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Biology Test Question: “What is the Name of My Cat?”


A teacher who included such searching questions as “what is the name of my cat?” and “what is your name?” in a midterm science test has been told to stop it.

The science teacher, in his forties, was found to have conducted a midterm biology test on a class at the Fukuoka high school with the question:

“( ) is name of the cat who’s taking care of teacher’s house. Lately he likes ( ).”

Other questions included what kind of car the teacher drove, what colour it was, and what its number plate was.

“Please enter your name, class and seat number in a clearly legible way” was an actual question on his test papers.

The teacher himself explained he “wanted to check whether they’ve been listening to what I tell them in class” – presumably his cat features frequently in the class syllabus. He claimed he did not grade student answers to the question about their name.

The school principal made up a different excuse: “Some of our students don’t understand science so we require they be given questions they can answer – we tell teachers not to mark these questions.” He called the teacher’s choice of questions “inappropriate” all the same.

Reportedly the teacher wanted to avoid being handed blank test papers, and so deliberately introduced filler questions to allow students to answer.

This kind of “special consideration” saw blank papers disappear and his students getting average marks of 90%, some 20% higher than the school average.

Tackling the issue by actually educating his students (or at least training them) to be able to answer the test questions seems not to have occurred to him.

The principal gave the teacher an oral reprimand (incidentally often the same punishment meted out to teachers who molest or beat their students) and had him revise the tests.

The average score of the class he tested on his cat’s name is now said to be in the sixties.

The same school was recently found to have employed two part-time teachers on licenses which had expired, for over 5 years.

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