Claim: You can get a perfect score by smearing Chapstick on your Scantron form. The Chapstick fools the Scantron machine into thinking you got all the questions right.
Students are always looking for an easy way through school. It’s not surprising, then, that there are so many rumors about cheating on Scantron tests. Different versions of this myth exist: some say to rub the Chapstick over the answer bubbles, some say to rub the Chapstick over the black lines on the edge of the Scantron, and others say to use your pencil to mark various places (such as the black lines mentioned earlier or the “Key” box). In reality, none of these methods will give you a perfect score.
Chapstick will not work because Scantron machines pick up on the reflective properties of #2 pencil lead. Since Chapstick is transparent and non-reflective, it won’t affect the machine one bit. Extraneous pencil marks on your Scantron are most likely to cause the opposite of the desired effect (i.e. getting all the answers wrong), since Scantron machines typically count answers wrong if there are any extraneous pencil marks. Marks in non-answer bubbles, such as in the “Key” box, may also result in the machine rejecting your Scantron, requiring your instructor to grade your test by hand. Even if marking the “Key” box did work, your instructor would most likely notice the fact that everyone behind you received bad scores, prompting him/her to take a closer look at your exam. Also, if the machine was fooled into thinking your test was a key, it wouldn’t print a score on your Scantron.
When it comes to test taking, the best way to pass is to study.