Teacher creates cunning exam question to find cheaters and catches 14 students

By Staff

A teacher who became fed up with students using their mobile phones to find answers and cheat on university exams came up with a devious way to catch them out – and every pupil who fell for it failed their test

A teacher has left students gobsmacked after coming up with a master plan to catch cheaters out during an exam.

These days there is so much new technology out there that can help students complete their school or university work, without putting in much effort. You might expect that this leaves teachers on the back foot, struggling to stay on top of all the ways their pupils could cheat on their work, but this professor was way ahead of the game when he caught 14 of his students in the act when they tried to use technology to cheat.

The students had assumed their teacher who was ‘on the older side’ wouldn’t be familiar with the latest cheating methods, but when he devised a brilliant method to catch them out, they were caught red-handed.

A pupil in a university engineering class explained that when they all sat down to take their final exam, about half the class left the room to use the bathroom during the test – far more than usual. The student said they assumed the vast majority were looking up answers on their phone, which “irritated” them but they stayed focused and made their way through the paper.

After leaving the exam hall, the pupil remembered there was one particular question that wasn’t related to what they had all been taught in class, which had two parts. Part A was “fairly easy” but they had no idea how to do part B, so they simply left it blank as it only accounted for 5 marks out of 100.

When all the exams had been marked, their teacher sent all the university students an email to explain his diabolical plan to catch out those who had given themselves some outside help.

Many of the pupils used the internet to find answers to exam and homework questions. Their teacher decided to use it against them after becoming fed up with students using the bathroom as an excuse to look up answers on their phones.

The student wrote on Reddit: “He purposely made part B impossible to solve, and about a month before the final he got a teaching assistant to ask the exact question [online], which was distinctly worded to be unique.

“He then created his own account and answered the question with a bulls*** 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.”

From the 99 exams handed in, 14 of them fell for the trick and gave the exact answer their own teacher had posted online. All were given an overall score of zero and reported to the university for violating the academic honor pledge they had signed.

Their names were also circulated to all the other teachers in the department as known cheaters – and all the other students who hadn’t cheated were given full marks for the bogus question.

Others were impressed with cunning plan, with one replying: “This is Amazing! I’ve seen some stories like this and it always makes me glad I don’t use [the internet] for tests. Honestly if you’re cheating on a proctored test you deserve to get caught. Study like everyone else.”

A second wrote: “Honey pot the cheating site. Genius!”

A version of this article was originally published in November 2022.

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