Student’s audacious ‘Cheat Sheet’ Impresses his Professor

September 25, 2017 Updated: September 25, 2017

A college student has earned online praise after he had the ingenious idea to bring a 3-foot-by-5-foot “cheat sheet” into his test.

His teacher, Reb Beatty, allows students to bring in a “3×5 card” with them for the first test day of the semester but didn’t specify the units of measurement.

Beatty, a professor of a financial accounting course at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland, posted a snap of the student with the massive card on Facebook.

“First test day of the semester and as always, I allow a 3×5 notecard. Today, a student shows up with this. Sure enough, it is 3×5… feet,” he explained in the post.

He added: “As precise as I am, apparently I never specified inches and therefore yes, it was allowed. Well played and lesson learned for me.”

The student, Elijah Bowen, told ABC News that he “did well” in the test.

“In every email that [Professor Beatty] sent to the students—he sends about four to five reminders—I saw that every single one said ‘3 by 5’ and it never said ‘3 by 5 inches.’ That’s what sparked my idea,” he said.

The 17-year-old student added that he gave “about 5 percent chance” that his teacher would let him use it.

However, the Facebook post shows the student at his desk with his 3-foot-by-5-foot sheet crammed with revision notes. It racked up around 31,000 likes and around 29,000 shares at the time of writing.

After some criticism, Beatty added a note under his post, clarifying his teaching method and that the student was not cheating in the first semester’s test.

“Using a 3×5 inch (or foot) card/poster in an accounting course is just as much – if not more – a preparatory tool than a test aid. The approach is that the process itself will force the student to organize his/her thoughts, put material into terminology that he/she understands,” he said in the post.

He continued: “It is NOT cheating, or going easy on students, or however you want to reference it. An accounting exam, designed effectively, requires application of concepts and proficiency in the material, not just regurgitating facts. In a time-sensitive environment (such as this), a student will not be successful, regardless of the size of test aid, if he/she cannot apply concepts to various practical situations.”

Many commenters praised both the student, for his audacity, and the teacher, for allowing the massive poster of notes into the test.

Well played student. Well played,” on user wrote.

Another user praised the professor. “LOVE this! You are the reason that students are successful and stay motivated. Just as you said, this is NOT cheating! The student still has to know how to apply the concepts. Kudos to you!!”