Jochen Lüders

Englisch & Sport am Gymnasium und ein bisschen Tango

How to Lose Points & Influence Your Teacher

… when you ans­wer Ques­ti­ons on the text. The fol­lo­wing 25 time-tested methods of irri­ta­ting your tea­cher and per­sua­ding him to deduct (ab­ziehen) points and lower your gra­de will surely work for you, too.

  1. Do not read all the ques­ti­ons befo­re you start working. Quick­ly scan the text and then start imme­dia­te­ly with the one you like best. When you later on dis­co­ver that you have alrea­dy ans­we­red a ques­ti­on, wri­te „As I have alrea­dy said in …“.
  2. Do not give any clues (Hin­wei­se) like ques­ti­on num­bers.
  3. Tea­chers just love repe­ti­ti­ons, that is why you should repeat yours­elf as often as pos­si­ble (“As I have alrea­dy said befo­re …”).
  4. Do not lea­ve any blank lines bet­ween the dif­fe­rent ans­wers. Your who­le test should be one long block of text; like this you will save a lot of paper and help the forests.
  5. Try to make as many inser­ti­ons (Ergän­zung) as pos­si­ble. Do not mark your inser­ti­on so that your tea­cher expe­ri­en­ces a hap­py sur­pri­se when he sud­den­ly dis­co­vers some­thing on the last page that belongs to your first ans­wer.
  6. Never put inser­ti­ons clo­se to the ans­wer it belongs to. If your ans­wer con­sists of three sen­ten­ces, the inser­ti­on should be at least four sen­ten­ces and the­re should be at least one page in bet­ween; if necessa­ry you may add some­thing to an inser­ti­on on the very last page.
  7. Mark all your inser­ti­ons with an aste­risk*. Do not use any clear marks like super­script (hoch­ge­stellt) num­bers, they would spoil the fun of working out which inser­ti­on belongs to which ans­wer.
  8. Do not ans­wer the dif­fe­rent parts of a ques­ti­on in the given order. Always start with the last one, wri­te one sen­tence con­cer­ning the first one and then con­ti­nue with the last again.
  9. Save paper and wri­te across the mar­gins. Your tea­cher will be hap­py that he will not have to wri­te too many comments.
  10. Wri­te ille­gi­b­ly. If you can­not, your hand­wri­ting should be as tiny as pos­si­ble. Prac­tice this at the bot­tom of each page.
  11. If you are not sure how to spell a word, sim­ply wri­te your second ver­si­on over the first one. This method is espe­ci­al­ly effi­ci­ent with vowels. Your tea­cher just loves to find out whe­ther it is sup­po­sed to be an a, an o or may­be a u.
  12. Do not stick to the point. Do not even say what the point is. Just waff­le on (schwa­feln) about anything that comes to your mind. Your tea­cher will be hap­py that you know so much and will pick out the things he likes and igno­re the rest.
  13. Do not reveal the source of any of your con­clu­si­ons, inter­pre­ta­ti­ons etc. Never ever give any line num­bers, they would spoil the teacher’s fun to search for the pas­sa­ge you might refer to.
  14. Do not use any quo­ta­ti­on marks. Let the tea­cher find out him­s­elf whe­ther you used your own words or not.
  15. If a quo­ta­ti­on does not fit into your sen­tence, sim­ply chan­ge it. If necessa­ry just lea­ve out un­necessary words like not.
  16. Do not begin a new para­graph for a new aspect, argu­ment etc. Tea­chers just love one looong block of text, becau­se it is so much more enter­tai­ning for the tea­cher to work out him­s­elf whe­re e.g. a new argu­ment begins.
  17. Under no cir­cum­s­tan­ces indent the first line of a new para­graph. Make sure that the last line of the pre­vious para­graph goes to the very right mar­gin so that ever­ything is neat­ly packed into one long para­graph.
  18. Do not pro­vi­de con­nec­tives and signal words. Sim­ply con­nect all your sen­ten­ces with And.
  19. Inclu­de ple­nty of hack­ney­ed (abge­dro­schen) phra­ses (“We are all indi­vi­du­als and ever­yo­ne must deci­de for them­sel­ves”) and avo­id any alter­na­ti­ves to (rather / very) good / bad.
  20. Eit­her run sen­ten­ces tog­e­ther wit­hout full stops or wri­te sen­tence frag­ments or alter­na­te the two forms. Alter­na­tively just wri­te a bul­le­ted list or key­words. The tea­cher will appre­cia­te your effi­ci­en­cy.
  21. Keep chan­ging bet­ween pre­sent and past ten­se, even wit­hin the same sen­tence. This shows your fle­xi­bi­li­ty.
  22. Make sure your pro­nouns do not refer to anything or anyo­ne in par­ti­cu­lar.
  23. Sprink­le (ver­tei­len) dots ever­y­whe­re. Full stops sim­ply look good and activa­te the reader. As an alter­na­ti­ve you could lea­ve out all punc­tua­ti­on marks.
  24. Do not do any revi­sing or proofrea­ding. This would surely rai­se your gra­de.
  25. Never ever use your dic­tion­a­ry! When you come across an unknown word, just look at the cei­ling or out of the win­dow and guess its mea­ning. As you know the­re are a lot of simi­la­ri­ties bet­ween Eng­lish and Ger­man, so sim­ply take the Ger­man word and make it Eng­lish: bekom­men = beco­me, bewah­ren = bewa­re, aktu­ell = actu­al etc. Howe­ver if you HAVE to use a dic­tion­a­ry, sim­ply take the first word that is given as a trans­la­ti­on, regard­less if it fits the con­text or not. Thus you can crea­te timeless tea­cher favou­rites (“The neck­li­ne from the roman …”) which will be quo­ted in your memo­ry in the tea­chers’ lounge for years to come.“

Allu­si­on in the tit­le …

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  1. Chrissie

    Super klas­se! Ich habs ein biss­chen geän­dert* und wer­de es mei­nem LK mor­gen rein­rei­chen!
    *z.B.
    „If you HAVE to use the dic­tion­a­ry, sim­ply use the first word that is given as a trans­la­ti­on, regard­less if it fits to the situa­ti­on or not. You can crea­te such timeless tea­cher favou­rites like “The neck­li­ne from the roman…” which will be quo­ted in your memo­ry in the tea­chers’ lounge for years to come.“

  2. Nils Andersen

    Yo made my day… thank you 😉

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