High school students hacking electronic tests


[Alex Papadimoulis] wrote about ingenuity and hacking in high school. Immediately after the teacher’s installed a new electronic note taking and test giving software, the students began hacking. They managed to find several ways to ace their tests, none of which involved studying hard the night before. Ultimately, the teachers went back to the old system to prevent such shenanigans.

[photo: COCOEN]

29 thoughts on “High school students hacking electronic tests

  1. this reminds me of my high school chemistry class…

    The teacher put the tests online… All I had to do was save the webpage, change his email address to mine, and the cgimail would send the results to me instead of to him.

    I hosted the hacked page on my own server, selected the first multiple choice answer (A) for every question and clicked submit! The results were mailed directly to me and it told me all the ones that were right. For all the ones that were wrong it gave me the right answer.

    Then I went to my teacher’s actual test page, filled in the results and.. of course I never filled them ALL in correct. I even sometimes purposed a B!

  2. When I was in fifth grade we used apple IIes. I had a typing class, where we would hold the keys, do an insane number of letters…delete them and type the sentance. The computer would log me in with insane words per minute scores…

  3. Reminds me of two things:
    I had a teacher that would post pdf’s of his answer keys on his website. The only thing he would do was not list the html link to the file until after the test was over. But after the first test/quiz, you knew roughly what the next test/quiz name was going to be and you could manually change the link.
    On the same note. If you knew what professors you were going to have, you could just go to their websites before the end of the semester and download all of their quiz/test/homework answers for the next semester before they deleted the links.

  4. Same thing with my introduction to computer information systems class, a glorified HOWTO do computer.

    The instructor had all the quizzes in Excel spreadsheets. At the end of the document, there was an instructor and blank sheet. The blank sheet contained formulas to check for the right answers on the quiz sheets. After cracking the protection on that sheet, I just copied the answers down and filled them in. They should have tested me out of that class…

    Of course, I will me emailing the instructor about how insecure Excel documents can be, now that the quarter is over.

  5. The scanned tests have the possibility of changing the barcode to a test or practice test already completed with a decent score. This sometimes works, or sometimes fails, depending on what happens to the results on the computer, but the barcode does denote what the answers are. On the QCS test in Australia, it’s two row binary matrix, which the bottom one (i think) is the ID, and the top the checksum. I think.

  6. I’ve actually been given tests on software that was simple enough as to use a link (with answer encoded in url) to submit answers and the right answer was always “?ans=A” no matter where that link was found on the page (at least that was random). Perfect score in less than half the time.

  7. reminds of the gearhead quiz on the top gear website. The quiz is done in flash and it’s about 120 random questions. The quiz allows you to save your process and one thing i noticed is that when you restored your progress you didn’t have the same question as when you had saved all that was the same was the number of wrong answers and how many questions left. So what I ended up doing is when I came across a question I didn’t know the answer i would save and quit then continue to be given a new question.

  8. one night i jimmy jacked the football podium thing with my laptop for 6 hrs and couldn’t brake the system … some of there encryption is WAY to secure (prob why the new dell comps are to slow … or it could be just the fact that there dells)

  9. Yeah, it’s pretty amazing the simple things that technology is able to accomplish and the way we can circumvent many things.

    In a number of college History classes (online at a community college) I have found that the instructors will create Tests from the quizzes that were done online. So something like of the 5 quizzes 5 question would be part of the test. The quizzes (being all online) were not counted and gave you the answers after the quiz had been completed. ie: number 1 is correct, number 2 is incorrect, the correct answer is b. So on.
    So when you finished the quiz, I printed out the quiz answers and saved them. Come test time, I look at the question, found the corresponding quiz question and answered it correctly.
    Paying attention to lecture, and use multiple tabs in Firefox, I could easily answer the essay questions. Those classes were easy A’s.

    Same thing with some of the low level English classes. They had grammar questions. All online. I would do the same thing another poster commented.

    Online classes make almost too easy to cheat in some form or another. I know that I’m the one “loosing” but really, I’m not.

  10. Wow….this is depressing. Some of the comments are more interesting than the article. I’m not usually one to spit on nostalgia, but come on people… I’d like to see more modern day hacking/cheating systems. Hacking circa 1993 is too lame.

  11. The Blackboard (http://www.blackboard.com/us/index.bbb) software has a built-in test module that encrypts all the answers with a simple substitution cipher and puts all the answers in an array right in the source of the test page (!!!)

    It was easy to modify the function to work in reverse and process the entire array. I got an A+! It was a terrible and useless class anyway :(

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  13. octel states that the answers are encrypted in the actual source. I not not savy like all of you and could use your expertise. I need to take an exam in Blackboard and am up against a terrible time line. Can someone help me to get through this one test? Thank you.

  14. The Blackboard It was easy to modify the function to work in reverse and process the entire array. I got an A+! It was a terrible and useless class anyway :(

    Posted at 7:46 pm on Aug 28th, 2008 by octel
    ————————————————
    How do I do this? Pretty please?

  15. For those asking for help from Octel don’t get your hopes up. I have copied the source code of a test from Blackboard and then once I received the answers went back to the source code and looked extensively for any patterns or arrays and have not found any and believe me I have spent many hours looking. I have also read on other websites that the answers are kept on a “server”. But I am not sure about that.

    It is unfortunate when assholes like Octel come to a forum and make statements and then not give any details or even respond to others requests. This would have been a nice bit of information to share with others but as I said, I doubt Octel’s claim.

  16. i am also going to an online high school through blackboard academic. i need to figure out how to go back to already completed tests and change my score… this depends on me graduating!! please SOMEONE I NEED HELP!!!!!

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