July 2, 2024 at 1:48 pm

His Teacher Said No Electronic Calculators On The Test, So He Brought Something Old School To Help Do The Math

by Abby Jamison

Source: Reddit/maliciouscompliance/Pexels/

We’ve all heard the dreaded “don’t forget to show your work” on a complicated math test.

However, this clever student found a loophole around the dreaded “no calculator” rule for their math test, and the teacher couldn’t help but comply.

Let’s get the full story…

Slide Rule Loophole

When I was in high school 25 years ago (ouch), I had the same math teacher for both junior and senior year.

She was tough and a riot.

She liked that I was good at math; she did not like that I did not give a crap, study, or do my homework for math class.

I still got As on my tests and quizzes, which were the vast majority of our grades.

I had, in fact, done the math and realized I could go all year without doing any homework and still get an A, so long as I participated in class regularly.

This seemed to work well…

Anyway, one of the rules for our math tests was that we were normally permitted to use a freshly-wiped TI-83 calculator.

However, for some of our tests, she warned us that we were not going to be permitted to use any kind of electronic calculator for the test.

She gave us a sheet with the instructions for the test, what was being tested, etc.

I heard that, immediately spotted a loophole, and heard a challenge being issued.

Went home and asked my father — an attorney, so also a fan of malicious compliance — if he could show me how to use his scientific slide rule.

He had a great idea…

It was the same make/brand that NASA used on the Mercury and Apollo missions, so HIGHLY accurate, and he had it because he went to a prestigious tech school (think MIT-quality).

Once I had the hang of it, I happily brought it to class for the test a few days later. I sat in the front row (assigned seating) so she saw it immediately.

‘Freckles42, no calculators on this test.’

‘Miss, the sheet you gave us says no electronic calculators.’ I handed her the sheet she’d given us at the beginning of the week.

A long silence.

‘Do you know how to actually use that?’ ‘Yes’m.’

She had him prove it…

A sigh. She asked me to demonstrate with a quick equation.

I did just fine and she finally just shrugged and said I’d still have to show my work.

I would have had to anyway, but it was good to be able to confirm my answers were correct, which was the entire point for me, really.

Next test said, « No calculators besides your brains and your fingers are allowed to be used on this test. »

I’m guessing she didn’t want someone to turn up with an abacus.

Let’s see how Reddit reacted to this one…

This commenter thought the story was hilarious!

Source: Reddit/maliciouscompliance

Another user loved the nostalgia of a slide rule.

Source: Reddit/maliciouscompliance

This commenter points out some hypocrisy about “showing your work”.

Source: Reddit/maliciouscompliance

Overall, everyone thought it was a sweet and funny story!

Source: Reddit/maliciouscompliance

Clever students always win!

And yeah, teachers secretly love them.

If you liked this post, you might want to read this story about a teacher who taught the school’s administration a lesson after they made a sick kid take a final exam.