F in Exams by Richard Benson

7 Aug

Bibliographic Information

F in Exams by Richard Benson, Chronicle Books, 2011, ISBN: 978-081-187-8319

Plot Summary

F in Exams compiles the very best of the very worst student answers on a variety of exams given in middle and high school classes.  The book is divided into examples from the various disciplines, including: Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Math, Business and Technology, Psychology, History and Geography, and English.  A few examples of the type of questions and answers you’ll find are provided here:


Critical Evaluation

F in Exams should be available in every middle school and high school library.  It is a hilarious book of wrong answers that students can browse in between classes.  The examples provided here are amazing not just in their wrongness but also in the students’ creativity and sense of humor.  Even when the answer isn’t intentionally funny, it provides an interesting insight into how young people try to logically answer a question without the necessary facts or information.

This may be a stretch, but I think the book also provides a way for students to understand that everyone makes mistakes and that failure is a part of the learning process.  People love this book because on some level they can relate to being in the situation of staring at an exam question and having no clue how to answer it.  We spend all our time celebrating success in school and we need to devote more time celebrating failure.  As Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed.  I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Reader’s Annotation

We’ve all been there.  The teacher hands out the quiz or exam and we stare at the first question and have no idea how to answer it.  We can either leave it blank or…F in Exams compiles the very best of the very worst answers students give on tests in Math, Science, English, Social Studies and other classes.

Information about the author

From the author’s page on Amazon.com, we learn that “Richard Benson is the author of several humor books. He lives in London.”



Curriculum Ties


Booktalking Ideas


Reading Level / Interest Age

Grade 9 and up

Challenge Issues


Why did I include this title?

I bought this book last year for the library and kids couldn’t put it down.  It generated a lot of laughter and sympathy by many readers, especially around finals.



42 Responses to “F in Exams by Richard Benson”

  1. Mikalee Byerman August 9, 2012 at 1:08 am #

    Hahahahahaha! The sheer creativity…all of these examples clearly show brilliant minds — just not necessarily in the topic being tested!

    I’m SO picking up a copy of this book. My kids will love it! 🙂

  2. candelacouture August 9, 2012 at 1:49 am #

    Going to pick this up tomorrow! Do you mind checking out my blog http://www.candelacouture.com, its new and i would love to see what you think!
    great post btw!

  3. Simple Heart Girl August 9, 2012 at 2:01 am #

    That is too funny! I think I might have to get this book…

  4. beckyday6 August 9, 2012 at 2:22 am #

    I love the Thomas Edison quote! Great review. 🙂 I’ve been hearing a lot about this book.

  5. thelivingnotebook August 9, 2012 at 2:40 am #

    Very interesting! I wonder how the author obtained the work and what the copyright issues might have been for it? I’d love to come up with a concept that would allow me to crowd-source a book like this… something like Post Secret or Awkward Family Photos 🙂

    • Linus August 9, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

      Someone already found a way to post akwward photos…it’s called Facebook.

  6. a solemn punch August 9, 2012 at 2:41 am #

    More. More. More. Congrats for being freshly pressed. You got an A for that.

  7. Ottabelle August 9, 2012 at 2:49 am #

    I got this book because it was $.99c on Amazon during a sale I think. It was SO much fun to read. I laughed the whole way through. I’m glad you wrote this review for it, so it may get some more attention.

  8. earwaxdissertation August 9, 2012 at 4:56 am #

    Wow, I think I might have my reoccuring “I didn’t study for the test” nighmare. Hilarious!

  9. sailorssmallfarm August 9, 2012 at 4:58 am #

    Yup, I’ve read through this one, we have it at our public library. Hope the kids in your school don’t feel inspired to use some of the ideas on their tests, lol

  10. Vn-Japan August 9, 2012 at 5:25 am #

    thank 😦

  11. PalomaSharma August 9, 2012 at 5:50 am #

    An F is my worst nightmare. Thank you for making me feel a little less stressed. 🙂

  12. Easy Lifestyles August 9, 2012 at 6:15 am #

    Very funny. Thanks for sharing this. I’ll be sure to check it out.

    You have a great blog here. Have a very nice day!

  13. mysweatyshirt August 9, 2012 at 7:28 am #

    Hilarious book! love it. 🙂 thanks for this share.

  14. Nicole August 9, 2012 at 7:47 am #

    this is brilliant!! certainly made me laugh!

