All or None of the above

I took a half day on Friday for a dentist appointment. Afterward my wife and I enjoyed Red Robin burgers and the new movie Pixels, which was as bad as I expected, but entertaining. My wife is a very understanding person and I promise we’ll go see Trainwreck sometime this weekend.

Half days are a good opportunity to catch up on mandatory web training for work, and one training course I’d been meaning to get to for a while was A Peacock in the Land of Penguins. The full version I watched is 12 minutes but I found a 3 minute version on YouTube if you want a taste:

As funny as the video is, my favorite part of the training was the questions. The training software was obviously designed to randomize the position of the responses, one of the ways you can shake out bias in polling or test taking. The thing is, whoever wrote the software forgot to write a case for “All of the above”. This resulted in questions of the form:

  • A. All of the above
  • B. Answer 1
  • C. Answer 2
  • D. Answer 3

Or the even more confusing:

  • A. Answer 1
  • B. All of the above
  • C. Answer 2
  • D. Answer 3

From context it was pretty obvious that B actually meant A,C and D not just A. If we were taking this literally, A and B are the same. This got me to thinking on how you could construct even more confusing questions.

  • A. Answer 1
  • B. All of the above
  • C. B but not A
  • D. Answer 2

Or how about:

  • A. None of the below
  • B. Both A and C.
  • C. All of the above.
  • D. Answer 1

Or even:

  • A. Answer 1
  • B. Answer 2
  • C. All of the above
  • D. Answer 3

I imagine the test taker would more inclined to believe above meant only 1 and 2, not 3 in this case, and this could have plausibly happened with the software I was using.

Got any fun constructions of your own? 10 points for someone who comes up with a foursome in which every answer is impossible.

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1 Comment

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One response to “All or None of the above

  1. A. All four answers are false.
    B. Either C or D is correct.
    C. All of the above.
    D. None of the above.

    Incidentally, Trainwreck is *amazing.* The first scene alone is worth the price of admission.

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