A Questionable Approach To Questions

, , , , | Learning | June 1, 2018

(I have ADHD, which leads to some interesting test-taking strategies. I’m outside the exam room, talking to some friends before the exam.)

Friend #1: “I’m just worried about running out of time!”

Me: “I always finish half an hour early.”

Friend #1: “What the hell? How do you do that?”

Me: “If the questions are too long I won’t process any of it, so I just guess and move on. It’s better to just guess and move on than waste ten minutes trying to understand a single question.”

([Friend #1] gets a shocked look on their face as [Friend #2] comes along.)

Friend #1: *to [Friend #2]* “Don’t let [My Name] tell you any of his testing strategies; they’ll just stress you out!

Keeping Score Of The Cheating

, , , , | Learning | April 2, 2018

(I am a high school sophomore, and this is my first year in a public school. I had been homeschooled previously. We are taking a very important vocabulary test, and I am writing my answers on a separate piece of paper so that I can determine my score after the test, as our teachers are slow at grading. I am very good at vocabulary, so I go to turn in my paper first, and I am holding the other paper. I don’t realize, but it probably looks like I have been cheating.)

Boy: “Is [My Name] cheating?”

(Everyone looks up. I am confused, until my friend facepalms and gestures to the paper.)

Me: “What? Oh! No, no, this is, this isn’t…”

(The teacher takes the paper to look at what is on it. As I look at it again, I realize it definitely looks like a cheat sheet. I think I am in deep trouble, but…)

Teacher: “Calm down, everyone; it’s just a story.” *looks at me seriously* “How many times do I have to tell you to save the fanfiction for your own time?”

Me: *stunned* “Uh… A lot. Sorry.”

(She gives me the paper back. For fifteen minutes, I am puzzled, as there is absolutely no way this “cheat sheet” can be mistaken as a story. After class, the teacher calls me over and asks what I was really doing; I explain it to her.)

Me: “Thanks, by the way… Why’d you do that?”

Teacher: “Oh, I knew you wouldn’t need to cheat on this. Even if you did, I feel like you’re too smart to just let yourself be caught like that.”

Keeping Abnormal Psychology At Arm’s Length

, , , , , , , | Learning | March 14, 2018

(My teacher shares this story that took place several years ago, when she was beginning to teach. Although she gives out study guides, she’s always been very strict with tests, and this was one of the reasons of why.)

Teacher: *as she’s passing out tests* “Take everything off of your desks besides your writing utensil. If you haven’t already, turn your phones off. Before I give you a test, you have to show me your hands. I already went over this last class, but I will reiterate: If I see you on your phone, you will get an automatic fail. If I see your book open or out, you will get an automatic fail. If I see anything written on your hands, you will fail. If I suspect you of cheating at all, I will rip up your test and fail you. Is that clear? Are there any questions before you begin?”

(A student sitting in the front row, practically beside her, raises his hand.)

Teacher: “Yes?”

Student: *somewhat smugly* “You mentioned if they wrote on their hands. You forgot about if they wrote the answer on their arms.”

(She thinks the statement is a bit odd, as she will be watching her students to make sure they aren’t cheating, anyway, but thinks that’s fair to include.)

Teacher: “Hmm, good point. I guess I hadn’t thought about that. Would you care to roll up your sleeves for me to check?”

Student: *goes white and withdraws hand* “Uh… No?”

Teacher: “…”

(Turns out, the same student had written answers all over his arms. How he thought he would get away with that during the test, let alone pointing it out to the teacher at all, was baffling. As a Psychology professor, however, she found it oddly fitting or at least incredibly interesting that this flawed logic was present in her class of Abnormal Psychology. The student still failed, obviously.)

You’re Not Born To Do This

, , , , | Learning | March 10, 2018

I have just turned 15, which is the minimum age to get your driver’s permit in my state. However, I need to take a written test based on the driver’s manual, and I’m a bit stressed out by this. My grandmother drives me to the DMV and tries to calm me down while I fill out the initial paperwork and turn over my birth certificate to the staff. The staff give me the rundown of all the rules, and then direct me to the computer with the test all set up.

The first thing the test asks for is confirmation of my personal information. No problem; I can do that. I put in my full name and my date of birth. I click the button to proceed, but get bounced back to the information page. Confused, I re-enter the information and try again. Again, I click the button to move on to the actual test, but again, it doesn’t let me. A window pops up saying that I have failed the test and need to speak with DMV staff.

I head back to the main desk, trying not to freak out. The woman behind the desk is just as confused as I am, since the computer is saying that I have failed, but is also saying that I didn’t answer any of the content questions. As we start to go through the forms I filled out to make sure information isn’t missing, I discover that I have written down the wrong date for my birthday; the month and year are correct, but I had, for some reason, written down the wrong day. I get some weird looks for that, but my birth certificate confirms the right day, and I am able to take (and pass) the test.

I was the only one in my group of friends to fail the test for getting my birthday wrong.

Don’t Go Seeking Answers You Won’t Like

, , , , | Learning | February 14, 2018

(This is a story that my sociology teacher likes to tell us before we take a test, to help us shake off some stress. We have yet to see proof of whether it’s true or not, but, given some of the idiocy I’ve seen in this school, I wouldn’t be surprised. The students are taking a multiple-choice test, with a sheet in front of them displaying the questions and the answers they can pick from. After the time limit is up, each student swaps tests with someone on the other side of the room and marks the other person’s paper with a green pen as the teacher reads out the right answers. Just after marking, one student lets this gem slip:)

Student: “Hey! The answers were the same letters that were in bold on the sheet!”

(The class goes silent and looks at each other in confusion, then at the sheets they used. None of them have anything highlighted in bold.)

Teacher: “What?”

Student: “Look! On my sheet, question one has A in bold! A was the right answer!”

(The teacher walks over and determines that the student somehow got her hands on the answer key. Normally, the student would have to retake the test another time, and the teacher would mark it before the next lesson so they couldn’t have gotten a result through using the key. However, when getting the student’s test to throw it away, the teacher notices something odd with her grade. To pass and not have to retake it after school, students must get at least 23 out of 30 correct. The student in question got 16, so she would have failed, anyway. The teacher comments on this.)

Teacher: “You had the answer key. Why is your result so low?”

Student: “I just thought the printer had gone funny!”

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