Ummid Assistant

IDB scholarship forms available at Bhopal's Companion School

IGNOU's preparatory course for students desiring higher education

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home » Offbeat

The easiest test in the world

Friday August 03, 2012 09:14:29 AM, Nury Vittachi, IANS

Asia IS the best place to be educated, according to a global survey I read recently. I was astonished. Education elsewhere must be REALLY bad. I mentioned this to a headmaster friend, who replied that he wanted to introduce an entrance exam for his school. Why? "Because we pretty much accept anyone who will pay, but the parents of the kids like to be able to boast that it's tough to get into," he explained.

Parents are strange creatures. They were irritated when he said that there was no waiting list for his school; so he started pretending that there was. This ALSO annoyed them.

One parent lectured him on the evils of grade inflation and in the same sentence demanded that his son be given 'A' grades, despite having an IQ to match his shoe size. Another tried to bribe him with a dusty box of cakes which had clearly been passed around since Confucius had been the big name in Asian education.

The headmaster asked me to write an entrance exam like the sort of contests you get in the media, which are so easy that it's almost impossible to get them wrong.

So here it is: The World's Easiest Entrance Exam. Time limit: 30 minutes.

General Knowledge:
1) Greens are a healthy vegetable. What colour are they?
2) What time is it when both hands are on the 12?
3) What does UN (United Nations) stand for?
4) How many weeks are there in a two-week period?
5) What do coffee shops sell?

Mathematics:
1) A bald man's hair is 0.0 inches long. Convert this to centimetres.
2) If I had three apples in my left hand, how many apples would I have in my left hand?
3) If two and two equal four on every day of the week, what does two and two equal on Tuesdays?

History:
1) What was Henry VIII's personal name?
2) What was Mahatma Gandhi's family name?
3) What rank was Admiral Nelson?
4) How many rules are there in The Ten Commandments?

Geography:
1) What language do Urdu-speakers speak?
2) What country is the Queen of Denmark Queen of?
3) Where is the North Pole?
4) Name the moon which revolves around the planet Earth.

Biology:
1) Birds are a type of bird. True/False.
2) What insects do anteaters eat?
3) What is the breast colour of a robin redbreast?
4) How many cells do single-celled amoebas have?
5) What substance do woodpeckers peck?

Score: 13-21 right answers: Congratulations, you're in! 7-12 right answers: Congratulations, you're in! 1-6 right answers: Congratulations, you're in! 0 right answers: Try again!

We tested the exam out on a group of five children. Only two of them passed. The third spoke only Urdu, the fourth Hokkien, and the fifth lost the paper.

So we decided to shorten the test to just one question and allow the parent or guardian to answer it. "Does he know his own name? Yes/No." This time, most of them passed. The Hokkien-speaking family just sort of glared at me, but I took that as a "yes".

Besides, there are no wrong answers in that sort of test. If only the same was true for real life.

-x-x-x-x-

Did you read about that pilot who lost it and started shouting and screaming on a JetBlue Airways flight? Wow, on JetBlue, even pilots can't get earphones and a drink?

I would have loved to have overheard the conversations on that flight.

Passenger: "Who's the crazy lunatic being pinned to the floor?"

Flight attendant: "That's the pilot, ma'am."

Passenger: "No, really, who is he?"

The incident above reminds me of flying through Russia in the old days. It was never us passengers who drank too much, got rowdy and had to be restrained, it was the pilots and flight attendants. One of the passengers would hold down the pilot while the rest of us took turns flying the plane.

The travel business gets wackier every week. Case in point. I don't usually agree with statements by religious extremists, but I like what one group in India did recently. They issued a fatwa against airport full-body security scanners, the ones that can see through clothes. I hope they assassinate the cheeky machine at my nearest airport before my next flight. (Only because the sight of my magnificent body unclothed may leave staff feeling traumatized and inadequate.)

-x-x-x-x-

And what about the news that you can now check your Facebook page in mid-air? A journalist told me that Facebook's efforts to connect users through overlapping contacts led two Washington women to find out they were married to the same man last month. The guy has been arrested for bigamy.

That got me thinking. The Facebook computer is going to cause big trouble for Asian guys like my late lamented Dad, who tended to marry more than the recommended number of women. And what about all those Hong Kong/Singaporean/Indian guys who have secret wives in China/Malaysia/other parts of India? For Asia, the "friend suggestion" programme needs to change its heading from "People You May Know" to: "People You May Have Married."

