Whether it's freshman year or your final semester, being a student is challenging. Luckily, every now and then, opportunity knocks and we find ways to the game the school system. These little loopholes make our lives so much easier while being in school and help us ace our classes without even trying. Let's be honest, we probably would have never graduated without them.
These Redditor's shared the ways they were able to game the system and make the best of their school years. Content has been edited for clarity.
"We figured out how to skip school every Thursday afternoon for five years without being caught. At my school, Thursday afternoon was for sports. You had to sign up for a sport at the start of each term and names were checked off to make sure you signed up. Then you get kicked out of the sport you signed up to.
For some reason, my school offered fishing as a sport. The teacher that taught it was super passionate about fishing and hated anyone who didn't take it seriously. So every term we turn up to first fishing session with broom handles with string and paperclips tied to them as our rods and boom, kicked out of fishing.
Each time, the teacher sent a note to the office with the next roll sheet that we were no longer on the roll. This wasn't uncommon because you're allowed to change sports in the first two weeks in case you sign up for something and then don't like it. The school system works so that the office ladies only enter in the system if you're absent and you're otherwise assumed to be present. But by doing this, we weren't any roll and we couldn't get marked absent anywhere."
"I was paying out of state tuition for college in Texas. I looked up all the ways I could get in-state tuition and there were four different ways:
1) Marry a Texan
2) Own property in Texas for one year
3) Hold a job in Texas for one year
4) Own a business in Texas for one year
So naturally, I started a 'business.' I registered my 'business' with the state and filed taxes every quarter. I had zero expenses and zero income every quarter, so I paid nothing in taxes.
One year later, I got in on that in-state tuition. It cost me around $200 to register my business and it saved me tens of thousands of dollars."
"Freshman year at university, I was taking an Intro to Engineering class that met once a week for two hours. It was super boring and super easy. We had three assignments all semester, and only two tests. I skipped that class one week and I came in the next week to the teacher handing back one of our only two tests for the semester. It was worth nearly half my grade so I was freaking out internally and thinking that I was going to fail. After handing back all the tests, he asks if anyone didn't get theirs back. I raised my hand along with two other people. He called us up to the front of class to look at two tests that were turned in with no names written in. Of course the two other guys claimed those and I was left with nothing.
The professor told me to drop by his office right after class so we could discus my test. That felt like the nail in my coffin so to speak, so I sat back down and waited. We get to his office after class and it's a total freaking mess. Papers everywhere, folders on the floor, it looked like a small tornado had blown through. He tells me he might have misplaced my exam so we both looked through all the papers and came up with nothing, which I knew would happen but I felt like it would be better to just play along, I was in too deep at this point. He pulls up the grades for the test on his computer and asks me how I thought I did. I told him it was a fairly easy exam and that I thought I did pretty well. I offered to take the test again if he had time, but instead he turns to me and asks, 'Well, I wouldn't have time this week to give you the test again, would you be ok with it if I just gave you the class average on the exam?'
I said yes, and got a 93% on an exam I never took."
"When I went to college (CSU Monterey Bay), the parking enforcement was brutal. They had over-enrolled, and there was pretty much nowhere to park in the off-campus housing parking area. You received two parking permits per unit, and one car could fit in the driveway. However, you could have five people living in a unit, and if they all had cars, you had to drop $120 to get another pass. Otherwise, you got a $45 ticket every night they found your car. We were all freaking broke, so this is obviously a terrible situation.
Now, they did have a guest pass system that any student could use 10 times during a semester if they had visitors. You'd click the link on your online profile, and you'd get a parking permit generated for that day at that time with a special QR code stamped on it. Upon closer inspection of the script they used to generate these things, the QR code was simply the date and time of printing hashed into the bar code. No other data.
So, I downloaded the raw HTML of the page that was generated, wrote a quick PHP script to randomize the time and loop through the next 50 days, and printed out passes for all of my friends' cars. I decided to not sell the permits to people that needed them. Instead, I generated a standalone PHP program to generate permits up to 10 at a time that they could print themselves. Fill in your car's info, generate 10 printable pages, print 'em, and stash 'em in your car.
I was a hero."
"In high school, we were allowed to take a personal studies class instead of an actual class that's offered. You had to come up with your own course, curriculum, and a final project to pretty much anything you want to learn that's not currently offered. The trick is you have to get a teacher to be your advisor/teacher for your choice. Not many teachers were willing to do extra work because a student didn't want to take the offered courses.
So my senior year of high school, my best friend and I were looking over the possible classes we need to take. They assigned you the core classes, but you had to pick two extra electives. Being seniors, we already took the low work electives and were faced with boring options or options that from other students' experiences were a lot of work.
