Teachers and graders take to Reddit to share students’ incorrect, yet best, exam paper answers

Artistic sketches, anecdotes, and recipes seem to have replaced traditional exam answers

Aftab Ali
Student Editor
Wednesday 28 October 2015 14:22

Most of us will have been there at some point: sitting in an exam hall, staring blankly at a paper, slowly breaking into a sweat as the mind races, trying desperately to answer that one tricky question before time runs out.

Where the usual response would be to try your best to answer as quickly and as correctly as possible, it seems some students don’t follow this usual rule if one Reddit thread is anything to go by.

Teachers have been taking to the online bulletin board community to share their experiences of the best responses they’ve seen from pupils when they’ve not known the answers to problems, with students, instead, sharing recipes or sketching out their ‘failed’ life predictions instead.

With hundreds of academics posting their experiences, these are the ten best incorrect, yet genius, student exam responses we could find:

1) The BBQ sauce recipe

I graded AP exams this summer. For one essay question, I got an awesome barbecue sauce recipe from a kid in Tennessee. I’ve made it a couple times - and it's excellent:

  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tsp paprika (use more if you like)
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 6 tbsp ketchup
  • Salt/pepper
  1. Sweat onion on med-high heat
  2. Stir in vinegar, paprika, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce
  3. Add ketchup, and cook down to desired consistency

2) Male infertility

We had a test which involved a sex education part. The question was: ‘What are two causes of infertility in males?’

His response: ‘Lack of penis’.

He tried to argue that he wasn’t wrong and somehow got a mark.

3) The artist of broken dreams

I was marking a final year engineering test and, instead of answering the last question, some guy drew an incredibly detailed portrait of himself serving fries at a McDonald’s with the caption: ‘Me if I fail this’.

I still had to fail him but I did feel bad about it.

4) The history buff

The student knew the answer, just didn't know how to spell it.

I taught history and showed a video clip of Ronald Reagan’s famous ‘Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall’. In a later quiz, I asked students to write down this quote with my favorite response starting: “Mr. Gooberchuck…”

5) The creative blagger

I had a student who would write things like: “I don't remember this, I’m sorry, but I drew you a picture of a dog instead.” Or: “please don’t think that my wrong answer on this question means you’re a bad teacher, you’re awesome but I didn’t study.”

6) Plural puzzle

I had one student who couldn’t quite get the hang of changing singular nouns into plurals.

‘I have a pen’ got him full marks on the unit test. ‘I have two penis’ did not.

7) The quiz show fan

Q: Who was Genghis Khan?

A: The host of ‘The Price is Right’ from 300 AD to 350 AD

8) The equestrian-to-be

I was student teaching first grade and was quizzing a student on sight words. The word was ‘horse’ and he said: “Whores.”

9) Driving into marriage

Question: ‘What are your opinions on sex before marriage?’ (16 marks)

Answer: ‘I wouldn’t buy a car before test driving it’.

10) The botanist

He had to draw a stem and leaf diagram in a maths test.

He literally drew a stem and a leaf.

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