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      Volume 10 |Issue 19 | May 20, 2011 |


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The Creative Examinee


If there is anything worse than having to sit for a board exam it is being the parent of a child who is sitting for a board exam. Most of us can remember (some of us rather dimly) the jitters before the aforementioned ordeal, the blankness in the head, the sweaty palms and awful stomach cramps upon realising the futility of all that last-second cramming and the downside of frequent distractions created by countless episodes of inane soaps and sitcoms. But knowing that your little bundle of joy and the primary excuse for being a total nervous wreck most of the time, is going through the same agony is so much more agonising.

If you are one of those fanatical parents who just refuse to accept that your child may get a grade B in at least one subject then there is quite a lot of stress on the way. Many parents get so involved in their children's study that they actually begin to enjoy themselves and secretly work out question papers when their offspring is sleeping or away for coaching. They revel in their knowledge of the brain synapses and probability theories and expect their wards to be even better so that they can continue the tradition of superiority over lesser mortals who are quite happy in their Bs and Cs.

As for the latter category of parents, that is the worriers with relatively low expectations, they suffer and strain, brood and boil in empathy with their children. It is at these times that parents need to be distracted from the corroding anxiety of 'oh how is the poor mite doing' syndrome.

One of the best ways of doing this is to go to websites that post the true but outrageous answers to exam questions by students who display quite a lot of creativity, not to mention gumption, while taking tests they have obviously not studied for.

In subjects like history or religious studies, the answers given by many examinees are written with such passion that one is impressed (though with considerable shuddering) at the sense of conviction and confidence, however misplaced, they have:

The Bible is full of interesting caricatures. In the first book of the bible, Guinessis, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. One of their children, Cain, asked "am I my brother's son?"

Solomon had three hundred wives and seven hundred porcupines.

The Greeks also had myths. A myth is a female moth.

Eventually, the Romans conquered the Greeks. History calls people Romans because they never stayed in one place for very long.

Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March murdered him because they thought he was going to be made king. Dying, he gasped out: "Tee hee, Brutus."

Joan of Arc was burn to a steak and was canonised by Bernard Shaw. Finally, Magna Carta provided that no man should be hanged twice for the same offence.

Sometimes as in Math exams when there just is no way you can concoct bizarre, convoluted answers to confuse the examiner, the best strategy examinees prefer to adopt is to display their drawing skills. In a question where the length of two sides of a triangle are given and ask's for the value of 'x' which is the third side an examinee drew an arrow towards the 'x' in the diagram and simply said: 'Here it is!' Similarly in a biology question regarding mutant genes the answer came in the form of a cute cartoon of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle in action.

Multiple choice questions are always the most fun and some examinees like to keep it that way even if they don't know what on earth they are required to write. In a question that asks to list five ways plants interact with each other the witty examinee happily wrote: they don't.

One can spend hours just laughing till one's stomach starts aching at the humour and creativity of children tackling brutal exam papers. It's all very nice and funny - until you wonder if your own child is drawing a battered armadillo on her Physics paper when asked for the number of seconds within which the creature will land on the ground after jumping straight into the air with an initial velocity of 18ft per second. Talk about imagination.


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