Bogus arbitrary tests

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by birch, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. birch Valued Senior Member


    The problem i see with these tests is that there is only one correct answer when in truth there isn't one. Whoever made this test "decided" what the correct answer is and everyone else is right or wrong dependent on this one person's point of view. Right. You have to consider how they think as well as realizing what the most 'expected' answer is as well.

    Take for instance, the first question and the correct answer is supposedly one, when it could just as easily be 3,4, or 5 because of the divergent ideas in the paragraph/question anyways. the first part of question focuses on distraction between outer stimuli and inner dialogue as well as thought, the second part contradicts the first and the answer which is considered correct is the least apt to apply considering the very next sentence refers to jokes or mimicing. It makes very little sense. it's not even that coherent to begin with. the reason why this question is more arbitrary as well as incoherent is because if the very next line were blank, "paralyzing as to have to tell a joke or mimic an accent on demand" as a multiple choice answer would be a ridiculous and arbitrary choice of example. duh? it reads like the one who wrote it was high on some drugs.

    With the next and final question, again with the process of elimination 3 and 5 seem to be the most apt answers but the correct answer is supposedly decided as 5 but that could be argued that is not the best answer (or correct one) because there is no 'balance' as mentioned in the question when the effort is zero and the result is infinity and where there is no effort required, what do people do with themselves then? what kind of society or purpose do you have? how is that ideal except in a total hypothetical vacuum? Number 3 could easily be placed in the blank and no one would flinch either or be confused by reading it as limitless time and energy and resultant abundance would be ideal too, especially in light of the closing sentence. Yes, number 5 in the strictest sense but either way it's rather arbitrary too.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
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  3. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    I disagree with your analysis that there are multiple correct answers. The three doing the test got the answer correct, and their reasoning seemed spot on, the tone and content of the passage, the next sentence after the blank etc, all pointed to the correct answer in the first, and the second answer is mathematically correct.

    Furthermore, part of what they are testing may not just be regarding knowledge of the subject matter of the question but your ability to extract the answer from the context, tone, the language used etc, or your ability to identify and correctly apply simple maths to a scenario.

    The fact that so few people got them correct is also not in and of itself too much of an issue, as it depends upon the style of test. Some tests might give you 100 questions, for example, where they're all of equal difficulty, and one way they separate the top from the bottom is giving you limited time such that you not only need to answer them correct but also do so quickly.
    Other tests have questions that get increasingly more difficult, so that only the very brightest will get the tough questions correct.

    The video doesn't go into too much detail regarding context of those questions: are they the hardest on the paper? Are all questions like that etc? So in isolation I'm not sure too much can be read into that.
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  5. birch Valued Senior Member

    They did not all get the answer correct. their answers were based on the most safe answer which was 1 and 5 but it was still arbitrary considering the content of the question. i also guessed those were probably the safest answers but i didn't entirely agree with them even though. i disagree with the first question's answer as it is too general and the second is only mathematically correct but is not realistic as there is no purpose or balance which it contradicts itself.

    Both these questions have contradictory and schizophrenic content. there would hardly be no right or wrong answer even if other sentences were left blank. you can also tell just by their reaction as they weren't sure and waiting if they got it 'correct'.

    i totally disagree. for the first question, 3,4 or 5 are better answers for the blank than the first one, especially 5 considering the content, tone and examples used in the passage. for the second, zero effort but limitless asset is not balance or purposeful but only addressed the first part of the passage, the easiest effortless means to an end but the rest of the passage alludes to balance between effort and results just as well.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
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  7. birch Valued Senior Member


    Here is another one but the answers are not shown though so you can't argue it. The first video's blanks and supposed correct answers were horrible.
  8. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    My error on thinking they got the correct.
    But the answers are not arbitrary precisely because of the content of the question.
    I disagree. To me the first answer seems to fit the most comfortably. The content before the blank clearly has the message that we think best when given stimuli (moving images etc), suggesting even before the lines afterward that in the absence of such stimuli we don't think as well.
    Answer 2 (may focus better on future thoughts) is contrary to what the passage is conveying. So clearly wrong,
    Answer 3 (can become confused by multitasking) is clearly wrong as it is asking about the issues when it is purely focussing on thinking - i.e. not multitasking.
    Answer 4 (paralysed by new tasks) is also clearly wrong, as the passage is not talking about new tasks but simply with the ability to think better when given stimuli. The "new tasks" was only brought in because the example of how paralysing the issue of not having stimuli could be was likened to being given a new task to do (like speaking in an accent etc).
    Answer 5 (can be distracted from what is in front) is also wrong, as the passage is saying that such stimuli actually help us.

