“Gaming” college without actually cheating. Your top 3!

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AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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04 Oct 2021, 3:17 pm

1) Pre-studying almost is cheating it’s so effective. It’s just entirely legal! And really, a doctor or CPA (chartered accountant in the UK) or real estate professional may well review a couple of things before a conference. You’ll get much more out of it that way.

And just a little bit of leafing ahead in the textbook or perhaps trying to recreate a sample problem on a blank sheet of paper can sometimes give you the advantage of the long arc and being ahead of the curve.

2) I give myself permission to take messy notes for the purpose of staying alert in class. And then, within a day or two, I’ll scan them and circle some parts. I’ll also occasionally write in the textbook.

3) And if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t perfectionize papers. Instead, I’d aim for that sweet spot between B+ and A- and try to knock it out early.

And I’d love to hear other people’s top three!

And absolutely, I believe in lifetime learning. :D



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04 Oct 2021, 3:37 pm

1) Taking online practice tests and quizzes and watching lectures from other colleges/professors/sources. It gives you a range of perspectives on the subject matter and prepares you for actual quizzes and tests in your course.
2) Writing messy notes and later compiling them into neater/organized notes (with different ink colors, highlighted areas, etc)
3) Reading chapters ahead of lectures, compiling the aforementioned notes into color coded note cards so they can be called to memory easily.

and one extra:
1) Recording lectures (if the professor allows it) and listening to it whilst reading notes. This can really help if you have auditory processing issues!


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Blue_Star
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04 Oct 2021, 3:56 pm

Well, reading the chapter/book ahead of class is what one is supposed to do in college. One is supposed to go to lecture prepared to discuss the material. If nothing else, it will familiarize one with the vocab & some of the relevant material so as not to go in blind (as is said).

Recording lectures is really down to one's jurisdiction. I live in a one (party) consent state, so if the prof balks, tough. The main issue seems to be that the profs & colleges view the lectures as their intellectual property. I've never gotten permission to record, but I'm discreet & never post or share those recordings. Even in a zoom class, I just use Windows' built in game bar stuff to record or FastStone Capture. Those don't show that one's recording like the zoom record button does (or so my instructor said when telling us not to record).

^-- My parents gave me a mini-tape recorder my senior year of hs so I could learn what types of lectures/talks I needed to record to review vs not bother with. My dad had a decent collection of labelled mini-tapes from continuing education classes he'd had to take, so I find the don't record thing rather funny.



AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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05 Oct 2021, 11:19 am

Flown wrote:
and one extra:
1) Recording lectures (if the professor allows it) and listening to it whilst reading notes. This can really help if you have auditory processing issues!



Blue_Star wrote:
Even in a zoom class, I just use Windows' built in game bar stuff to record or FastStone Capture. Those don't show that one's recording like the zoom record button does (or so my instructor said when telling us not to record).

Re-listening to a whole lecture is just such a time commitment. I’d really save it for the high value items, such as “growth of the U.S. middle class” in a history class.

Part of scouting ahead is that you can find out the hard parts, such as the Bowen series in geology. I’d definitely watch a quick Youtube video or two on this one.

And for classes which have been taught for just forever like biology, calculus, or astronomy, checking out an older textbook from your school’s library can be a pretty valuable resource. You get a slightly different explanation, and different sample problems with some of them hopefully showing luxuriant, fully fleshed-out solutions.



Fnord
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05 Oct 2021, 1:52 pm

Note-Taking:

1) Taking crappy notes in class.

2) Re-writing those notes in a more legible form in private.

3) Sharing only the crappy notes with others.

4) Aceing the exam, while the others do not.


Studying & Homework:

1) Affecting a laissez-faire attitude in public toward studying and homework.

2) Intensely studying and doing homework in private, when people think I am sleeping.

3) Claiming to have 'partied' through most of the night.

4) Aceing the course, while the others do not.


:twisted:



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05 Oct 2021, 1:55 pm

Fnord wrote:

4) Aceing the exam, while others do not.

4) Aceing the course, while others do not.[/color]

:twisted:


Always feels nice :) Even moreso when "others" were staying up and partying


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Fnord
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05 Oct 2021, 2:08 pm

Flown wrote:
Fnord wrote:
...

4) Aceing the exam, while others do not.

...

4) Aceing the course, while others do not.
Always feels nice :) Even moreso when "others" were staying up and partying
That is the idea -- passively convince them that they can blow off classwork while you work like a dog to get ahead.

Sometimes, I would even have high-carb take-out food (i.e., donuts, pizza, et cetera) delivered to my study group as a "friendly gift" just so they would be too sleepy to stay up late and study.  Loading the Mr. Coffee with decaff while I popped No-Doz also helped tip the balance in my favor.

Nothin illegal, mind you ... just devious and underhanded ...


