See If You Can Answer the Weirdest Standardized Test Question Ever

Illustration for article titled See If You Can Answer the Weirdest Standardized Test Question Ever

Students, teachers, and parents in New York State don't know what to make of this bizarre question on the state exams. Let's see if you can do better. Sharpen your pencils! But first, everyone's familiar with the story of the pineapple and the hare, right?

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Imagine this: You're a terrified eighth grader in the middle of mandatory standardized testing. If you fail, your beloved teacher loses his job. The pressure is on. And then you turn the page to this brain-teaser on your reading exam. The Daily News reports:

In the story, an apparent take-off on Aesop's fable about the tortoise and the hare, a talking pineapple challenges a hare to a race. The other animals wager on the immobile pineapple winning - and ponder whether it's tricking them.

When the pineapple fails to move at all and the rabbit wins, the animals dine on the pineapple.

Students were asked two perplexing questions: why did the animals eat the talking fruit, and which animal was wisest?

What? Umm, I would say the hare is the wisest. OBVIOUSLY. Pineapple's definitely dumb, though, because it got eaten alive.

How would you answer this question? And more importantly, what the hell is going on in the offices of New York state exam writers? [NY Daily News via Laura Nahmias]

Image via Mighty Sequoia Studio/Shutterstock.com

DISCUSSION

glyphon
The Stig's graphic designer cousin

Here is the actual story and the questions, with their multiple choice answers.

... The Pineapple and the Hare ...

In the olden times, animals could speak English, just like you and me. There was a lovely enchanted forest that flourished with a bunch of these magical animals. One day, a hare was relaxing by a tree. All of a sudden, he noticed a pineapple sitting near him.

The hare, being magical and all, told the pineapple, "Um, hi." The pineapple could speak English too.

"I challenge you to a race! Whoever makes it across the forest and back first wins a ninja! And a lifetime’s supply of toothpaste!" The hare looked at the pineapple strangely, but agreed to the race.

The next day, the competition was coming into play. All the animals in the forest (but not the pineapples, for pineapples are immobile) arranged a finish/start line in between two trees. The coyote placed the pineapple in front of the starting line, and the hare was on his way.

Everyone on the sidelines was bustling about and chatting about the obvious prediction that the hare was going to claim the victory (and the ninja and the toothpaste). Suddenly, the crow had a revolutionary realization.

"AAAAIEEH! Friends! I have an idea to share! The pineapple has not challenged our good companion, the hare, to just a simple race! Surely the pineapple must know that he CANNOT MOVE! He obviously has a trick up his sleeve!" exclaimed the crow.

The moose spoke up.

"Pineapples don’t have sleeves."

"You fool! You know what I mean! I think that the pineapple knows we’re cheering for the hare, so he is planning to pull a trick on us, so we look foolish when he wins! Let’s sink the pineapple’s intentions, and let’s cheer for the stupid fruit!" the crow passionately proclaimed. The other animals cheered, and started chanting, "FOIL THE PLAN! FOIL THE PLAN! FOIL THE PLAN!"

A few minutes later, the hare arrived. He got into place next to the pineapple, who sat there contently. The monkey blew the tree-bark whistle, and the race began! The hare took off, sprinting through the forest, and the pineapple ...

It sat there.

The animals glanced at each other blankly, and then started to realize how dumb they were. The pineapple did not have a trick up its sleeve. It wanted an honest race — but it knew it couldn’t walk (let alone run)!

About a few hours later, the hare came into sight again. It flew right across the finish line, still as fast as it was when it first took off. The hare had won, but the pineapple still sat at his starting point, and had not even budged.

The animals ate the pineapple.

Here are two of the questions:

1. Why did the animals eat the pineapple?

a. they were annoyed

b. they were amused

c. they were hungry

d. they wanted to

2. Who was the wisest?

a. the hare

b. moose

c. crow

d. owl