"Follow These Instructions" Test

"Follow These Instructions" Test

Do you remember in grade school you got a test that started with DO NOT WRITE ANYTHING UNTIL YOU'VE READ THE ENTIRE PAGE!"?

Now, since many of us are too cool for instructions we immediately wrote our names at the top where indicated and then proceeded to answer all the questions.

At the very bottom it said This test was about following instructions. IF YOU WROTE ANYTHING ON THIS PAGE YOU FAILED THE TEST

I'm guessing a lot of people here failed that test.

Anthony J. Parisio | December 21, 2014

I passed that test in school. However, now I like to rip things a part and see how they really work. I guess I'm always looking for life's Easter Eggs.

Tabarnouche | December 21, 2014

I would have failed (doh!). For what it's worth, the instruction told the student not to write anything until they have read the whole page. This means they can write something after they have read the whole page. Otherwise, the instruction would have simply said not to write anything. Period. Correct?

Then, when they finish reading the page, they are notified that if they write something in compliance with the instruction, they fail? That's not what instruction said. At best, the student received an instruction (don't write until you finish reading) and then an inconsistent statement (if you write something, you fail!).

By convention, all tests require the student to identify themselves in writing on a test page so, if anything, this test is a lesson: if you're going to give an important instruction that tells the reader to do something that goes against everything they've learned and done, make sure that instruction is clear and unequivocal.

J.T. | December 21, 2014

@Tabarnouche Why would they write something after reading the whole page when as soon as you read the last thing on the page the test was over? And we know it was over because when you reached the end, a grade could be determined.

Red Sage ca us | December 24, 2014

I think I failed that test at least two out of three times it was given to me... After that, my average improved considerably.

NKYTA | December 24, 2014

I'm not going to post anything on this topic.


redacted | December 24, 2014

Generally, one fills out the header of a test before reading the instructions that say don't read the instructions. Especially if there's a line that says "Name."

Overall it's a stupid idea for a test and kind of petty when an instructor designs it deliberately to get you to fail.

renwo S alset | December 24, 2014

Yeah, it's like who's buried in Grants tomb.

bobrobert | December 24, 2014

Too many have had the Ellen DeGeneres experience with the shampoo bottle instructions:
lather, rinse, repeat..
ok, so how does one get out of the infinite loop?

Brian H | December 24, 2014

Kids' games: "The next one who speaks is an idiot..."

petochok | December 24, 2014

starting NOW.....

Anthony J. Parisio | December 24, 2014


Red Sage ca us | December 25, 2014

OBSERVATION: It it was funny in third grade... It's still funny.

Tabarnouche | December 25, 2014

Or the food labels that say: "Shake well before serving." So I turn to the person next to me and shake their hand vigorously and tell them: "Now I can finally have some A1 Sauce!" It never ends well.