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Teacher Devised An Ingenious Exam Question To Catch Out Cheating Students

Jess Hardiman

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Teacher Devised An Ingenious Exam Question To Catch Out Cheating Students

Cheating in a test always feels like something you'll probably get away with, making the risk feel worth it - but be warned: they're onto you.

A teacher who became so fed up with students using their mobile phones to cheat during exams managed to catch 14 of them red-handed using a very simple but ingenious trick.

The method ended up going viral a couple of years back when a student from their class wrote about it on Reddit, where it has since resurfaced several times, racking up thousands of upvotes in the process.

The student explained how others would often pop off to use the bathroom during the exam - which in itself isn't too dodgy, but the teacher grew suspicious when 'about half the class' mysteriously disappeared.

A more 'old-fashioned' method of cheating. Credit: PA
A more 'old-fashioned' method of cheating. Credit: PA

In the Reddit post, the student wrote: "Usually one or two people will go to the bathroom during class, however, for totally unknown reasons, about half of the class needed to use the restroom during the exam.

"Obviously a vast majority of them were looking up the answers on their phones."

After deducing that they had to be nipping off the illegally obtain an answer, the suspicious educator formulated his plan.

It involved creating an impossible question, then adding it to a test. Through that logic, anyone who managed to find an answer (the teacher had planted a fake one online) must have arrived there through nefarious means.

The question 'barely related to the stuff we went over in class', the student continued.

So, once the exam was over, those who'd answered correctly were emailed and told they'd been busted.

The teacher apparently posted the bogus question on a website students sometimes use for help with answering homework and exam questions.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Obviously, they'd have thought the teacher knew nothing about the site, but - as is often the case - the older man was way ahead of them.

The student explained how the teacher 'purposely made part B impossible to solve', and about a month before the final got a teaching assistant with an account on the site to ask the exact question, which was distinctly worded to be unique.

The teacher then created their own account and 'answered the question with a [made up] solution that seems right at first glance but is actually fundamentally flawed and very unlikely that someone would make the same assumptions and mistakes independently'.

Of the 99 students that sat the exam, 14 used the answer he'd created. They were given a mark of zero and reported to the university for violating the academic pledge they'd signed.

Everyone who got it wrong received full credit for the question.

Let that be a lesson to you, cheaters never prosper.

Words: Tom Wood

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Viral, Students, World News, News, Reddit, Teacher

Jess Hardiman
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