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  #1  
Old 29 October 2007, 05:45 PM
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Icon101 Zero score on T/F test

Comment: I've been running across this picture of a standardized test and subsequent
letter from a professor pretty often recently. It seems to have all the
earmarks of urban legend and I wanted to run it by you to see if this
assumption is correct.

Looking at the picture I noticed that the lettering in the "ID number"
section was a font, not handwriting, as shown by the 8, 5 and 3s matching
perfectly, though many universities use students' social security numbers as
ID numbers and this may have been altered to avoid identity theft.

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  #2  
Old 29 October 2007, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Every year I attempt to boost my student's final grades by giving them this relatively simple exam
WTF? He seems awfully unabashed about grade inflation. This is why there needs to be some sort of curve.

This further reinforces the whole stereotype that communications is just the major for people to declare who want to stay in college for a while but skip the boring parts where they have to study and get an education.

To be fair, at least its a 101 course, so it doesn't necessarily reflect what the higher level material is like.
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  #3  
Old 29 October 2007, 07:23 PM
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Anyone who knows anything about Scantron knows that it places red dashes next to the incorrect answers so that the answer can be proofed (for example, if you erased an answer and put the right one in, it might read the erased answer as a double, and thus mark you incorrectly). For example, #31 looks like it was erased. It also gives a readout of the raw score in that little white section underneath the "exam number" box.

Is it possible the professor simply didn't pass the test through the machine because he saw that it contained all the wrong answers? Maybe.

Also, the area where the id number goes - the corresponding numbers are filled in, so it seems like they went through a lot of trouble for nothing if they were hiding someone's identity. a simple redaction would have worked.

Last edited by Recklessmess; 29 October 2007 at 07:26 PM. Reason: id area addition
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  #4  
Old 29 October 2007, 08:03 PM
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I wonder if this is the prof...

William Turner

He's teaching a CSC 101.
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  #5  
Old 29 October 2007, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Recklessmess View Post
Is it possible the professor simply didn't pass the test through the machine because he saw that it contained all the wrong answers? Maybe.
What professor wouldn't want to send it through just to hear the satisfying buzz as it marks them all wrong, though?
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  #6  
Old 29 October 2007, 08:39 PM
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I grade scantron tests for an astronomy professor. The buzz is actually rather depressing sometimes. When I run one thru and I just hear "ent, ent, ent, ent, ent, ent" the whole time, I start wondering how someone could possibly do that badly. (honestly 9/50? You'd do better just guessing!)

Alternately, if the professor doesn't want to use the machine (or if it's not available) a hole puncher applied to a different scantron works nicely for grading them. If I was grading them, I wouldn't bother to even put that thru the machine.
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  #7  
Old 29 October 2007, 09:26 PM
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Question: if it a T/F test how can he attemt to get a quarter of the answers right by answering "C" to everything. Or is c none of the above?
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  #8  
Old 29 October 2007, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by annabohly View Post
Question: if it a T/F test how can he attemt to get a quarter of the answers right by answering "C" to everything. Or is c none of the above?
The idea is that the student didn't even read the questions and went with C. If he was expecting multiple choice answers A through D he would most likely get a quarter of them correct.
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  #9  
Old 29 October 2007, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paveman View Post
The idea is that the student didn't even read the questions and went with C. If he was expecting multiple choice answers A through D he would most likely get a quarter of them correct.
Maybe even a bit better than that, because humans aren't great with randomness and a teacher who isn't rigorous enough may have distinct patterns to the order of their answers on multiple choice tests. I seem to remember C being the most common on a 4 answer multiple choice, followed by B.
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  #10  
Old 29 October 2007, 11:02 PM
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D'oh! Not the whole test

But I did get a 0/10 on a statistics true/false section of a test my final year of college. I misread that the two probabilities were mutually exclusive, so I showed how I got false for every single question. After I got my stellar grade of 20% on that test I decided I didn't need a math minor(though I finished it with two different classes the next semester).
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  #11  
Old 29 October 2007, 11:57 PM
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Surely any student taking a true/false exam would be told at the start of the test that he/she had to enter either "A" for "true" or "B" for "false." Any taker of such a test would know right away that entering "C" would automatically make the answer wrong.

