First, let me say straight off that I don’t generally condone blatant sarcasm, especially when uttered by a young adult. And secondly, I also don’t really find it appropriate to celebrate bad test scores. Combine a sarcastic young adult with bad test scores, well, normally, I’d be off on a tirade about what’s wrong with youth today, how can we laugh at sub-par work, don’t kids know they need to take school more seriously?
Except the other night, skimming through my son’s copy of “F in Exams: The Very Best Totally Wrong Test Answers” by Richard Benson, I found myself barely able to contain my laughter - this compilation of obviously wrong answers to test questions is downright hysterical. Example: “What happens during puberty? Answer: He says goodbye to his childhood and enters adultery.”
The book covers, among other subjects, Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, Math and English. Based on the subject matter, I assume these exams were administered to college-aged students - but the creatively inaccurate answers are perfect for middle school and high school aged kids. What child, when in the throes of endless homework, mid-term exams or a final essay wouldn’t appreciate: “Upon ascending the throne the first thing queen Elizabeth did was to…? Answer: Sit down.”
But don’t think “F in Exams” is meant solely for a younger audience. Needless to say I couldn’t put it down and I truly believe this is the perfect book to share with your teenager together. Now’s your chance to enjoy a few, fleeting moments with your child – surprise them with the book, open to page 120, and read: “What was Abraham Lincoln’s greatest achievement? Answer: Having his face craved in rock!” I can almost guarantee your normally ‘too cool for you’ son or daughter will sit down and want to read more!
And besides, if they are struggling with studying for a test, at least they will know others have struggled mightily before them! (And hopefully it will make them want to study just a wee bit harder lest their answers one day end up in a book.)
Title: F in Exams: The Very Best Totally Wrong Answers
Author: Richard Benson
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Ages: 7th Grade and Up
Reviewed by Jenny Tananbaum, NJ Kids Staff