gcse biology exam

Photo by comedynose/Flickr (CC-BY)

Inappropriate or just irrelevant?

U.K. teens are currently taking the GCSEs, national exams they'll need to get jobs and get into colleges. And, as if that's not enough pressure, many are saying the biology GCSE went totally off the rails with inappropriate questions that had nothing to do with what students were expected to study.

According to the Telegraph, an unprecedented number of students complained on social media that the exam asked a question about 15-year-olds' favorite alcoholic beverages, another about drunken rats, and a third about "independent businesses." 

The questions themselves aren't public, but, in a strange echo of the memestorm sparked by unusual material on the American PSAT last October, the widespread griping on social media is enough to provide an idea what the kids were asked. 

There's even a Downfall "Hitler Reacts" memeask someone 30 or older—about the exam that's going modestly viral:
Meanwhile, several petitions have sprung up, demanding either that the grading scale be lowered for biology, or an apology and explanation for the "unacceptable" question about underage drinking preferences. Tens of thousands of people have signed.

It seems no apology is forthcoming, however.

AQA, the firm that produced the test, sidestepped the allegations that the test was inappropriate and shifted the blame to the students.

"Exams aren't meant to be easy and students are obviously going to tweet about that, but there was nothing wrong with this paper. We wish everyone the best of luck with the rest of their exams," AQA said in a statement.

Best of luck indeed. With the chemistry exam coming up this week, it sounds like the kids are going to need it.

H/T Telegraph

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Teens took the PSAT and immediately turned its secret content into memes
Back in my day—when us high schoolers would finish standardized tests after being explicitly told by the prompter to not, they repeated, not discuss the contents of the exam with one another—we'd nod in acknowledgement. Then as we walked out of the gym and classrooms we'd all be like, "I had no idea what catalepsy was even with those damn context clues" and "what was up with that passage about the shipwrecked monkeys?"
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