  15. cartoonmick August 9, 2012 at 8:13 am #

    Nice post, thanks, and I do like that “Fibula”.

    I wasn’t all that clever at school, but the 3 subjects did I best in is Englesh and Maths.

  16. vand3 August 9, 2012 at 8:13 am #

    great……. stevens johnson syndrome

  17. thegirlwhowalked August 9, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    This seems like a really interesting book! And I think that it shows how incredibly smart these kids are, ’cause honestly, some answers could be right.

  18. 143djgs August 9, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    Reblogged this on D Y J and commented:
    Just hilarious. This should be in bookstores everywhere!!! Hahaha.

  19. ChangeTheWorld August 9, 2012 at 11:47 am #

    I think that I’ve seen this book before… It is so funny! Thanks for sharing some of the pages 🙂


  20. artexpectations August 9, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    I take it you work at a library? I do too. I’ll have to see if we have this in our collection. It’s too funny! Thanks for sharing. I’ve received emails like this, with silly, wrong exam answers, but not seen it in book form.

  21. TurnTronics August 9, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

    Haha these are some classics. My mom is a teacher and I have heard a bunch like these over the years.

  22. littlecitybot August 9, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    cute! it’s cool that this is a book, i’ve always found these silly drawings around the web. this would make a good coffee table book.

  23. Impybat August 9, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    Reblogged this on Impybat's Emporium and commented:
    These are hilarious! Thanks for posting, Library Dude 🙂

  24. zookyshirts August 9, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    Those examples are hilarious! What a great idea for a book.

  25. s296 August 9, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    Hahahahahahaha! What fun!!! Brings back memories and funny stories to tell the kids.

    Check out this entertaining and educational children’s novel – fun for adults too!

    Jaspa’s Journey: The Great Migration


  26. OneWeekToCrazy August 9, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    I love this! I’ve seen others that are similar and they never fail to make me laugh!

    Courtney Hosny

  27. ecs73 August 9, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    I love this ! I need this book ! Lovely, thanks for sharing.
    Best from Paris,

  28. simplymydiarybymia August 9, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    I would definitely check this out:) just something you need when you want a good laugh..
    please check out my blog.. http://simplymydiary.wordpress.com/

  29. Linus August 9, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

    That kid who drew the banana car will probably end up being an engineer for Mercedes or something.

    Great post!

  30. candeasis August 9, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

    I picked up this book while I was waiting in line at the bookstore. I made a couple people go ahead of me because I just had to keep reading! All those kids who answered these deserve an A for creativity. 🙂

  31. mdprincing August 9, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

    funny stuff

  32. smittenkittenshelbyshedrow August 9, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    I love this book! I am a junior in college and still think about writing some of these answers in blanks when the professor gives us a poorly written exam!

  33. Skatha August 9, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

    I love books like this!

  34. matusguziar August 9, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

    I always say that creativity should be involved in an evaluation process. 😉 btw, a good recom.

  35. lickingthebeater August 9, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

    i’ll admit that the whole initial reason i clicked on your freshly pressed blog was because of the banana car. I mean, you cant NOT be curious- it’s a banana car. My day will be happier now knowing this book exists, and you played a role in that. well done.

  36. aparnauteur August 9, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    A friend of mine in biology class had a question asking him to draw the anatomy of a rat and label the different parts. He had no idea about the drawing. So, he whisked out a pencil, drew a circular head, a triangular torso, and a tail. He then labelled the organs by pointing out to the approximate locations within these geometric shapes. The teacher gave him full points for sheer cheek and logic.

  37. pezcita August 9, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    Thanks for telling me about this book! I have to read it. Those kids can really slack off artfully, a skill they must have known would be appreciated someday. There should be one for book reports and term
    papers too. http://pezcita.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/flashback-part-2/

  38. Hikari Tennyo August 9, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

    So, I’m wondering if the Whale was included in the book. Because a whale will do!
    I must admit, I probably won’t read it due to my perusal of a dot com about funny exams.

    This also makes me wonder if Mr. Benson has any relation to the website in question.
    Anyway, Congrats on FP status!

  39. pet bottles August 10, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    what u think about recycle plastics ?

  40. L. Palmer August 10, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    I think this book might be useful for the people creating the exams too. I’ve taught a little bit of high school, and while amused by similar answers to the ones above, realize 1. I still had some teaching to do and 2. I probably needed to re-write questions.
    Looks like a fun book.

  41. misstofi August 18, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

    Reblogged this on Songs of Dreams.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: