The Funnier Side of Testing? A GIVEAWAY!!

Ah, testing. IS there a funnier side of testing? I say there has to be, or we have to try to find it, because if we don’t, I think we may all poke ourselves in the eye by December. I may have written about testing a time or two before (like here, here, here and here)

Friends, I may have found the funny. It’s a new book called F in Exams. I’m sure you’ve gotten those email forwards where someone sends you a bunch of funny answers kids have written to various test questions? (And, upon receiving said email forward, I’m sure you either a) chuckled to yourself and sent it on, b) deleted it immediately because, seriously?? Email forwards are the worst, especially the ones with five or six FWDs in the subject, or c) sent a WTF email to your friend reminding them to cool it with the funny cat pics and inspirational poems.) Regardless, this is a light hearted fun book that you can turn to for a good laugh at home or in the teacher’s room over PB and Js. (Come on, you know you eat them…)

Mr. Mimi and I spent some time this weekend flipping through this book and had a few laughs. (Man, we sound LAME, but it was funny stuff!) In between shaking our head with concern about the future of our country, here were some of our faves:

I mean, can you imagine being the teacher who sees this stuff? Can you imagine the amount of cocktails needed to erase this sort of ridiculousness from your brain and regain your Teacher MoJo?

And now I shall tell you my own story of test taking ridiculousness:

I was teaching my second grade friends a unit on geography. We were totally jamming with our dry erase maps and globes – everyone was loving geography! Groups were pumped on their 3D maps of the school and neighborhood, there was dried macaroni and yarn everywhere and yes, they could name all seven continents. Boo ya! Mid-way through the unit, I decided to do a little Check In and give a quick 10 minute quiz. (Wait, what? A quick assessment designed by a teacher to inform her instruction?? Where’s the manual? Where’s the Scan Tron? Where’s the accountability?!?!) (If I could, I would join my internet BFF over at Notes From the School Psychologist and invent a sarcastic font. Please tell me you felt the sarcasm oozing from the screen? If not, this blog may not be for you…I’m just sayin’)

I collect my quizzes and take them home to grade. I have my favorite Flair pen (in a lovely shade of magenta), a glass of wine and some Post It notes. I am ready to correct, to analyze and to adjust my plans. I breeze through the first few – check, check, check, these rock! My friends rock! I rock! And then…

I get to Muppet’s paper. The first question reads: Name the four cardinal directions on the map. Mind you, we had a compass taped to the floor in the middle of our classroom, had been circling the directions on maps for weeks, had songs about north, south, east and west, you name it. I basically lobbed this one up for them to ease them into the whole quiz business. And yet…

Muppet wrote the following: Frank, Sam, Ben and Chub.


And while I was tempted to start doing shots bang my head into the wall, I laughed and simply made a note to spend some extra time with my little friend working on these directions.

I should have saved his paper and sent it in for this book, no?

Anyhow, the lovely people over at Chronicle Books have been kind enough to provide me with a copy of F in Exams to give away to one lucky reader. PLUS…they’ve also generously offered a special 25% discount (plus free shipping) on all their products just for INAFaS readers! Just click on over to the Chronicle Books website and enter the code: FINEXAMS. The discount is good for items purchased between 8/29 and 9/9, so get clicking!

To enter the giveaway, you can:
1. Leave a comment on this post, telling us your testing tales of hilarity or woe – you choose.
2. “Like” Mrs. Mimi over on Facey Face and then come back here and let me know you’ve joined our FB party in the comments.
3. All of the above.

You can enter as many times as you would like starting today. The contest will run through next Thursday, September 8th at midnight. I’ll use a rando number generator to choose and announce the winner on Friday, August 9th.

Good luck, y’all!!

P.S. – For another review of this book, head on over to“>The Nerdy Teacher tomorrow!

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  • I was doing my first spelling assessment (for the program where kids can spell words really wrong, yet still get them correct). Instead of salute, one of my lovelies wrote "slut".

    By the book, that was a correct answer.

    September 1, 2011 at 4:21 pm
  • I "liked" you on Facebook! Keep the great posts (and giveaways!) coming! 🙂

    September 1, 2011 at 5:00 pm
  • I was using a dibels assessment on a kindergarten student. In the assesment you practice, show them a picture and say what sound does ____ start with? They are supposed to identify the intial sound. So I ask my friend what sound does donkey start with?

    My friend sat up straight with a big smile on his face and says to me…..HEE HAW HEE HAW HEE HAW.

    September 2, 2011 at 12:24 am
  • Since I teach K I have to actually try to keep a straight face in the moment that I am giving the test- hard thing. Last year I had to give a test where I would say, "Ok _____ say bum… change the /m/ to a /g/" Most kids would just say bum and not even think about it but many would stop and look at me like… is it okay to laugh at this because you just told me to say bum!

    September 2, 2011 at 12:24 am
  • I don't have any funny testing stories that I can think of right now, so I'll share a moderate hehe: no matter how many times I tell the little darlings that it won't earn them any points, I still get a striking number of test answers of "I love you Mrs. F"

    September 2, 2011 at 12:24 am
  • I already like you on Facey Face. Does that count?

