The Preemptive Strike
A calculated move to pick off low-hanging fruit early in a given class period, with the hope that you'll be able to avoid being called on later to talk about something you haven't read. Caution: If done too well, can sometimes backfire; the professor may like your answer so much that he drags you into being his Socratic punching bag for much longer than you'd intended. See Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Falling on the Grenade
If your professor has a semi-predictable pattern of calling on people, and you have reason to believe that one or several of your friends are a) unprepared, and b) about to be called on, the Christ-like thing to do is to raise your own hand in order to draw the professor's attention away from other students. Also known as The Rodeo Clown.
The Mercy Kill
Sometimes called the Ben Stein, this strategy is best employed to put an end to the deafening silence following a question that is either too hard or too easy, or to silence a professor that has said "Anyone?" more than four times in a row.
For gunners finding it particularly hard to get called on, feigned distraction and boredom can often provoke the desired response. Pretend to be asleep, or obsessed with your navel, or masturbating in class, and more often than not the professor will call on you, thinking you easy prey. Make him regret it.
Playing Foreign LLM
If you happen to be unprepared, disaster can often be avoided by answering in a language cooler than English, like Korean, or Portuguese, or Canadian.
The Admiral Stockdale
Most professors will simply move on to the next student if faced with an answer like "POTATOES! I LIKE POTATOES! WHERE'S MY PONY? MOM? ARE YOU THERE? POTATOES!" Also known locally as "The Shawn Rutherford?"
I don't know Marvin. I've never met Marvin. And I'm pretty sure that he doesn't even go by the name Marvin. But I have been told that once, when called on by name, while sitting in his assigned seat, Marvin successfully pretended that he was not, in fact, in class, and that a slightly confuzled professor was then forced to move on to the next student. For that, Marvin, we salute you.
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Haven't Read
Answer the prof's question with another question. If he fires back with yet another question, it's on. If not, he loses, and you should tell him so.
The Paige Pipkin
Really just a stalling tactic, forces the professor to clarify as many parts of the question as possible while you frantically flip pages in your case book: "Could you repeat the question?" "Could you say that one word again?" "Could you give me the language of origin?" "Could you use it in a sentence?" "Could you use it in a sentence other than the original question?"
Scorched Earth Policy
If the professor is going to take you down, then you're going to take him down with you. Pull in an unrelated law review article. Cite Blackstone. Bring up the war in Iraq. Or abortion. Calling your professor a racist is also good for this, though it often takes a little bit of creativity in some of the drier classes. Trust your instincts.
Scorched Nuts Policy
1. Spill coffee. 2. On crotch. 3. Run away.