A Singaporean mother has gathered a collection of actual local primary school questions, and they look absolutely illogical.

Have a look at this question from a Primary 4 exam:


Because “the sun is behind her” is apparently not the answer to why a person’s shadow appears in front.

Instead, the “correct” answer is:

because the sun is behind her and she is blocking the path of the light.



Note that the answer was originally awarded zero marks before the teacher changed her mind.

Check out this one instead.


The correct answer for this one is “because the ball occupies space”.

Apparently something that has “volume” does not take up “space”.


The keyword required, as pointed out by the inverted-V, is “roots”. ROOTS IS THE ANSWER.


Why We’re Putting Our Kids Through This

The kids who supplied the answers are clearly not trolling their teachers. Ask any adult the same questions and it is quite likely that they will provide the same answers. According to the science HOD of the school, the strict adherence to model answers help prepare children for the kind of specific answers from the textbook that PSLE examiners expect.

Turns out we are completely wrong about the whole point of education. Our education system is not about thinking or learning. We’re not teaching people to be smart or think critically; we’re training our kids to be regurgitating zombies.

Even if we want to force children to memorise keywords, the questions should be presented in a “missing-word” format, like comprehension tests. This method allows the kids to figure out the terms instead. All answers offered above seem to make sense, but have been denied full marks because they’re technically incorrect. We’re killing creativity and innovation with our insistence on sticking to textbook answers.

Featured Image via Lil Blue Bottle
Images via MalMal Our Inspiration, Reaction Gifs
References via MalMal Our Inspiration