Fact Check

Answer Carried into Exam

Student told he can use 'anything he can carry' on an exam carries a grad student to class.

Published Apr 18, 1997

Claim:   A

professor announces that the upcoming final examination is open-book and students may use "anything they can carry into the classroom." One student takes the instructor at his word and struggles into class hauling a graduate student on his back; the graduate student then proceeds to write the exam for him.


Origins:  A sub-class of exam legends deals

with students who don't technically cheat, but who seek to gain the upper hand by interpreting a professor's instructions literally despite knowing they are violating his intentions. This motif is also featured in the Barometer Problem legend.

(I have to admit that I once employed this dodge in a college mathematics course: Told that we could use "anything but the textbook" as reference material during an upcoming test, I photocopied the relevant portions of the textbook and brought them to the exam instead.)

Last updated:   16 June 2011


    Brunvand, Jan Harold.   Curses! Broiled Again!

    New York: W. W. Norton, 1989.   ISBN 0-393-30711-5   (pp. 284-285).

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

Article Tags