Failed in Style – Best Exam Clangers

Exams can be a real pain for teachers and students alike, but they sometimes do provide a bit of light relief and of course they don’t always produce the answers you were expecting – if you have ever had to set an exam you will know how difficult it is to set questions which are clear and unambiguous.

Take the case of the class sitting their practical cookery exam who opened their papers to find the instructions 1) Heat 3 tbs of oil in a pan; 2) Add chicken and seal. After a pause of a few seconds a hand went up at the back of the room and………..yes you’ve guessed the rest.

 I remember also the story – perhaps apocryphal – of the student who, when faced in a philosophy exam with the question “Is this question a question?” answered in a completely logical manner with “Is this answer an answer?” It is often when students have no idea of the answer however that they are at their most inventive. Here is another of my favourites from real exam papers. I think there should be some kind of honorary award for the most imaginative answer even if the candidate has no idea about the subject being examined.



4 thoughts on “Failed in Style – Best Exam Clangers

  1. Another one similar to the philosophy question Bill, and I’m not too sure whether it actually occurred or whether it is just a myth.

    Pupil attempts the following question in a philosophy exam:

    Question: What is bravery?

    Answer: This is…

    He walked out of the exam

  2. Lots of bad translations especially now pupils have a go with translation sites, my favourite is

    “le weekend je vais au match de gendarmeries à cheval”

    Eventually worked out this was

    “at the weekend I go to Rangers games”

  3. As in “Texas Rangers” I suppose Lynne. Having to do English – French translation was always the opportunity to be inventive of course and I distinctly remember in first or second year at school having our own “pidgin French” words and phrases which made us think we were very smart!

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