The Cheesecake Challenge

The aim of the Cheesecake Challenge is to legitimately work the word "cheesecake" into as many of your exam scripts as possible.

Major public exams, such as GCSEs or A-Levels or SATs, are always such a drag. Boring, lengthy, stressful. How can you relieve your tensions during the exam without bothering your fellow examinees? Simple. Amuse yourself, by taking up the Cheesecake Challenge.

Obviously, it's easier in some exam subjects than others. History? "Let them eat cheesecake." Mathematics? "Consider a circular object (such as a cheesecake)." Biology? "Sugary foods, such as cheesecakes..." You get the idea. Be creative and there's no limit to how many scripts you can score on. In Philosophy you might even be able to get away with simply writing the word "Cheesecake" as your entire answer, depending on how philosophically-minded the examiner is. "'Cheesecake'... that's deep." For art? Consider attempting to pass off a single genuine cheesecake as one of your pieces of work.

A few extra rules: just writing the word "cheesecake" in some unnoticed corner of your script or on the back page doesn't count. "Cheesecake" must form part of your answer to a question. Also, only do it once per exam. Any more than once, and the examiner might catch on and take off marks. Or you might end up devoting more time to the Challenge than actually answering questions, thereby losing more marks.

Words other than "cheesecake" are perfectly acceptable provided that they are exotic enough to present a challenge. Other suggestions include "jellyfish", "turquoise" and "lugubrious".


The following is an account of real events, written by my brother, Gareth.

After cruising my brother's website, I realised that all of the games on there were comedy genius. After explaining the Titanic drinking game (watch Titanic - take a drink every time the boat sinks) and the drinking game from a StickManStickMan cartoon (If someone says a word with a 'd' in it, take a drink; if someone else takes a drink, take a drink; if you take a drink, you take a drink) I decided I wanted to try some of them. So, with glee I selected the Cheesecake Challenge - legitimately fitting the word "cheesecake" into a test or exam paper of some sort. Read the section on the website for full details.

Anyway, I managed to enlist my friends Mark, Baxter, Jenko and Hana into the challenge and the target was selected as an RE test that Tuesday presided over by Ms. Dyce, not just our RE teacher but also an assistant head at our school. Now, they seemed to misunderstand the challenge somehow - the idea is to fit it in once to the point of being unnoticeable. But they decided to take the ball and run with it, with mixed success rates.

  • Hana put it in once, then wussed out and crossed it out to avoid any trouble.
  • I put it in once, as requested, as did Jenko.
  • Mark fitted it in twice, as well as for some reason the name of our Maths teacher and the name of a certain Nazi dictator.
  • Baxter managed an admittedly quite impressive total of... eight times.

That's the word "cheesecake", fitted eight times into a handwritten test paper that barely ran over one page of A4 in any case.

We all felt very pleased with ourselves and boy did we laugh about it after the lesson. But the following afternoon in Chemistry a note arrived for Baxter:

Could James Baxter come to Ms. Dyce's office by Room 12 immediately. Baxter did as he was told, and me and Mark panicked for a while. Edward, who sat nearby, came up with a charming song entitled "You're screwed" which basically echoed our thoughts. When Baxter arrived back, I grabbed his arm and asked if this was about the challenge. With the wry grin of a man just verbally emasculated, Baxter nodded. At this point, Mark's head exploded, figuratively speaking, and I literally banged my head on the desk.

The lesson wore on and our Chemistry teacher, Mr. Adshead, was about to give us an impressive pyrotechnic display, when another note arrived.

Could Mark Holmes come to Ms. Dyce's office by Room 12 immediately. Baxter laughed to himself, the situation finally dawned on Jenko, and Mark ran out of comprehensible expletives on his way out of the classroom. At this point Mr. Adshead had clicked onto the fact that something was going on, so I had to explain to my peers what the challenge was. Mr. Adshead found it very amusing to say the least.

Finally, Ms. Dyce made a personal appearance to drag Jenko and I out of the classroom. Despite Jenko's unintentionally comical professions that he was trying to use "cheesecake" as a metaphor, the detention date, during which we were to redo the test, was set for that Thursday.

Now by this point, some of the word had spread amongst teachers. Even Mr. Jefferson, a stern teacher if ever there was one, sauntered into my detention and asked, "Are you one of the cheesecake men?"

Mr. Colquitt, our head of year and the equivalent of a court jester, pretty much brought it up basically every time I saw him, clearly relishing it.

And with that, I decided to capitalise on my fame.

"Baxter," I said on Friday that week, "you owe me 35p".

"Why?" he inquired.

"Because that's one quarter of the cost of one of Asda's own, big, chocolate cheesecakes that's waiting for Ms. Dyce in reception right now..."

"Keep the change!" he spluttered, placing a 50p coin into my hand.

P.S. It is worth mentioning that I am now not only a legend among the teachers, but today in History I heard someone I've never even talked to make a reference to my Cheesecake based exploits, and Mr. Colquitt still offers me a slice of cheesecake every time I see him.

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