One professor learned the hard way that attention to detail is important when giving students instructions for a test.
On Sept. 19, assistant college professor Reb Beatty gave his accounting class at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland the first test of their semester, according to USA Today. As many professors do, Beatty allowed his students to bring whatever notes they could fit on a 3 by 5 card. But while Beatty probably had an index card in mind, he realized too late that he never made the explicit.
Then, a student showed up on test day with this:
As Beatty notes, the note “card” is technically 3 by 5.
“Sure enough, it is 3×5… feet,” Beatty wrote in the post.
The gigantic cheat sheet has enough room for every bit of information the student needs. Remember, this is for a test at the beginning of the semester. Seriously, look at that thing. It’s bigger than most of the science projects I did in school.
Realizing he was the one who didn’t specify units of measurement, Beatty let the student use it.
“As precise as I am, apparently I never specified inches and therefore yes, it was allowed,” Beatty wrote. “Well played and lesson learned for me.”
Too soon for this trick?
The only question is whether this student played the ace up his sleeve too early, and should have saved this ingenious idea for finals. Beatty’s Facebook post about the cheat sheet went viral, garnering almost 30,000 shares, which means professors and teachers around the country are now double-checking their tests to make sure they add the word “inches.”
The jig is up kids, but there are other ways to reduce the stress of college tests that don’t involve gigantic poster board.
In the meantime, let us raise one to the ingenuity of this student, the latest in a long line of who might be too smart for their own good.