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Our brightest hopes

Just been invigilating an exam at the local uni. About fifty students (2nd years), would-be Cell Biologists, have been given a paper asking them to answer four questions, one from each section – and four answer books, but no specific instructions as to how to present the answers.

The logical inference would surely be that the examiner wanted the students to answer each question in a separate book, so that each can be separately marked. Otherwise, why put out four books? Two or three students ask the invigilators for clarification. Others give in four books, each with an answer in it. Still, around sixty percent of the candidates write all four answers in one book and hand in the other three blank, without questioning what they were for.

Next time I get a diagnosis of cancer, or am told my DNA is an exact match for the killer’s, I shall take the news philosophically.

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