In public and private schools throughout the world, students have found themselves in a position of stress and anxiety during their most difficult classes. Suddenly, the students walk into class and are horrified to see that there is a test, and they forgot all about it. How will they survive? They know that if they fail this one test, they will never get a good job and will most likely end up homeless, whether it be because their parents kicked them out due to the embarrassment of having child who received a bad grade, or because Stanford is the only college they applied to and if they don’t get in, might as well just be homeless. Then, in a flash, a wonderful idea appears in their minds. They’re going to cheat, but how? In my experience, I have observed that there are three types of cheaters that are relatively common or peak my interest the most: the Long Time No See cheater, the Scribe, and the Back Pain cheater.
The Long Time No See cheater is unfortunately one of the most common forms observed in an everyday school setting. This person is usually the guy, or sometimes girl, whom everyone knows, and they refer to most everyone as “Bro”. They pride themselves on being a well-known, relatable teen, and drive around in a 2003 Toyota Camry of which they call “she” and often refer to it as “a sweet set of wheels”. The troublemakers in this category believe that everyone will instantly like them, because why shouldn’t they? This person tends to act much more dull than they potentially are, because in their mind, they think intelligence is in some way off-putting. The Long Time No See cheater generally spends more time in the party scene rather than in the Mathnasium. On test day, they’ll come up to one of the smartest kids in class and begin to act like they’ve been friends for years, when really they just learned who this kid is from the name line at the top of their paper. “Hey man what’s goin’ on? Got a big test today so you’re my buddy today bro.” This is one of the common phrases you’ll find when looking for a Long Time No See cheater, and it’s almost always followed by a swift pat on the back as the cheater slides stealthily into the seat next to them. The smart kid is a silent victim who knows the routine and resents his new “bro”, but usually decides to brush it off as the drama wouldn’t be worth it and they would most likely be shunned for opposing.
The Scribe is perhaps the most well-known type of cheater. This person is the embodiment of an unprepared student. For their method, they will use a pen to write answers on any and every body part possible. Sometimes, if they’re really having a tough day, they’ll even have to borrow the pen from someone else. However, the Scribe may believe they are clever, and go as far to think ahead and wear long sleeves to cover up their cool new ink that suspiciously has a lot to do with the quadratic equation. This person has graduated from their childish days of using a notecard to write the answers, and has found that the human body is a much more convenient, larger canvas. The exam they are about to faceoff against is no match for the thighs of the Scribe, which can just about fit the whole study guide, and maybe even squeeze in the script of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Cheat they will; get caught they might.
Out of all of the types of cheaters, one is most unique. The Back Pain cheater has abandoned all hope and is blatantly desperate to cheat in each and any way possible. For this particular situation, the student will pretend to crack their back to relieve pressure, in the all-familiar way of grabbing a part of the desk and turning their bodies about 180 degrees. On any other day, this is just a simple movement that is only done a few times a week, let alone in one day, but it just so happens that today, there is a test. The Back Pain cheater is usually the kid who does at least most of their homework, but never to their full potential. If they read the book, it was only the quick online notes an hour before the test, and even though they had time to read the night before, they decided that all they could bother with was the chapter summaries, so that they could get back to binging The Vampire Diaries or something of that nature. Back Pain knows that they aren’t very keen on the subject for the test today, but they noticed that Chelsea in the row diagonally behind them studied for it all night, and even has the zombie-like, bloodshot eyes to prove it. About 10 minutes into the test-taking process, a familiar sensation occurs, and Back Pain thinks to himself, “Oh my, I feel a particularly uncomfortable feeling in my back today.” Just as soon as the thought comes, a slightly distressed facial expression crosses their face to sell the action, and they perform the movement. As they turn slowly to the left, Back Pain’s eyes conveniently linger over Chelsea’s neat, intricate answer sheet. After about 10 seconds there, the Back Pain cheater spins right back around and scribbles the answers that just suddenly happened to come to their mind. All of a sudden, their back pain is gone and they can write clearly, but in about another 5 minutes or so, this discomfort will arise again and they will have to relieve their pain multiple more times throughout the test. What sets this situation apart from normal cheating is that it is happening in plain sight, with no regret, and off more than one person. Chelsea is unfortunately not the only victim here; as the cheater can pull information from many. Whether it’s Rachel or Chad or Kelly or Evan, Back Pain has the opportunity to get “informed” by any of the innocent students around him or her. Additionally, this person has the advantage to use this method multiple times, because not many will question their movements. This is one of the most rare and compelling forms of cheating in the modern setting.
Regrettably, there are many varieties of cheating taking place in schools worldwide during each minute. If one was to bring to light each and every clever way a student has cheated, it would take forever. The motives for cheating are in many cases mysterious, but it seems to pass right under teachers noses nonetheless. The Long Time No See, the Scribe, and the creative Back Pain cheater are just some of the more clever ways that students perform this risky task.