Students’ brains blown by impossible exam questions

Psychology students confronted with unanswerable questions in last week’s exam.


First year Psychology students had more than just a Freudian slip last Tuesday after one of their exams was found to have unanswerable questions.

The ‘Research Methods and Statistics’ paper was multiple-choice, but for two of the questions, the correct answer was not included in the options.

The gaff left those who’d taken the exam furious, and many took to the subject’s Facebook group to vent their anger.

“These exams are an absolute sham”, one student wrote. “At £9k a year, there shouldn’t be any room for mistakes”.

“If we make one mistake in our coursework, we are like knocked down a whole grade! If we have to check in so much detail, they should too!” another student wrote.

Psychologists know better than anyone about exam stress

One of the impossible questions was on an ‘Independent t-test’, which is a testing method used in statistics. The answer was worked out to be 2.45, but the nearest answer available in the multiple choices was 2.2.

The next problem was a follow-up to this. To get the marks, the correct answer to the last question was needed – which of course wasn’t there.

The Psychology department told The Tab that “these two questions have been removed from the assessment and we have contacted students to explain this and apologise”.

“We have procedures for checking exam papers. Unfortunately this slipped through due to human error and we will now review this to see if any improvements can be made” they added.

But it wasn’t just psychologists who had their minds baffled – some second and third year Economics students were left with more uncertainty than the stock markets with one of their papers.

The Tab understands there was a misprint in a question on an Econometrics exam, which may result in students having to re-sit the paper.

The Economics department refused to give any further info on the issue, but did say that “students are being kept up to date with all the information important to them”.

There’s never any good economic news these days

January had its fair share of howlers as well, with exams in English Language, Linguistics and Nursing all having cock-ups.

And with this summer’s exams not yet done, there could be even more errors waiting to be discovered.

Have you had any unanswerable questions in any of your exams? Tell us below.