Exam bloopers 2015

vernon

Harder than Ronnie Pickering
Location
Meanwood, Leeds
It's mock GCSE exam time and although I no longer have to indulge in marking exam papers one of my colleagues shared a few howlers with me.

The exam question was something like, "Describe how animals adapt to living in hot dry desert conditions"

Candidate 1. "Animals adapt to hot dry conditions by becoming shorter then they are further from the sun"

Candidate 2. "Camels survive in hot dry conditions by storing water in tanks in their humps"

Candidate 3. "Polar bears adapt (...)" I was laughing too much to listen to the rest of the answer.

The worrying this is that these answers were delivered by a top set with predicted grades of B and above.
 

Rezillo

TwoSheds
Location
Suffolk
The candidates appear to have a fairly sophisticated sense of humour, apart from perhaps no. 2 who may just be a bit dim.
 
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vernon

vernon

Harder than Ronnie Pickering
Location
Meanwood, Leeds
The candidates appear to have a fairly sophisticated sense of humour, apart from perhaps no. 2 who may just be a bit dim.
Sadly their overall scores suggest a lack of knowledge rather than a presence of humour.

There will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth when the scores are divulged and that's just from the headmaster.
 
Sadly their overall scores suggest a lack of knowledge rather than a presence of humour.

There will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth when the scores are divulged and that's just from the headmaster.
To slightly defend no 2, it could easily have been a typo. I could imagine writing that by mistake as it were.

One I have heard of is someone describing Mendelian inheritance in terms of "breeding red & green pigs, but not convinced of the truth of this". Slight mis-hearing in class, then quite rightly doubted the notion of green pigs.
 
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vernon

vernon

Harder than Ronnie Pickering
Location
Meanwood, Leeds
Slight mis-hearing in class, then quite rightly doubted the notion of green pigs.
Mis-hearing might account for my wife's all time favourite response to a CSE Mode Three European Studies exam that she marked in the early eighties.

Q. Who was Joan of Arc?

A. She lead the animals in two by two. She was a very kind man.
 

Julia9054

Guru
Location
Knaresborough
It's mock GCSE exam time and although I no longer have to indulge in marking exam papers one of my colleagues shared a few howlers with me.

The exam question was something like, "Describe how animals adapt to living in hot dry desert conditions"

Candidate 1. "Animals adapt to hot dry conditions by becoming shorter then they are further from the sun"

Candidate 2. "Camels survive in hot dry conditions by storing water in tanks in their humps"

Candidate 3. "Polar bears adapt (...)" I was laughing too much to listen to the rest of the answer.

The worrying this is that these answers were delivered by a top set with predicted grades of B and above.
Have just been marking that exact same exam paper. Sadly, none of my answers were that amusing. Did get a couple about polar bears though!
 

Rezillo

TwoSheds
Location
Suffolk
Sadly their overall scores suggest a lack of knowledge rather than a presence of humour.

There will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth when the scores are divulged and that's just from the headmaster.
I would suggest, though, that candidates 1 and probably 3 aren't taking their mocks too seriously. We did much the same 45 years ago but usually reserved it for teachers we wanted to wind up. It has made me suspicious of howlers ever since as to who is really being made fun of. I blame reading '1066 and all that'.
 
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vernon

vernon

Harder than Ronnie Pickering
Location
Meanwood, Leeds
I would suggest, though, that candidates 1 and probably 3 aren't taking their mocks too seriously. We did much the same 45 years ago but usually reserved it for teachers we wanted to wind up. It has made me suspicious of howlers ever since as to who was really being made fun of. I blame reading '1066 and all that'.
I would suggest that you are wrong. I know the candidates. You don't. They want good grades but not for humour content.
 

Fnaar

Smutmaster General
Location
Thumberland
I used to mark exam essays from students learning English as a Foreign Language. Best blooper I can remember is a student trying trying to write... "We had some interesting, (fun) funny times" ... her version (she was Italian) was" We had some interesting fanny times"


Fannily enough, about 6 months later, I had some 'interesting fun' times with a friend of hers...
 
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vernon

vernon

Harder than Ronnie Pickering
Location
Meanwood, Leeds
At times the ignorance of pupils leaves me lost for words. A paraphrased true story involving a colleague and a student who got a grade B at A-level Biology along with a brace of Bs in Sociology and History.

A-level biology student: What's that?

Teacher: It's an onion.

Student: No it's not.

Teacher: It is.

Student: What's it for?

Teacher: It's a vegetable. We eat them.

Student: Ugh! I never eat things that's been alive!

Teacher: Just about everything that you eat has been alive.

Student: I don't believe you.

Ensuing discussion about a list of foodstuff coming from living things takes place before the teacher delivers a coup de grace.

Teacher: I can only think of salt as something that you eat that hasn't been alive.

Student: What about sugar?

Teacher: That's come from a living thing. Sugar cane.

Student: No it doesn't.

Teacher: Yes it does!

Student: Are you telling me that sugar is made from those red and white striped walking sticks that you hang on Christmas trees??!!

The sixth former in question had never been to a supermarket, had never seen her mother cook - her mother didn't cook and had never knowingly eaten anything other than processed food.

Sometimes, the ignorance/lack of knowledge of intelligent pupils renders you speechless.
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
The sixth former in question had never been to a supermarket, had never seen her mother cook - her mother didn't cook and had never knowingly eaten anything other than processed food.

Sometimes, the ignorance/lack of knowledge of intelligent pupils renders you speechless.
It is very sad, isn't it!

I know someone who used to be a social worker in Bradford. She was working with a group of teenage single mothers and discovered that none of them had ever been to the seaside so she decided to arrange a trip to the east coast for them. As the train got into open country some of the young women got very excited when they spotted sheep, cows and horses - they had never seen farm animals in 'real life' before.

Not only had many of them never been to the coast, many had never even been outside Bradford ...
 
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