I never taught an AP class, mostly because of the workload. Your average AP student is going to turn in every major assignment, and in AP English class, that would mean a ton of essays to grade. I never would have thought that kids would write funny wrong answers on their AP exams, mostly because they pay for those themselves! But apparently, students bomb AP tests and have a great time doing it just like any other school exam. Here are some gems from AP test grades for you to enjoy.
AP European History
According to one grader, a student wrote a full page of Game of Thrones spoilers instead of an essay on the reformation and spoiled the whole show for the teacher. I’ll bet that didn’t win him any points at all! Instead of answering the essay question, another student drew a very detailed portrait of himself serving fries at McDonald’s with the caption, “Me if I fail this.” They still had to fail him regardless of the drawing. One year the essay prompt was on Enlightenment thinkers. One student wrote, “The Enlightenment had many great thinkers, none of which come to mind currently,” and that was their entire essay.
AP World History
Instead of writing the three required essays, a kid just drew gigantic, veiny penises all over the essay pages. The grader said, “They weren’t those crappy tube-and-two-circles ones either, they were masterpieces, probably the greatest D art ever made.” If only they were able to award points for effort on a completely unrelated topic! For another one of the World History essay questions, a student wrote the lyrics to “It’s the End of the World (As We Know It)” by R.E.M.” According to the teacher, “It was creepy and entertaining at the same time.” If only those items were on the grading criteria as well.
AP Language & Composition
While this had nothing to do with anything, a young lady wrote a very long essay describing the trials and tribulations of finding just the right prom dress. If I were the grader, I’d take points off for boring me to death! Even worse than that was the kid who answered a question with, “The girl across from me has HUGE boobs. I can NOT concentrate.” How anyone would think that was worth writing on paper is an interesting thing to ponder. A teacher said, “I graded AP Comp for two years in a row and I just can’t do it again. I wanted to stab my eyes out with an ice pick at the end of the week. Last year, there was a zombie-themed one that briefly amused me, and a few that just gave up and drew penises and ponies.” So the penis drawings is a reoccurring theme. A teacher shared that “I had a student write, ‘I don’t know, so here’s a picture of a puppy.’ He then drew a beautiful picture of a puppy, it took him nearly an hour to complete it. To this day when I ask my wife a question and she doesn’t know the answer, she just says, ‘puppy.'” It was worth a shot, in my opinion, because who doesn’t love puppies?
Apparently, a student wrote a long passage about “how he wished he still had his umbilical cord so he could attach it to other people and steal all of their nutrients.” If only we knew what question this was in response to, we would be able to laugh even more! One student went with the “Modern Problems Need Modern Solutions” idea when answering what population cycles depend upon. Their answer was the availability of Viagra, and come to think of it, they’re not entirely wrong. An AP Bio question was “What are two causes of infertility in males?” and a student response was “lack of penis.” This is also not entirely wrong but I’m not much of a biologist. On a free response question that asked for two ways that plants prevent self fertilization., the first reason given was that their “guy and girl parts were far away from each other,” and the second reason was that “Jesus said so.” They also included an entire page with a drawing of Jesus declaring “I SAY SO!!!!” with really helps drive home their point, I’m sure.
One grader said, “I got an incredibly detailed drawing of a toilet with $100 going down the drain.” There was also a student who didn’t write the final essay. Instead, they wrote a letter to the grader telling them to take a break and go get a cup of coffee. They went on to compare themselves to the grader, talking about how they were both confined in a room, doing something that they didn’t want to do, yet they were still doing it all the same. I guess the grader agreed with this because they got a 2. There are plenty of students who choose to write about stories that are meant for small children such as the student who wrote an entire essay on the adventures of SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs, a 4 page analysis of Green Eggs and Ham that “wasn’t terrible,” and the student who wrote a recipe for barbecue sauce instead of answering the question. The teacher said they have made it a couple of times and “it’s excellent!” You will need 1 medium onion, 1 tsp paprika (use more if you like), 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 2 tbsp mustard, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 6 tbsp ketchup, and Salt/pepper. Cook onion on med-high heat, stir in vinegar, paprika, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce, add ketchup, and cook down to desired consistency.
AP Chemistry and AP Environmental Science
One grader of the AP Chemistry exam said, “A kid wrote 3 pages about Batman but I had to give him a 5 because the correct answers were actually beautifully interwoven into the story.” A teacher who scored the AP Environmental Sciences exam said that the essay was supposed to be about insecticides and a student “wrote an essay about how they shrunk Chuck Norris down to insect size and he proceeded to beat every insect around to death. It’s my favorite answer on any test.” It’s now mine too!
AP U.S. History
Instead of writing an essay about the American Revolution, a student tweaked the lyrics to Fresh Prince of Bel Air. “Now this is a story all about how, my life got flipped, revolutionized around, and I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there, I’ll tell you how I became Pres. of the country America. In the British Colonies, born and raised, chopping cherry trees is how I spent most of my days, chilling out, relaxing all cool, living off land the British King ruled, when old King George, he was up to no good! He started taxing in the Colonies’ hood! After the Boston Massacre we all got scared and said, “We’re making our own country, the U. S. of Amer(ica)!” It’s not entirely horrible but it’s not very on-beat either.
On another exam, the topic was something particularly difficult about the Revolutionary War and a lot of kids wrote nothing or a bunch of nonsense. One kid wrote, “THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR KICKED A$$!!!!” really big across the paper and left it at that. That actually earned the student a one because all that you have to do to get a one is make a factual statement that pertains to the topic. As the Revolutionary War did, indeed, kick a$$, the student wholeheartedly earned perhaps the best non-zero grade ever on a DBQ for the AP US History test.
A Bunch of Gems from the AP US History Exam
- The unsanitary food led to the publication of The Jungle Book.
- Some factory jobs were so easy, even women could do them.
- The French and Indian War was finally ended by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
- John Handcock wrote the Declaration of Independence.
- Samuel Adams took time out of his busy day brewing beer to found the Sons of Liberty.
- I think the South kept slaves just to make the North mad.
- Once they reached California they were called Sixty-Niners, which meant they were gold hunters.
- The caning of a Senator led Congress to pass the Gag Reflex.
- As a result of the Three-Fifths Compromise, slaves could only vote 60% of the time.
- One of the most well-known gangsters in the 1920s was Al Gore.
- In response to the immigrants, they passed the Alien Seduction Acts.
- Procreation led to the creation of speakeasies.
- Eisenhower threatened massive retardation on the Soviets.
- Notable figures in the civil rights movement were Martin Luther King Jr. and his march on Washington and Aretha Franklin who refused to give up her seat on a bus.
If you enjoy this sort of non-sense, you would love Hilarious Excuses for a Student’s Absence and Hilarious Reasons Students Asked to go to the Nurse.
Jane Morris, Author
Jane Morris is the pen name of a teacher who would really like to tell you more about herself but is afraid she’ll lose her job. Jane has taught English for over 15 years in a major American city. She received her B.A. in English and Secondary Education from a well-known university and her M.A. in writing from an even fancier (more expensive) university. As a professional queen of commiseration turned published author, Jane’s foremost passion in life is to make people laugh.
She has written several highly acclaimed books unpacking the reality of teaching and life inside the school system. You can view her full library of works here.