:twisted:



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05 Oct 2021, 2:28 pm

Fnord wrote:
Nothin illegal, mind you ... just devious and underhanded ...[/color]
:twisted:

My goodness. :lol:

I didn't even have to encourage my classmates to be slackers. They were good enough at it on their own (not to say that there weren't a few smart students in my classes). On numerous occasions I did have to get sassy when the aforementioned slackers thought that "quiet little me" would actually allow them to cheat off of my quizzes and tests. :roll:


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Fnord
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05 Oct 2021, 2:47 pm

Flown wrote:
... I didn't even have to encourage my classmates to be slackers. They were good enough at it on their own (not to say that there weren't a few smart students in my classes). On numerous occasions I did have to get sassy when the aforementioned slackers thought that "quiet little me" would actually allow them to cheat off of my quizzes and tests.
I was not difficult for me, either.  Some of the people in my study groups were simply looking for someone else (usually me) to give them the correct answers on the homework; some were there for the free donuts and pizza; some were so busy asking 'why' the answers were correct that they never really learned what they were studying.

It was the people who tried to bribe or threaten me to obtain answer keys that really miffed me off; but the profs were able to deal with that, as well.  Most just had three or four different versions of the same exam, each with the questions in different orders.  Some gave me answer keys to pass along that were offset by one: The answer given for #1 was actually for #2, the answer for #2 was for #3, and so forth.  One prof did what she called a "Changeup"; just before the test was to begin, she announced that instead of "multiple guess", the test would instead be given as four essay questions.  We all panicked, but I pulled it off with a 'B', and even got extra credit for using the Oxford comma!


:D



Last edited by Fnord on 05 Oct 2021, 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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05 Oct 2021, 2:53 pm

I record by default because idk what will be said that I might need to note later. I've rarely gone back to rewatch any part, but I'll have them for ref if needed. I started this long before youtube had reliably correct profs & videos. The 00s were very different, in that regard, from nowadays.

I'd also recommend recording (video or pics) online test taking (if not proctored). Can come in handy for studying, esp when the instructor won't let one go back to look over what was incorrect on an exam. It's also useful for gaining back points or getting questions thrown out when the test, book, &/or prof differ or are overly vague. I don't think using a video from youtube would have the same effect.

That said, always be polite when asking about a bad test/hw question. Going in gung-ho righteous nvr helps. I've been told I shouldn't take the pics in the same email where they thank me for finding the errors. :shrug:

AardvarkGoodSwimmer wrote:
Re-listening to a whole lecture is just such a time commitment. I’d really save it for the high value items, such as “growth of the U.S. middle class” in a history class.

Part of scouting ahead is that you can find out the hard parts, such as the Bowen series in geology. I’d definitely watch a quick Youtube video or two on this one.

And for classes which have been taught for just forever like biology, calculus, or astronomy, checking out an older textbook from your school’s library can be a pretty valuable resource. You get a slightly different explanation, and different sample problems with some of them hopefully showing luxuriant, fully fleshed-out solutions.



shortfatbalduglyman
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05 Oct 2021, 3:43 pm

Get precious years tests from other students

Someone said another student bought a textbook solution manual

After class, a teaching assistant wrote the answer to a question on a piece of paper. The answer was a page long. I asked if I could keep the paper. He said no and threw it in garbage and left the room. I left the room, returned, and took the paper out the garbage

Having said that, in one class, a professor caught a student working on a test after the time was up. From then on, the student had to sit on the stage and take tests (that was an instructor that made it clear cheating was a really big deal). (Not much sanction)



Fnord
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05 Oct 2021, 3:53 pm

Even back in the late 1970s, profs were re-writing exams with new answer keys each semester or trimester, which made cheating from the previous exams extremely difficult.

Something that was shown in Animal House was dumpster-diving for the relevant 'mimeograph' exam stencil the night before the exam was given, but this practice stopped when cheap photocopiers became available.  I can still remember the smell of mimeograph ink at midnight...



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05 Oct 2021, 10:00 pm

As a college professor (non-tenure track), I write a new final exam each year for my courses. Everyone wants it to be a multiple choice or matching test, but it does not happen. They would not like me much if I made an A B C D E F G H I J K L M choice on each question with only one correct answer. (One of my old professors used to do that to me.) I believe in only short answer/calculate/essay questions on my tests. I do give partial credit for trying, just not much.

The exams can be a pain to grade, but it does separate those that learned the material from those that tried to memorize answers. The answer key for my exams are only in my head. I do not print them out until after I grade the exams. It usually takes me a few days to grade them, while my fellow faculty members just scantron their exams and go on vacation. I have been told that I have the most through exams of the whole science division at my university by quite a few graduates. At least they learn the material when required.



