English Teachers Share The Most Misleading Questions They've Ever Seen On An Exam

When students are asked which testing method they prefer, many say multiple choice. Typically, this is because it's seemingly easy to do process of elimination when it comes to figuring out the right answer. However, there are times when the answers given don't make any damn sense, and usually the teachers are the first to admit it.

Gludek asked: English teachers of reddit what are most debatable multiple choice questions on exam you have seen?

This one calls for some creativity....sort of.

"Here in Ontario we have standardized testing that kids take every few years to measure how well our education system is working. On the English portion of one of the tests I remember having to read a short story and the question was "What is the best title for this story?"

It really bothered me because what does best mean? Most descriptive? Most creative? There are no hard and fast rules for titles in creative writing."


Seems a little unnecessary.


"Music teacher here. In my state, getting licensed as a teacher essentially boils down to three standardized tests. The first is like the SAT all over again (big question: you're not stupid, right?). The second is for comment knowledge (big question: you know what a bassoon is, right?). The third is for general teaching methods (big question: you're not gonna beat kids, right?).

During that third test, there's often choosing from several 'good' answers to find the 'best,' which is debatable already. Still:

"Your printer in your classroom isn't working. Which is the best first step to take?

A. order a new printer

B. check connecting cables

C. turn the printer off and on again

D. Call IT for help"

This is obviously need-to-know information for any teacher."


Do you think....?

"At an exam about ethics the question was: According to the next situation Which of the next options do you think is the best? If Sonya steals makeup and you are the only person that saw her, what would you do? a) Tell her is bad to steal b) Ignore her c) Take her to the police d) Forgive her and steal with her

Not only the answer is really ambiguous, but the fact that the question says "do you think" makes technically every answer correct and wrong at the same time because an opinion is neither right nor wrong."


That's confusing.

I had an English teacher put the following question on a test on the book Of Mice and Men:

T/F Curly's wife's name is Mary.

Now, I had actually read the book, and Curly's wife is never named. That does not mean that she wasn't named Mary, however. As the story is set in what seems to be a true-to-life version of 1930s Salinas, it stands to reason that she would have had a name, and Mary was one of the most popular names for women in Anglophone countries until quite recently. But there's no information in the story to either confirm or deny this. My English teacher had set a true/false question in which the truth value of the statement was fundamentally undecidable.

I chose "false," and was marked correct, but it still bothers me 15 years later."


Are you kidding?


"Below is the example that I recall most vividly on an English exam. (I was a music major).

Which of the following is correct:

a. It's a regularly reoccurring problem.

b. The problem continues to reoccur.

c. The recurrent problem proved perplexing.

d. The reoccurent problem persists."



"Howdy question. In my country, when teachers teach English, they sometimes include phrases such as ain't or howdy as 'live English'-English used in daily conversation. However, when I was a middle school student, one student wrote Howdy as an answer to a question on correct expression.

Some teachers considered it as a slang, and they claimed it as a wrong answer. However, another teacher taught that in class."


Holy s**t!!!

"I'm the student but many teachers agreed with me on this. The question was: "If you were the commander of Auschwitz, would you hate and kill Jews?"

You only got points if you also gave the correct explanation. The answer was: "Yes, because I would hate Jews"

Same teacher who said he doesn't go to big supermarket-chains because he thinks Israel is wrong. Dude's an idiot."




"In sixth grade, I still remember this, we read The Cay. In one chapter, the main character's name was Phillip, he became blind. The question asked what the best name for the chapter would be: A. Phillip Becomes Blind B. A Cold Night C/D. Not important.

Obviously I chose B because the cold night would be metaphorical for the darkness he saw, but no, the cold night was referring to the actual night which was kind of chilly in the book. The correct answer was to give away the chapter before anyone even reads it. Still pisses me of to this day."


Never checking those exams again.

"I'm an Aussie teaching English in China.

Which of these sentences is correct:

"Sit down, so the people seated at the back can see".

"Sit down, so the people sitting at the back can see".

Multiple choice, only one answer is "correct"; every question has four possible answers; government exam.

I was asked to check the exam. Some questions had more than one correct answer. Some had no correct answers. Some of the questions themselves were grammatically incorrect! There were also spelling and tense errors.

After I gave my honest opinion and showed them the errors, they were quite upset with me and never asked me to check again."



"I had an English teacher give a question with the following format. It was one of those "pick the option that's grammatically correct" but I'm going to use math because I don't remember


A. 4

B. 2x2

C. 22

D. A & B

E. C & D"


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