But of course you don't need a computer to get into that sort of trouble. A friend of mine worked for a well-known hotel chain in a coastal resort. To drum up business, he made a list of all the couples who had booked into the hotel in recent years and wrote letters addressed to the women: "We hope the two of you enjoyed your previous visit. Why not surprise your husband with another romantic getaway?"

It was only when furious responses started pouring in that he realized that Asian businessmen don't have romantic getaways with their wives. They have them with their secretaries, mistresses and hourly paid workers.

-x-x-x-x-

I've decided I really like the system of government in the book/ movie "The Hunger Games". Next election, let's put all the candidates on an island and get them to hunt each other. The survivor will be the next leader. And of course if the citizens are really lucky, none of the candidates will make it. We can but pray.

Talking of books, I was excited to hear that J.K. Rowling has started writing a novel series for grown-ups which will focus on "the major concerns of adult life". I assume the first volume will be called "Harry Potter Considers Competing Annuity Packages".

-x-x-x-x-

The ad agency Ogilvy and Mather has rigged up a drinks machine in Singapore so that if children hug it, free cans of Coke come out. Okay, the needle on my creepiness detector has gone deep into the red zone. Coca-Cola is a wildly profitable habit-forming drug that children consume instead of actual nutrition. Kids, go hug trees instead.



(Nury Vittachi is an Asia-based frequent traveller. Send ideas and comments via www.mrjam.org)









 


 

Home | Top of the Page

Comments

Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of www.ummid.com

Comments powered by DISQUS

i

i

 

More Headlines

Assam Violence: A wake up call

Bhopal Gas victims mock at London Olympics; flay Amitabh Bachchan

Saina first Indian shuttler to reach Olympic badminton semis

Is this Olympics mean for? Record number of free condoms for athletes

Facebook has more than 83 mn fake users

Right to Services in three months in Kerala

GJM sweeps maiden GTA polls, not to give up Gorkhaland demand

Gay Rule: Homosexual Italian politician to run for PM in 2013

London mayor left hanging in mid-air literally

BJP led govt. in Goa proposes minorities panel

Pakistani official sacked after polishing shoes in India

'Queen' Elizabeth's birthday no more a holiday in Fiji

 

Top Stories

Pune blasts: Police still to identify perpetrators, detain four

Even as investigators from different security agencies Thursday probed the four low-intensity serial blasts in a single area in Pune Wednesday night, police remained clueless »

Premature to call Pune blasts a terror attack, says Patil

Pune blasts planned, coordinated: Home Secretary

 

  Most Read

Saina first Indian shuttler to reach Olympic badminton semis

Champion shuttler Saina Nehwal rewrote history by becoming the first Indian to cruise into the Olympics badminton semifinal and bring the country's tottering campaign back the on the rails after medal  »

Hazare, others to call off fast Friday; propose 'political alternative'

Anna Hazare and his team members Thursday announced they were calling off their indefinite fast against corruption at 5 p.m. Friday and said they would seek a referendum on forming a "political alternative"  »

Twitter, Facebook get active on Hazare's political ambitions

 

  News Pick

BJP led govt. in Goa proposes minorities panel

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government in Goa Thursday introduced a draft legislation for setting up a minorities commission. The Goa Commission for Minorities Bill, 2012, which was  »

Facebook has more than 83 mn fake users

Social network Facebook has said there are now more than 83 million fake users on the website, BBC reported Thursday. The company said 8.7 percent of its 955 million active users might not be real. Duplicate profiles  »

Top women Judo fighters have no problem competing Saudi veiled athlete

Top female judo fighters on Tuesday backed the decision to allow a Saudi athlete to compete at the Olympic Games wearing an Islamic headscarf, saying it would not  »

Obama leads Romney in 3 swing states

A new poll brought good cheer to US President Barack Obama leads as it showed him leading Republican challenger Mitt Romney by at least 6 percentage points »

 

Picture of the Day

Five organizations viz. Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha, Bhopal Group for Information & Action and Children Against Dow Carbide jointly organised the “Bhopal Special Olympics” on July 26, 2012, a day ahead of the opening of London Olympics 2012.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

RSS  |  Contact us

 

| Quick links

News

 

Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant

 

National

Science & Technology

RSS

Scholarships

About us

International

Health

Twitter

Government Schemes

Feedback

Regional

History

Facebook

Education

Register

Politics

Opinion

Newsletter

Contact us

Business

Career

Education

     

 

 

Ummid.com: Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange

Ummid.com is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

© 2012 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.