F in Exams: The Very Best Totally Wrong Test Answers by Richard Benson

Reviewed by Rebecca Colbeck

We have all experienced it: that sinking feeling in the bottom of your gut. The exam that you have studied for weeks for is now laid out before you. You turn it over and...draw a total blank. Its vast white spaces seem much like your mind: empty and devoid of any relevant information. Perhaps you have wasted hours studying the wrong material for the exam or worse, you forgot there was an exam at all. What to do…what to do…. An instructor once told me, “Never leave a question unanswered; better to guess and be wrong, than to doubt yourself and miss the opportunity to be right.” Bulls**t! It is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

F in Exams: The Very Best Totally Wrong Test Answers by Richard Benson proves that old Mark Twain chestnut still holds true. This little book is a collection of some of the more “creative” answers students have used in place of actual knowledge. And it’s laugh-out-loud funny! The funniest bits are the answers- that include sketches, as if drawing an illustration of their answer will somehow better explain it. It doesn’t!

Some examples:

What is a fibula? A little lie

What are the first and second laws of thermodynamics? The first rule of thermodynamics is you don’t talk about thermodynamics. The second rule of thermodynamics is you don’t talk about thermodynamics

There are 300 students in the 12th grade. Mary and Mark want to find out the 10th grade’s favourite band. Mary asks 30 people. Mark asks 150 people. Mark says, “My conclusions are more likely to be reliable that Mary’s.” Why does Mark think he is right?  Because Mark is a man.

Expand 2(x + y)

2(x + y)

2  (  x  +  y  )

2   (   x   +   y   )

2     (     x     +     y     )

Juvenile? Yep, you betcha! Funny? Absolutely. Well worth the $11 investment. It’s the perfect thing to read before you write any exam, or even while studying for one. Relax! Chill out! And stop stressing about your exams. It’s not like your professional life will be defined by one bad answer. And hey, maybe your bad answer will be immortalized in the next volume of F in Exams. F in Exams: The Very Best Totally Wrong Test Answers is available in paperback from your university bookstore and other book retailers.

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