Both beloved and hated, the online prelim represents the crosssection of two axioms all Cornell students know to be true: prelims fucking suck and everyone is cheating. Unique from other schools’ tawdry tests or even… exams, prelims are the true inquisition into the twenty-year-old student’s (who is intelligent but not too smart or they’d have attended Harvard) mind. Yet some evil, decrepit, no-good groups of students have the gall, nay shamelessness, to cheat on this hallowed tradition.
That leaves each student with one option: How can I cheat with the smartest people I kind of know, without getting ratted out? Worry not, friend, for we are here to explain with a simple three-step plan for undetectable academic mischief: select a target, gaslight, and strike a deal.
The first step, target selection, is deceptively complex. See, we would all love to cheat off the smartest student in class, the one we all know is going to set the curve. But that person is almost certainly a narc, a teachers’ pet, or some sort of Machiavellian sadist who derives pleasure from learning. So cheat off the second or third smartest student in class, who knows the answers but is insecure enough to think giving you the answers might be worth it.
After separating the frailest genius from the herd, it’s time to gaslight. Casually drop into conversation your fictitious 4.33 GPA, perfect prelim scores, and glowing recommendations from past professors. Ask them their scores and scoff openly at anything less than a 96. You want to convince them that they need you, despite how absurdly obvious it may be that they do not.
Once you have them believing that they will fail the next exam while you pass with flying colors, you’re ready to pop the question. Ask them if they would like to have you check over their answers, since they are so worried about doing poorly. You would be happy to help them out if they really want it. But what if they catch you, they ask? Risk means nothing to you if it means helping a friend in need. After that, you’re all set to mooch your way to academic success, and you got them to ask you with nothing more than your wits and some light psychological manipulation! Congratulations, you benevolent monster!