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06 Oct 2021, 8:23 am

Exams that rely on a four-option "Multiple Guess" model almost guarantee a minimum 25% score, if the answers are chosen at random.  They are also fairly easy to "game" without actually cheating, because:

• There will likely be 1 answer that is more correct than the others ("The Good").
• There will likely be 2 more answers that could be correct if misinterpreted ("The Bad").
• There will likely be 1 answer more incorrect than the others ("The Ugly").
• Answers that state "All of the above" are likely to be incorrect.
• Answers that state "None of the above" are likely to be correct.

While this model is not cast in adamantium, it is likely to result in at least a passing grade on a "Multiple Guess" test.



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06 Oct 2021, 8:43 am

1.) Perks of being a super fast writer.
It also comes with super fast encoding as well as decoding. :lol: Words and sentences are more like muscle memory that seem like a form of pattern recognition...
But I'm rather handicapped in the language comprehension department and don't rely well in dictated lectures, so... I gotta figure how I absorb stuff just as fast, while being very picky at keywords to study and breakdown later.
I also already learnt several techniques about playing around test instructions and multiple choices since elementary -- due to having really poor language comprehension and having to compensate because of that.
Since I write fast already, I write some notes in reverse like mirror handwriting. :lol: Because the more effort to record something, the more is sticks.
And if it sticks... I don't have to look and review
via words again. :lol: I'll just go straight to practice and theory.
Bonus: writing notes and quizes in reverse in general, it mean I don't have to hide or be mindful of what I share. Because screw sharing. :lol: :lol: :lol:

2.) Being a night owl. Which meant I sleep at day -- meaning during classes.
Only to wake up, answer everything right, ace a lot of quizes and tests. Which baffles some people -- on top of being able to write fast enough to show notes.
So they thought I'm actually awake the whole time and listening -- I'm not. :lol: I never lied about playing games and watching TV all night.

3.) Never ever had to bring up any schoolwork at home, ever. Meaning I finish assignments before going home, recall every lessons before going home.
:lol: And when I go home, I can do whatever I want without being bugged by anyone about studying. If there's enough time or really feel like it, I jump few to several lessons ahead.


Bonus: Never, ever worry or care about the outcome. I don't care if I get a high or low score.
... But I get higher scores than most anyway. :lol: Except one -- avoiding honors. Because I don't like that kind of responsibility. :lol:



This was in college -- possibly the first and only time I enjoyed studying. And it was only 2 years long, because we're kinda broke. :lol:
I may plan to study again someday...

I had only started developing language comprehension at 15 -- before that, it's mostly deduction and pattern recognition through encoded words than meanings and contexts -- basically hyperlexia that manifests like more a learning disorder than a form of giftedness in language.
I went to college at 18. Heck, I only recently learnt what context meant -- that was after college.
And I'm still learning now, still cultivating now.

Too bad it doesn't work like that at work.


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07 Oct 2021, 5:52 pm

This is more general advice for design students than gaming the system, but hopefully it'll help some people here.

1) Focus on completing the basics of the project, then work on additional features later.

I know it can be easy to get caught up in adding flair, but a completed project is more impressive than a half-finished project that could've been good with an extra three months worth of work. You can add plans for future designs to reports and include draft work, but if a feature isn't necessary and it's nowhere near finished, leave it out of the final project because it'll reflect poorly on you.

2) Design logos and icons in black and white before making them in colour.

The areas that are going to have darker colours you should make black, areas that will have brighter colours should be left white, and anything in between the two main colours should be made grey. Try your design in different sizes, is it easy to tell what it is at each size or are details lost? If details are lost, you will most likely have to simplify the design. Making them in black and white first can show if you have enough contrast and it is good to have a base design to copy multiple times. You should also make a version for when the logo or icon is presented on a dark background as well as a version for light backgrounds. The design will likely be used in different contexts, so it's a good idea to make multiple versions.

3) Write messy notes and then rewrite them later like you're a teacher explaining to someone who has no experience.

If you work with computers, write like you're talking to someone who has never in their life turned one on. Explain it step by step. 1) Press the power button. 2) Log in 3) Left click with the mouse the icon for the program you are going to use. 4) File - New... and so on.

Oh, and for the love of everything, please name your layers and assets! If you're making an animation, or editing a live-action video or making an illustration, then it's no good trying to figure out what 104567.mov or rectangle47 is when you have to make a small edit when you have a lot of small pieces and layers to search through. Name them appropriately, such as 'walking-character-torso' or 'café introductory shot'. You'll have an easier time finding everything. Your hypothetical student wouldn't be able to navigate it either, even with your excellent guidance. Work smarter, not harder. Make things easy to locate.

If you're like me and struggle to tell your left and right apart sometimes, consider making small design choices to distinguish the limbs of a character if you're ever animating one. Such as designing their clothes so there is an enamel pin on one side and not the other. Then you can name things such as "Forearm-pin-side", that way you know which part you are controlling without accidentally switching control to the other arm as much. I find it helps.


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