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This Student Hilariously Took Advantage Of A Loophole In His Professor's Exam Instructions

"Well played and lesson learned."

Posted on September 25, 2017, at 12:42 p.m. ET

Reb Beatty is an assistant professor at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland. This year he's teaching Financial Accounting — a course he's taught for many years.

Reb Beatty

Every year when he gives his class their first exam of the semester, he allows them to bring a 3x5 inch notecard with any information they can fit on it.

Beatty told BuzzFeed News this first exam is important because it tests students on "the foundational information that all students need to learn to be successful ... in future accounting courses," he explained.

"I have allowed a 3x5 notecard for years."

Last week, one student named Elijah Bowen realized professor Beatty had not specified the measurement unit in his "3x5 notecard" instructions. So he showed up to the exam with a notecard that was 3x5 feet. Bowen joked to BuzzFeed News that he was going to bring in a board that was 3x5 meters "but I wouldn't be able to get it in the door," he quipped.

"My initial thought was that he wanted to get a few last minutes of cramming in before the exam started...after approximately a minute I realized this was 3x5 feet, and he had the intention of using it on the exam," Beatty said. He said he then quickly referred back to his syllabus and every other place "where I provide test instructions," and realized he never specified "inches" anywhere.Bowen said everyone was giggling as Beatty was "frantically" searching through his course materials. "He looked at me and said 'you are right,'" Bowen added.
Rob Beatty

"My initial thought was that he wanted to get a few last minutes of cramming in before the exam started...after approximately a minute I realized this was 3x5 feet, and he had the intention of using it on the exam," Beatty said.

He said he then quickly referred back to his syllabus and every other place "where I provide test instructions," and realized he never specified "inches" anywhere.

Bowen said everyone was giggling as Beatty was "frantically" searching through his course materials. "He looked at me and said 'you are right,'" Bowen added.

Begrudgingly, Beatty had to allow Bowen to use his giant poster of tedious notes. "Well played and lesson learned," he wrote in a Facebook post that's now gone hugely viral.

Reb Beatty / Facebook / Via facebook.com

He added that in all his years of teaching this course and giving students a similar syllabus, this has never happened.

But he will give it to Bowen...this time. "I appreciate someone who A) had the intelligence to recognize this loophole and B) the audacity to put that together and bring it in," Beatty said.

BuzzFeed News has reached out to the audacious Bowen. In the meantime, professor Beatty would like to officially ward off any future students who are scheming to try this with him or another professor, informing BuzzFeed News, "I have updated the syllabus and course instructions."

But Beatty said he will always allow students to "think outside the box," even if it outsmarts him. "As long as students play within my rules, I always encourage creativity," he said. "It is great when people do not think or reason like everyone else."
Rob Beatty

But Beatty said he will always allow students to "think outside the box," even if it outsmarts him.

"As long as students play within my rules, I always encourage creativity," he said. "It is great when people do not think or reason like everyone else."

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