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March 25, 2012

“F in Exams”

by Anne Paddock

My daughter was in a French school from 1st – 4th grade and a bilingual French/English school from 5th – 8th grade which used an International Baccalaureate grading system of 1-7, where 1 is the lowest score, 4 is passing, and 7 is a perfect score. When she came back to the US to attend a high school school where the primary language was English,  she had to abandon the metric system of measurements, adjust to the language, and adopt a letter grading system which led to this conversation:

Daughter: I got my first English vocabulary test back.

Mom:  How did you do?

Daughter:  I got a 57.

Mom:  Wow, what happened..that’s an F.

Daughter:  What do you mean, it’s an F?

Mom: 90-100 is an A, 80-89 is a B, 70-79 is a C, 60-69 is a D, and below 60 is an F.

Daughter:  What about the E?

I couldn’t keep a straight face and started laughing, which made my daughter wonder what was so funny because she thought her question was logical:  number grades are sequential; why aren’t letter grades? She had a point but I still found her question entertaining. Kids really do say (and write) the funniest things. With that in mind, I was in Barnes and Noble one day and saw a book entitled “F in Exams” written by Richard Benson.  Published in 2011 in the United States, “F in Exams: The Very Best Totally Wrong Test Answers”‘ is absolutely hilarious.

The book is a collection of some of the funniest and creative ways kids and teens have answered test questions.  The examples are so comical, that I burst out laughing in the store and realized I had to have this book. Not that I don’t love my literature; I do but it’s a nice change to read a book that lacks a heavy theme and makes me laugh out loud once in a while. Each page is funnier than the next and even my husband cracked up laughing while reading the book to us one afternoon. For example:

Question:  Give a brief description of the meaning of the term “hard water.”

Answer:  Ice

or

Question:  What type of attractive force or bond holds the ions and chloride ions together in a crystal of sodium chloride?

Answer:  James Bond

Available at Barnes and Noble, Urban Outfitters, R. Julia Booksellers, or Amazon, “F in Exams” is the perfect book for someone who needs a respite from this crazy, serious world and have a laugh.

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