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Professor allows '3x5' crib sheet for exam. Student brings 3-by-5-foot poster

Why have a cheat sheet when you can have a cheat poster?

An enterprising college student used a loophole left open by his professor to ensure that he would have a much bigger advantage than his classmates by bringing a giant cardboard piece of assistance to a test.

Reb Beatty, a professor of a financial accounting course at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland, allowed his students to have a "3x5" card with as much information as they could cram on it for their first test of the semester on Tuesday.

Elijah Bowen, a student in the class, noted that the instructions only said "3x5" but didn't specify "inches." So he brought in a 3-by-5-foot poster board, chock-full of information.

"When I walked into the classroom Tuesday, I saw this student in the front of the room with this large poster board, and initially thought that it was simply his approach to studying for the exam," Beatty told TODAY in an email. "I figured he was getting his last few minutes in before the exam commenced."

Beatty posted a picture of Bowen with the giant cheat sheet on Instagram, writing, "Well played and lesson learned for me."

He had to admit he was impressed, and he allowed Bowen to use it for the test.

"After approximately a minute, I came to the realization that he was planning on using this and through discussion, understood that it was 3-by-5 feet,'' Beatty said. "I looked through my syllabus for that course, as well as other various places that I indicate exam instructions, and (unfortunately) did not specify anywhere that the card had to be in inches.

"Appreciating the fact that (a) he had the intelligence to realize this shortcoming and (b) the audacity to actually put this together and bring it in, there was no reason to not allow him to use it."

"Thanks Prof. Beatty, now let's hope I passed!" Bowen wrote on Instagram in response to the photo.

Although Beatty couldn't reveal Bowen's specific grade on the test because of federal privacy laws, he said the resourceful student "did well."

We're guessing anyone filling out 15 square feet of material would have to know it well!

Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter.

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