For some reason, our art teacher took a liking to us. So we came up with the idea that we want to take an independent personal study in abstract art. Let me just say now, we are not in any way shape or form the epitome of art students. We were absolutely terrible at art. But the teacher agreed and we were pretty excited.
The next semester rolled around. Since the course is an independent study there wasn't a specific hour we had for that class. We took our independent study with the art teacher during a time slot she had another class. The class that was going on along with our independent study? AP Art. Advanced placement art. This was for students who planned on going to college for some form of art. AP classes counted as college credits. So while the teacher was scrutinizing the students on poor shading in a pencil drawing that looked flawless to my inept eye, my friend and I were filling up water balloons with paint and throwing them at a canvas. We glued random things together, mutilated mannequin heads, and pretty much acted like children with paint. She would compliment us on our great ideas and wonderful uses of color and shapes all while she was critiquing the AP students on what I would call awesome work. Our water balloon paint monstrosity was hailed as amazing, while their picture-perfect drawings were always short of the mark.
I always thought she kinda felt bad for us, that's why she was being so nice. I also thought she was being so hard on the other students because they were in the AP class and we were just two dumb jocks throwing paint around. Towards the end of the semester, the teacher pulled us aside and said that she was going to include us in the AP class, grade us along with them, including the college credit. She said our creative process has been unparalleled in recent years."
"I convinced my high school system I was emancipated when I was fifteen with no supporting paperwork.
I got to know the secretary and asked once what I needed on their end because I was getting emancipated. I would check in every week or so, say hi, and just try and be nice.
After about three months, I walked in very excited, explaining how I was getting my own place and had a job. She filed my paperwork immediately and from that point on, I controlled my supervision in high school. I wrote my own notes, had my own phone number as the contact info, and could sign off on anything that required a parent's signature. I went through the rest of high school like this and my family never found out.
And yes, I graduated."
"I sit in on college and graduate level courses without signing up or paying even the reduced audit fees. I simply show up on the first day of class early, wait for the teacher to be free for a minute, and ask if they mind if I sit in. Nine times out of ten they'll let me sit in on lectures. Seven out of ten of them will let me sit in on discussion groups.
I do this simply because I enjoy learning, and even if teachers aren't supposed to let me sit in, they're in charge of enforcing that and enjoy teaching to engaged students so they're generally happy to have me. There are even schools which allow you to test for credits so you can turn this free education into a quick and cheap degree when you've done enough of it."
"My senior English teacher in high school gave us her entire grading scale and assignment list for the semester. A buddy and I did the math and worked hard for several weeks, then just stopped turning in assignments and aced the tests. She kept telling us that we needed to turn things in and that she'd give partial credit, and we declined. Eventually, we got to the end of the semester and she was passing out final grades.
She got over to us, laid our grades on our desks, looked us in the eyes and said, 'Thanks to you two, I'm going to have to change my grading system.'
We both got an A. I think he got a couple tenths of a percent higher for turning in one more assignment than I did. Over-achiever."
"This is the story of how I went from a 2.0-ish GPA to a 3.2 my senior year with maybe an hour of work...for the whole year.
Right before my senior year, due to some band drama, I was wrongfully accused of a crime, and though I cleared my name of the supposed incident, I was removed for a technical violation of a different rule. To finish my diploma, I went to a nearby alternative school that had online classes.
Enter semester one: I was never a great student, but I could hold my own on a C to B average. I did my best for this semester. I took all the tests and assignments on the class 'website' and did okay in all of them...except Macroeconomics. In Macro, I managed to do three tests for the whole semester, and even though I got A's on all three, it was only three tests. I procrastinated and held off for as long as I could, but did not get any more of them done. I was extremely worried about the big F I was going to get, until report card day. I aced the class. I didn't understand until I viewed the grading breakdown.
The way a normal school grading system works is points gained vs points in the curriculum. This means if a class has 1,000 points, and you earn 500, that's 50% earned. However, this online program used points earned vs POINTS ATTEMPTED! This meant that even if the class had 1,000 points, if I took 100 points worth of tests and earned 100 points, I would gain 100/100 points, and get an A+.
Enter semester two: I tried this new found power out by taking one test in every class, and then waiting for midterms, apprehensively. 100% in all classes.
Enter my last semester of high school: I negotiated an 'all A's' reward with my parents for a new computer that I would build myself. I did one test in each class on day one and spent the rest of the few months making fantasy builds on Newegg.
In the end, I graduated with a 4.0 for the year, bringing my overall from a crappy 2.2 GPA to a 3.3."
