Monday, 8 December 2008

Final exam, UNIV 1101

Please use only a green Scantron form and #2 pencil to complete this exam. Answers circled on this exam paper will not be graded.

1. A professor says an assignment is due on Tuesday at 8 p.m. Which of the following statements is true? (Circle only one.)

a. I can turn in the assignment on Wednesday at 8 a.m. without penalty.
b. I can turn in the assignment prior to Tuesday at 8 p.m. without penalty.
c. I must turn in the assignment at precisely 8 p.m. Tuesday—synchronize watches!
d. Your professor is likely to be in his/her office at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

2. Your professor, Louise Johnson, is apparently a single female. Which of the following is a proper form of address for her, absent specific instructions to the contrary? (Circle as many as appropriate.)

a. Mrs. Johnson
b. Miss Johnson
c. Dr. Johnson
d. Prof. Johnson
e. Louise
f. Hot Lips

3. Your professor has given instructions that an assignment must be turned in both in electronic form at and on paper. How should you respond? (Circle the appropriate answer.)

a. I will turn in an electronic copy at and a paper copy at the professor’s office.
b. I will make up some excuse about being “out of printing credits” and only turn in an electronic copy.
c. I will copy-and-paste my paper from a Wikipedia article on a completely unrelated topic and only turn in a paper copy.
d. I will turn in neither; instead, I will complete a Universal Grade Change form as found at “Kids Prefer Cheese,” a popular Internet weblog.

4. A professor gives an examination in which s/he requires the use of a green Scantron form and a #2 pencil. I should

a. bring some obscure type of pencil only marketed in Mongolia and a pink Scantron form purchased at a university in the Ivory Coast.
b. bring a #2 pencil and a green Scantron form to the exam.
c. complete the exam using a pen, because there’s no way the machine knows the difference between pencil and pen even though one is reflective and the other isn’t.
d. come to class late and disrupt other students by asking if anyone has a green Scantron form they’d like to give me.

Extra Credit: My class meets MWF 8-8:50 a.m. My final exam is Friday from 8–11 a.m. Finals week starts Monday. I should

a. go to class Monday and Wednesday even though there are likely other final exams scheduled in that room at the same time.
b. email the professor Thursday night letting him know that I have three final exams scheduled for Friday and I’d like to reschedule my exam for some other time.
c. not attend the final exam because my high school exempts students from taking finals if they have an “A” in the course (never mind that I currently have a 76, but don’t know that because I can’t be bothered to check the online gradebook).
d. study.
e. none of the above.


Any views expressed in these comments are solely those of their authors; they do not reflect the views of the authors of Signifying Nothing, unless attributed to one of us.

This is funny because it’s true.


I actually thought about annotating the specific responses with institutions (and, yes, multiple ones are represented here), but I thought better of it.

[Permalink] 3. Steven Taylor wrote @ Wed, 10 Dec 2008, 5:51 pm CST:

A variation on #1, which actually happened to a colleague of mine this semester:

You have an exam on Tuesday at noon and one on Friday at 10. Which of the following is true?

a. You have to take the exams at the scheduled times.

b. You can send an e-mail thirty minutes prior to your first exam informing your professor that you will be coming in on Friday to take the Tuesday exam because “you want to save gas” and “you have to come in then anyway.”

c. They are both open note exam, right?

d. Exams? What exams?


I love that one. I got a variation on that one yesterday, actually.


My intro-American finals have the civil rights and liberties section, so they include the usual spray of cases for the kids to remember. Trying to be nice, I sometimes include “joke” answers to reduce the real number of choices from 4 to 3.

But this one time I checked their wrong answers, and about 10% told me that Kramer vs Kramer was an important civil liberties case. Likewise, Kal-El v Zod was about religion. And that the thing that people with neurons call “senatorial courtesy” is actually called “the Eiger Sanction.”

Thankfully, nobody has as yet selected the answer that we choose federal judges by gladiatorial combat. But I’m confident someone will at some point.


I once had an exam question in which I asked “If the House and the Senate disagree about the content of a bill, it is referred to” and one of the answer options was “as the red-headed step-child of the legislature.” Unfortunately, one of my students was a red-headed step-child and didn’t appreciate my wit.

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