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TUCoPS :: Physical Security :: beycha.txt

Beyond Chapstick - More scantron methods

(For those of you who just want methods, skip to the numbers)
by Richard Mangahas

   Well, throughout my lifetime, I've learned one thing.  Scantron tests
are a bitch.  So this text will hopefully help you out.  I'd like to point
out that the results that the methods and results I write about came from
ACTUAL experiments with ACTUAL Scantrons and Scanning Machines.  I spent a
long time working these out.  I have tried virtually everything there is
to try to beat the scantron machine, and I can happily say that it can be
done.  Now, I am not endorsing that you use these methods to get the first
letter of the alphabet on your report card.  These are for informational
and entertainment purposes only.  If you do use these methods, I, of
course, am not at all responsible and blah blah blah.
   I would like to thank someone that was essential to making this file
possible, but I doubt that he would want to be identified.  He was one of
my teachers.  That's as far as I'll go with that.
   Now on to the good stuff...

1.  Marking the black lines (Black on Black method)-
   On the left side of most scantrons that I know of, there are black
lines next to question numbers.  My hypothesis is that these black lines
tell the machine where to scan.  I don't know how it works, but it does,
but not as often to create a great advantage.  It works about  25%-30% of
the time.  I suppose coupled with actual guessing, this does add to the
probability of getting a correct answer.  This is my recommended hack.
This is the hack that will work more often than any other.  Do it only on
the ones you can't answer.

2.  Erasing the same black lines (Erasure method)-
   Now this hack is pretty self-explanatory.  You erase those same black
lines, only on the ones you can't answer though.  Sometimes the machine
skips the question and doesn't mark it at all.  This leaves you with a
correct answer.
   The machine will record an error and not mark the paper at all,
including the score.  This will then allow the teacher to grade it by
hand, where he or she may notice the tampering.

3.  Erasing the big black block (Big block eradication method)-
   Along the left side is a big black block.  It is on the upper part of
the column before the question lines.  Occasionally, the machine will just
skip over the whole damn thing but leave you with a 100%.  This is
practically impossible to get to work.  I have gotten it to work twice out
of hundreds of trials, but it can be done.  My reasoning for this is
because there is another similar block at the bottom of the column.  I
believe that the big block tells the machine when to begin scanning for
questions.  I think that variations in the printing of scantrons probably
produce a block on the bottom similar enough to the erased block.   Thus,
the machine sees the block begins scanning, sees nothing to correct and
gives you a 100%.  Like I said this is probably less than 1% success, but
it can work.

4.  Cutting out that big block (Hole in your head method)-
   I have had more success with this than erasing for some reason.  Again
this is an all or nothing proposition.  If you like gambling, go ahead.
Remember that you will leave more noticable physical evidence.

5.  Cross-hatching fill-ins (Cross method)-
   This method works about 20%-25% of the time.  I believe it is pretty
self-explanatory.  I find that the best patterns are diaganol
cross-hatches, or horizontal lines.  I can't explain why this works, I
assume you are simply confusing the machine.

6.  In-between shading (Grey areas method)-
   By in-between shading, I mean finding a level of grey that is not too
dark or too light.  I believe this will work because of the same reason as



9.  According to Anthony Iannone <>...
    This person states that he has worked on maintenance of those
wonderful machines that CORRECT those beloved scantrons.  Anyway, he
states that almost ALL scantron readers work differently.  Makes enough
sense...  anyway, I would think the methods are generally workable for any
machine.... only trial and error will tell.

    "The only way to fool many of the kinds to to fold the edge over or
cut it off. But the the machiene will pass it trough unmarked, and the
teach will probably notice"

     He also states that it will only work on the 50 question ones as the
others are too small.... my own experiments have shown that it all
scantron forms can be manipulated.
Another suggestion of his make  alot of answer keys and stick them into
the batch. That is done by filling in "key," of course.  Some machines
only accept one answer key at a time, some will change the key each time
it runs across one.... this doesn't exactly help your grade, but it does
wreak some havoc.  One can also try copy toner, but I'm not going to risk
messing up a scantron machine just to see what will happen.

10.  Putting a piece of tape over the black lines (Tape method) -
    This just does what chapstick was supposed to do... screw up the
scanning light... and jack up everything... what you need to HOPE it does,
is pray that it makes the scantron machine malfunction, and not mark it
incorrect.  Best of luck... I hate this method.

Okay, that's enough for methods.. because... I don't know anymore.  I
don't get much access to a scantron machine much anymore... SO, I'll just
ramble about the scantron machine in general.

The scantron machine grades your test in the following manner (at least
the one I have had access to):  It takes the maximum number correct from
the answer key, say 20.  Then for each incorrect answer, it subtracts one
from that total.  And it only subtracts if there's a mistake recorded.
That is why malfunctions lead to either no markings, or perfect scores.
Let's see what else is there to talk about... I would go in to the anarchy
way of attack of scantrons, but that is not your goal... besides, if you
need me to tell you how to fuck things up, you have to be retarded.  Also,
as another note of privacy, I am including my PGP key.... big whoop.

Version: 2.6.2


********End of updates since the last postin*********

    Okay that's about it.  All I ask is that if you read this, please send
me an e-mail.  I'd just like to know how many people are getting this.
I'd prefer that you not use an anon remailer, but if you are so paranoid
that you believe that the government is taking the time to care
particularly about you, go ahead.

   Now for my plea of help.  I'd like this list to grow.  I have tried
many hacks.  But I have not tried them all.  I seriously doubt that this
is all of the hacks that you can use.  If you find anymore, please send it
to me, so that I can update this list periodically.

   If you go on IRC, I can be found damn near everywhere.  I go by the
name of  DSoldier.  I tend to frequent the Undernet, though.

   And as a final note, CHAPSTICK DOES NOT WORK!  I don't know who started
it, but I have tried all flavors of chapstick thinking it might be that.
But it hasn't worked.  I have tried all different brands of lip balm as
well.  It still has not worked.  Perhaps it worked back in the day, but it
doesn't now.

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