bring them luck during exams.*
    White bullet Professor uses grading of exams to teach about socialism.

    * Entries marked with an asterisk will display in a separate browser window.

  • David Mikkelson founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.