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Most recently, in my English Honors class, we decided to try out an experiment. Can students really take a test and cheat without getting caught by the teacher? Especially by a teacher who always checks his students’ hands and arms before letting them take the test? This made me think about test-taking in general and how people react to them differently.

Eventually I realized that there was a certain episode in the anime Soul Eater that portrayed various (and hilarious) reactions that people expressed when faced with extremely difficult test.

Now I won’t go and just talk about the whole episode here and what happened, but I will note the characters and their response in this situation, just so you can get the idea of what I’m talking about. Those of you who have seen the episode already can just sit back and remember the good times~ (Episode 14)

1. The Diligent Studious One

No matter what kind of subject or class it is, there will always be at least one student who will have one thing in mind when he or she hears that there will be a test. The thought “I need to study diligently and not give up. My goal is to get the highest score in the class!” In this particular anime, Maka is the character who represents this. From the very start of the episode, she makes her goal to be first known and is shown to be continuously sitting at her desk studying.

soul eater maka1

When the test appears in front of her, she fills out the answers with ease and doesn’t panic. She knows what she is doing and what the answer to the questions are. Maka knows that her hard work will pay off.

soul eater maka2

In the end, she is rewarded and does achieve her goal. Her hard work paid off and she managed to get first place in her class. Good work Maka!

2. The Cheater

Now while one is willing to work hard to get a good grade, we can’t forget that sometimes others will look for an easy way out of a test. Cheating. Soul is that one specific character who decides to try to cheat on test.

“Anyone who does this earnestly is a fool. There’s no way the tortoise who gets a late start can win the race against the hare. The world is full of unrelenting hares. Whoever gets a good score prevails, no matter the means.” 

soul eater soul 1Instead of spending the time to actually sit down and study the material, he spends it thinking of ways to cheat. I mean, think of all the time he spent in hiding all those cheat sheets around his body like that! Its everywhere!

Of course, the end might not be as pretty as the cheaters hope it will be.

soul eater soul 2

If caught, then the cheater can basically say “bye bye” to the good score he or she dreamed of. After all, the only catch to this seemingly good plan is that once you’re caught, all that effort you placed in trying to cheat goes out the window. You are left to face the test and your unanswered answer sheet weaponless as the clock ticks by. And guess what? You now get to take the test stripped down to your boxers! Great Job Soul! (pff~)

soul eater soul 3

Ah~ Look at him struggle. Looks like he was the fool in the end because after all, the one who worked earnestly won against the battle of the test.

3. The Genius

Oh course, there will also be a character who is overconfident and thinks something along the lines of “I’m not going to study just because there is a test… I have a firm grasp of phasmology.” Death the Kid of course! Kid doesn’t worry about the test nor does he even attempt to open his book to study. He is confident that he can ace the test without a single worry! After all, the test would be covering the topics he is good at.

But. . . sadly I don’t think he expected to run into such a crisis.

Soul eater kid 2

soul eater kid 3soul eater kid 4soul eater kid 5soul eater kid 6

It only took a letter “k” to KO’ed the great son of the shinigami. In the face of that one letter, Kid just simply couldn’t flash by the test as he had hoped to done.

soul eater kid 7

In the end, even if he already knew everything that would appear on test, such confidence can become . . . well. . . a major ally of defeat. Even a genius can fail a test if he or she isn’t ready.

4. The One Who Doesn’t Really Care

In the midst of the diligent ones, the cheaters, and the geniuses, we can’t forget this specific kind of person! The person who really doesn’t care about test or how well he or she will do. They remain unfazed as the time ticks by.

soul eater patty 1

Patty Thompson! She is character who, instead of filling out the answer sheet like she is supposed to, decides to color it bright yellow and make… Tada! a giraffe!

Of course, in real life will you rarely see someone like this. Instead of making a giraffe, these kinds of test-takers would probably just bubble in random letters or just certain letters to make create a word, sign, or sentence on their answer sheet.  But in terms of creativity, I think Patty has got them beat.

soul eater testtaking

There are other characters who does many other thing such as getting distracted by a lonesome hair cuticle on someone else’s rather shiny bald head, but then I would end up just talking about the episode. As you can tell from the list I made made here, only Maka, the one who studied diligently conquered the test. She faced no risk, had a good set of plans that she followed, and came out to be successful. This shows that most of the times, it is the ones who actually study that will get good results from a test.

The same things happens in real life. The one who spent hours of studying does well while the one who decides to cheat has a huge risk of getting caught and failing as a result and the one who is overconfident can end up going up against an obstacle he or she wasn’t ready for. The ones who doesn’t care just wouldn’t care about the test.

I think it will be really interesting to see these kind of traits popping out when this cheating experiment occurs in my classroom. How many people will seriously dedicate all their time to cheat? How many will actually study more than usual just to get a good grade? How many would just not care and mess around? What would the results be for each of these different actions?

With the teacher giving the students the option to cheat, how exactly will my class react?

Who knows? It might really end up becoming a scenario similar to what happened in this extremely amusing episode of Soul Eater. 

-The Diamonds ♦

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