They Were Just Testing You

| Limerick, Ireland | Learning | April 9, 2017

(One of the lecturers at our university likes to give two of his classes their midterms at the same time, in the same room. He has a system where there are ten different variations of the exam paper for each class, and we take them based on our student ID numbers. All of the papers have been handed out, and we’re about to start the exam when a student puts their hand up.)

Lecturer: “Yes?”

Student #1: “Sir, the paper says there are twenty questions on it, but there are only fourteen.”

Lecturer: “Ah, well have you tried looking at the other side of the sheet?”

Student #1: *sounding confused* “Yes? There’s nothing there.”

Lecturer: *suddenly looking worried and confused as well* “Wait… What?”

(At this point, about half the class checks their own papers and finds that every version of the exam is missing the other side. The lecturer checks some things and is visibly distressed at the situation. Eventually he figures out what went wrong – apparently, he forgot to tell the secretary that made the copies that he wanted both sides, and then didn’t think to check them until it was too late. The test is called off, and the marks we would have got from the exam are added to the marks we could get from our practical work in the labs. Before we go, he lets us know how it could have been worse.)

Lecturer: “At least we caught this early on. Last year, one kid took the wrong exam. Not the wrong numbered version, he took the exam for the class he wasn’t taking. I’m not sure how he didn’t notice.”

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