    So 1 not only makes sense, but the others do not.
    The verb "to balance" can mean to ensure parity, etc, but also just means to establish the net position (e.g. "balance of payments"). In this case to balance the risk and reward is to establish whether you are in a net risk or net reward position.

    Thus the second passage is about how we weigh the risk against reward... there is no allusion toward requiring parity, just in how the good is balanced/weighed against the bad when making a decision.

    The ideal is when the reward is highest and the risk lowest. Thus answer 5. It doesn't ask about or mention realism, only what is the ideal... would you rather have high reward for low risk, or an equivalent level of risk and reward?

    I know what I would choose.

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  9. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    I never get any tests wrong cause I don't take any tests.

  10. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    When in high school & college I took a lot of tests & never noticed any questions with more than one plausible answer.

    For tests providing several alternatives, there seemed to be no ambiguities.

    BTW: When I was in high school & college, the explanation for how mountains occurred was silly & I objected to the text book explanation. The teachers/professors I had required me to give the text book answer to all questions & allowed me to add the remark: "I do not believe that answer is valid."

    Circa 20-30 years later, on alumni day I had forgotten the controversy, but my teacher had not. He mentioned that the text book theory was wrong & had been replaced with the continental drift explanation. He also remembered a dialogue similar to the following.
    sculptor likes this.
  11. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Long ago and far away:
    I was forced by a dean to pick up some 1 and 2 level degree requirements, and found myself in a section with the TA from hell. She read the first paragraph of a chapter and quizzed us on that. Silly that.
    The first paragraph set out an hypothesis that was mostly trashed in the end of the chapter, saving only a small portion for further discussion.
    Needless(?) to say, I did not do well on her quiz. So, I approached her and solicited a discussion of the contents of her quizz and the pertinent chapter. Shortly, it dawned on me that she had actually not read the chapter in discussion. So I quizzed her about the author's salient points found therein. And........she hadn't a clue.
    She was a discomforting combination of arrogance, ignorance and laziness which I found intolerable.
    So, schedule in hand, I walked down to the department offices and requested(politely demanded) another section with another TA. It took some convincing and negotiating before succeeding.

    This was toward the end of my 13 year 5 university journy of the mind, so I fairly well knew what I had to tolerate and what I did not have to tolerate.
    I have often felt sorry for the poor undereducated freshmen and sophomores who fell victim to her.
    But, well, I ain't no crusader rabbit.

    OK just for curiousity:
    Who among you understood the crusader rabbit reference?
  12. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

    Well, sculptor, since you mentioned : "Long ago and far away:"...

    I might have "understood the crusader rabbit reference"...
    But...well...I ain't no Rags...heck, I ain't not even a Tiger...

    Theme music always sounded like : "One Little, Two Little, Three Little Indians..." over and over and me at least...

    But, as was opined previously, sculptor, that was : "Long ago and far away:"...
  13. birch Valued Senior Member

    I disagree. The first question was more ambiguous than the second and could be interpreted to mean stimuli was also distracting as it mentioned a correlation vs internal non-distractive thinking. otherwise, they wouldn't be reluctant to think 'properly'. either way, all the answers were negative and 1) is not the only one that makes sense.

    i know what he/she is trying to say and that is 'big thoughts/ideas' need to tie in various factors and variables and best thinking is fluid like a journey. but with the moving train or bus, unless trees and power-lines 'correlate' with what you are supposed to be thinking of, doesn't mesh according to what is stated. how is what is "before your eyes" a peculiar correlation to thoughts you are "able" to have then? it just means a moving train or bus, one might find relaxing and relaxation is a good mode to be able to think best or even exercise better thinking with learning to filter out certain stimuli. "introspective reflections" doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the outward stimuli they stated before was a correlation between thoughts one is able to have. it's about the 'flow', not particular stimuli, the line of trees and music. that part is out of place.

    the second one, 3 and 5 are similar, the difference being 5 is using math which seems out of place in this passage.

    EITHER WAY, both these passages are terribly worded and confusing and have contrary elements stated or could be interpreted.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
  14. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Perhaps for you they are terribly worded and confusing, leading to you interpreting them as having seemingly contrary elements. But to me they don't. To me the correct answer is quite clear. Perhaps, therefore, whatever the questions are looking to test for is something that differentiates us.
    But please bear in mind that just because you find a question ambiguous / contrary / poorly worded does not mean that it necessarily is.
  15. birch Valued Senior Member

    it shouldn't be surprising that of those who did not score the highest so therefore did not qualify to enter the top university but able to choose from others, still did very well and went onto become as or more successful. the truth being there really was very little difference in the intelligence and abilities of the students anyways because the competition is so close. students who were not in the top still had other qualities or ways of thinking that were valid, varied, and unique which will not be picked up by one test but important for the contribution to society.

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