If this was a real test, and the student did get a "0" because he entered "C" for every answer, then he must really be dumb!

The only way he could get a "0" would be to answer all of the answers wrong, which would most likely result from not studying and knowing the right answer.

B. A. Rainey
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  #12  
Old 30 October 2007, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barbrainey View Post
Surely any student taking a true/false exam would be told at the start of the test that he/she had to enter either "A" for "true" or "B" for "false." Any taker of such a test would know right away that entering "C" would automatically make the answer wrong.
The explanation would normally be on the test itself, not in a speech by the teacher before giving out the test. The test would be self explanatory.

The idea here is that the student didn't even glance at the test first, so didn't see the part about it being true or false.
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  #13  
Old 30 October 2007, 01:30 AM
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Aside from issues raised by others about the scantron itself, the accompanying message is what tags this as a UL for me. It reads just like most of those smug little notes you see attached to so many of the email legends. The reader is asked to smile and shake his head at the professor's "clever" and casual rebuke of the clueless and arrogant student. Nobody we know would ever do such a stupid thing.

Honestly, I have a hard time believing a professor would go through the trouble to teach a student a "lesson" when the student obviously has no interest in learning in the first place. Most professors I know would just return the test without comment and silently hope the student would drop out of school.
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  #14  
Old 30 October 2007, 02:57 AM
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Reading

Didn't we discuss this one in a previous life?
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  #15  
Old 30 October 2007, 07:52 AM
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I personally vote for fake, to be honest.
Some of the checkmarks simply look too much alike to be normal. I mean the square ones that look like done with a black calligraphy tipped marker. (1, 52, 58, etc)
Also there is the matter of the font in the ID.

There is simply something smelling fishy, and for once it's not from my pants.
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  #16  
Old 30 October 2007, 10:36 AM
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Read This!

I wonder if it was supposed to be relevant that the 'test form' entry was marked 'C' too.
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  #17  
Old 30 October 2007, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenhull View Post
I wonder if it was supposed to be relevant that the 'test form' entry was marked 'C' too.
If it was supposed to be, someone didn't tell the form designer, since they marked the test form entry 'D'...

ETA: Oops, now I've misread the form... It was the Directions sample that was marked 'D'. Just mark me 'F'...
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  #18  
Old 30 October 2007, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobDBlackwolf View Post
I personally vote for fake, to be honest.
Some of the checkmarks simply look too much alike to be normal. I mean the square ones that look like done with a black calligraphy tipped marker. (1, 52, 58, etc)
Also there is the matter of the font in the ID.

There is simply something smelling fishy, and for once it's not from my pants.
The font in the ID could easily be a later change to protect identity. As for the checkmarks, their similarity doesn't surprise me very much. When I took the paper form of the MCAT, I had about 300 nearly identical boxes. Playing with a Scantron form, I can easily do the pseudo-calligraphy shown.
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  #19  
Old 30 October 2007, 11:07 PM
Recklessmess Recklessmess is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casey View Post
The font in the ID could easily be a later change to protect identity. As for the checkmarks, their similarity doesn't surprise me very much. When I took the paper form of the MCAT, I had about 300 nearly identical boxes. Playing with a Scantron form, I can easily do the pseudo-calligraphy shown.
As I said before, if that's the case, why are the corresponding bubbles filled in beneath, when it would have been far simpler to simply redact the id number?
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  #20  
Old 31 October 2007, 12:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOJOTHEMAN View Post
I wonder if this is the prof...

William Turner

He's teaching a CSC 101.

CSC 101 at Wabash is intro to Computer Science, not Communications. And according to his CV, he doesn't teach any Communications courses, so I doubt it.
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