    September 2, 2011 at 12:24 am
  • I've had lots of spelling errors. Some much worse than others. One common one we see in second grade is instead of writing come, they often spell it cum.

    Another one I've seen is deck spelled as dic

    Oh, the second grade spelling!!!

    September 2, 2011 at 12:24 am
  • This book sounds AWESOME!!!

    Being with kdg babies for the past decade doesn't leave me with many stories of written answers that are this funny, but believe me, I could show you some pictures!!

    September 2, 2011 at 12:24 am
  • I've had you "liked" on FB for a very long time. 🙂

    Tales of testing woe. Well, the best funny answer I know of was provided by a classmate of mine when I was in high school. This was in the class of the person who would later become my teaching mentor. It was a question on a test relating to the rise of Communism following WWII.

    "John Smith" apparently couldn't remember one of the answers, so he made it up.

    As Mr. P is going over the answers, he says "Number 12. The leader of the Chinese Communist Party was Mao Tse Tung, or Mao Zedong. The answer is NOT 'Sum Dum Guy,' Mr. Smith."

    September 2, 2011 at 12:24 am
  • I like you on Facebook 🙂 No testing stories stick out right now, I think because my brain is so overwhelmed with new math/reading texts and open house info!

    September 2, 2011 at 2:31 am
  • Did you know "Harry Tubman" was one of our presidents? AND did you know that Dr. King freed the slaves?

    Those are the two that are still stuck in my memory bank.

    September 2, 2011 at 2:31 am
  • After learning about how to help our environment, I had my second graders write a quick paragraph about what they had learned. Instead of writing "You shouldn't smoke," one girl wrote, "You shouldn't smoke pot. It's bad for the air." This was coming from a seven year old! Needless to say I gave the paper to our social worker.

    September 2, 2011 at 3:34 pm
  • I don't do a lot of formal written testing– too many times monitoring SATs where students cry and say "I'm too stupid to do this" put a damper on such things–but I might have to start just to see if I can get some of these responses back.

    September 2, 2011 at 3:34 pm
  • On a science quiz I asked my fourth graders to write two facts about each planet. The best answer was for Uranus:
    "Gets teased because of its name."

    He got bonus points for that one!

    September 2, 2011 at 3:34 pm
  • Last year, I had one period a day correcting assigments in our school's distance learning centre. I was correcting one student's (obviously rushed) stack of Food Studies assignments when I came across
    this gem. Keep in mind that this is a 30 Level class, or Grade 12.

    (If the link doesn't work, it reads as follows:
    Q: A cream pudding which has been refrigerated for a few days starts to turn watery. What is the process responsible for this?
    A: Not eating it right away)

    September 2, 2011 at 3:34 pm
  • I always enjoy grading spelling test in which students misspell their spelling words into inappropriate words… they are so innocent, yet oh so funny!

    September 2, 2011 at 3:34 pm
  • Heh…"Chub". Love it! I have "liked" you on FB- is that now an accepted verb? 🙂 That book looks great. Please pick me!

    September 3, 2011 at 2:42 am
  • I like you on Facebook! I can always count on your blog for a good laugh 🙂

    September 3, 2011 at 2:42 am
  • I have had a few, including the infamous "Here it is" when asked to find x. (My reply: not only are you incorrect, but you're unoriginal!)

    This book looks like it's going to make it on my gift list for a couple of my teacher friends!

    And I liked you on FB quite a while back! 🙂

    September 5, 2011 at 3:28 pm
  • A few years ago I was in the last year of my Master's degree, had an almost 2 year old, and my husband worked nights and most weekends. I was teaching first grade (and still am 🙂 ) and drank a lot of coffee to get through the year! So…I was giving a health test and the question said, "Billy is falling asleep at school. He has a hard time paying attention. What should Billy do?" I was looking for something along the lines of Billy should go to bed earlier but one student wrote, "Billy should drink a cafe mocha!"

    September 5, 2011 at 3:28 pm
  • I liked you on FB a while ago.
    Does that count?

    I'm a kinder teacher so I don't have alot of funny stories about testing. But I do have one about practicing test skills. For transitions and fillers, I'd often put up the CVC word dice on our SMARTboard to give my friends some practice time for the DIBELS. They were doing wonderfully, taking turns rolling the dice and sounding or B-A-P, T-E-M, and the like. Imagine my shock and surprise to see F- U- (you know the rest).

    I didn't know I could move that fast. Thankfully, it was fast enough.

    September 7, 2011 at 2:53 am
  • When directed to print their first and last names one student wrote: First and Last Name
    Keep making us laugh! We need it.

    September 7, 2011 at 2:53 am
  • Love your blog, and "like" you on Facey Face. Yay!

    September 7, 2011 at 2:53 am
  • You are def liked on Facey Face!

    September 7, 2011 at 2:53 am
  • You are liked on Facey Face!

    September 7, 2011 at 2:53 am
  • You are def liked on Facey Face!

    September 7, 2011 at 2:53 am

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