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Quote for the Day


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Exam Stories

Philosophy professor at the front of the classroom with the following 
final exam question written on the blackboard:  "How do you plan to make a 
living with a philosophy degree?"

The story around Harvard was that there was a graduate Math course whose final always consisted of "Make up an appropriate final exam for this course and answer it. You will be graded on both parts." Then one year, a student answered as follows: The exam is: "Make up an appropriate final exam for this course and answer it. You will be graded on both parts." The answer is: "Make up an appropriate final exam for this course and answer it. You will be graded on both parts." His reasoning was that since that was the best exam the professor could write, it certainly ought to be good enough for a student. He got an A. The professor specifically prohibited that answer from then on.
While taking a psychology course in college, the teacher had a habit of putting the following questions on an exam: Ask yourself a question and answer it. Being a math major, I asked myself "Solve the following differential equation [* equation deleted *] under the following conditions [* conditions deleted *]" and proceeded to solve it. The next day, I stopped by the math office to see one of the professors. He told me, "Go away, I'm stuck grading your stupid psych exam" I got full credit, and the psych professor never put that question on an exam again.
I've no idea how true it is or if it's an Urban Legend. This guy was taking an exam in Trinity College here (old college, about 400 years old). In the middle of the exam, he called a proctor and requested his pint of ale. The proctor, of course, just looked at him. Our hero then produced a copy of the *old* regulations which stipulated that a gentleman was entitled to this type of refreshment. The proctor then reported to the college officials, who verified the existence of just such a regulation. The student was granted his one pint of beer ten minutes before the end of the exam, and kicked back and drank his beer while the other examinees frantically scrambled to finish the exam. The college authorities, fearing more expensive and disruptive episodes in the future, checked the college regulations. They then provided our man with his glass of ale, but promptly fined him for not wearing his ceremonial sword and shield to the examination.
A "small college story" going around here (at least three people have told me this story, each one claiming it was them): A student, working on a rather long math homework assignment, discovered that one problem fairly easy to solve, except that it required about three pages of fairly simple proof after the one or two difficult steps. It being rather late at night, he did the difficult steps and left the proof undone, along with a note: This proof is left as an exercise for the grader. Next week, he received his homework back. He noted that several extra pages had been stapled to the back of it. Examining the extra pages, he was surprised to find the entire proof written down step-by step. At the end, in red pen, the grader had written: I made a minor math error. Minus 2.

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