"We were the first senior class to be given laptops in high school. It came with some monitoring application that allowed teachers to see when we were using our laptops, watch our screens, etc. We didn't have the rights to disable it or kill the service, but it took a buddy of mine in our programming class about a week to write a little program that would do it anyway. Click a button and it kills the service. Click it again and the service restarts.
This was even better than not being monitored at all because it gave teachers a false sense of security. We could turn it on when attendance was being taken and then turn it off when test time came so we could Google all the answers. Also spent a lot of time chatting, playing alpha Minecraft, etc. when we were supposed to be taking notes in class. Basically just did whatever we wanted that year."
"In elementary school, we had to take a standardized test that was a week long.
You would get one booklet, say 50 pages long. We were told to do pages 1-10 and hand it in. The next day, you get it back, do pages 11-20, hand it in. Get it back the third day, do pages 21-30, etc.
Well, OBVIOUSLY, I just looked ahead to the next day's pages and looked up stuff I didn't understand.
It's like they were begging you to cheat."
"In college, at a private university, student activities fees were pooled and distributed by vote through student council. Upon learning this Sophomore year, I ran for office on a 'let's use the money for fun' campaign. I became a student representative and then class president the following years, all while being a leader of the university's gaming club.
I used my legislative powers to divert thousands of dollars to buying gaming systems, high payout tournaments, and a legit after-school gaming program for local schools.
My run was ended during my senior year in impeachment."
"Freshman year of college, I was taking a 'College Writing' course. It was basically an intro to writing.
I went to a private school K-12 that had a really, really heavy emphasis on creative writing, so I was really well prepared for college writing in general, but I also had zero work ethic because I had succeeded easily before college. That was a lesson I learned fast...
Anyways, back to college writing.
I did 6 of the 45 assignments, got a B+ in the class and got exempt from the final. Why?
I put 110% effort into the first paper and last presentation of the class. I wrote a really well-researched paper about how penguins are really crappy animals and would make a really crappy school mascot. The last presentation was about different writing techniques, and I made my presentation about the importance of intro and conclusion paragraphs and topic and hook sentences. I equated them all to parentheses, saying that the intro and conclusion were like parentheses that tell the reader everything coming is related to itself and that topic and hook sentences were just ways of telling the reader that the following content relates to the overall topic in this way and the hook says, 'and this paragraph relates to the topic of the paper like this and it relates to the next paragraph like this.'
It was really, really minimal thinking effort, high effort research, and medium level writing effort. So worth it."
"In my school, we got some of the first computers and man did they try to shut those things down so we couldn't use them for anything but education.
However, that's how I found the gems of portable flash drive Minecraft and Halo. We made 4 versions of Halo CE and 2 of Minecraft. Even when they banned one, we still had the others to fallback on.
The kids in our school distributed flashdrives with the games on them and everyone downloaded them to their disks.
We had LAN games during breaks and classes and built some pretty awesome servers and custom Halo modes. We'd be playing it during class and as soon as the teacher came around everyone minimized the tab and we consecutively agreed to stop playing until the teacher had sat back down so no one would die during the 'inspection'.
I even found a way to watch the educational version of YouTube, which included Good Mythical Morning, a funny channel I never knew I needed.
It was the best experience I ever had in high school."
"In a course back in 1976, we had to manage a virtual trucking company, each week providing inputs and getting the results back. One point was to be given to the team with the highest revenue, lowest operating ratio (revenue to expenses), and highest equity to debt ratio at the end.
The team I was on decided we would shoot for the debt to equity ratio point since if we paid off all our debt, the ratio would be infinite and we would win, even if another team did the same.
Each week we were given averages for all the teams so we could see how we were doing. So once it became evident through the reported average debt to equity ratios that no other team was pursuing the same strategy, we concentrated on the other points and ended up winning all three.
I knew the professor outside of class and when he informally questioned me about our strategy halfway through the simulation, I kept mum on the overall strategy. Once it was over, I spilled the beans. He thought we were pretty smart and gave each member an extra half grade overall along with the point."
"I had an awful internship after grad school. It took all my time, was utterly wasteful of my skills, but offered me the tiniest bit of power in the company. I wanted to move on to something better, but I also realized I needed to massively redesign my resume to stand out for the jobs I wanted.
I posted a fake advertisement for a position at the company requiring the skills and background I had and then went through all the resumes to find the formatting and language that looked the most impressive. With just a little bit of time adjusting things to fit right into my background, I was off applying to better jobs with a snazzy and professional CV all thanks to some guys who were just trying to get a job.
Best of all, I was able to walk out of the internship and immediately recommend a qualified person to fill my position. No bridges burned!"