We’ve all experienced those stomach-dropping moments in school: suddenly realising you’ve made a mistake in piece of work and it’s too late to do anything about it.
You might have written about the long term causes of the second world war when your history coursework specifically asked you to discuss the short term triggers, maybe you drew the skeletal structure for ethanol rather than ethanoic acid in the first part of the chemistry exam or perhaps you simply forgot to add ‘+c’ to that final integral on your maths homework.
A tutor will do their best to help you recognise and rectify these mistakes, but in the case that one slips past unseen – Don’t worry! Remember that you could have done a lot worse. And just to prove it, we’ve compiled some evidence of students whose answers have gone completely out of the window…
The Innocent Misinterpretation
These pre-schoolers appear to have the best of intentions but somehow manage to get the wrong end of the stick, resulting in some hilarious errors. This first student, for example, seems to believe that “continents are people too”. Warren, on the other hand, shows us his realistic – if rather depressing – outlook on later life.
The “I Have No Idea what I’m Supposed to be Writing About”
These students have devised cunning ways to hide the one fact they don’t want their teacher or examiner to know – that they simply don’t know the answer! You might get away with this one if your marker has a good sense of humour and a forgiving nature, but be warned – your drawing skills may be put to the test.
The Cheeky Monkey
These class clowns represent the unfortunate collision between being too smart for your own good, and being unable to resist temptation. Although giving an answer like this might make you chuckle in the exam hall, showing an examiner how much of a smart Alec you can be won’t help you score top marks. More importantly, you may end up spending more time thinking of a witty response than answering other questions properly – overall, this type of answer is best avoided.
And finally, our personal favourite:
The Downright Unexplainable
Are these students trying to cover up their missing knowledge? Do they really think that Harry Potter chasing the Golden Snitch could represent water, H2O? Or has exam-time delirium just got the best of them?… Who knows! All we know for sure is that this last student seems to have been watching too many Disney films. Perhaps his time would be better spent on a few more chemistry tutorials.
Have you ever written (and got away with) an answer as witty, cheeky or confusing as these?
Written by Sophie Valentine
An A-Level tutor