Author : Rob Sharp

‘What the hell!’

A dozen pairs of eyes turned to glare at Jerry. A little black dot on the front page indicated that question seven, the question he was halfway through, had been altered. He read it again; it was different.

‘Sorry,’ he mumbled and hunkered back into his chair. The rest of the students got back to their papers. Jerry knew that there was a slim possibility that the questions in the exam could change; the warning on the front of the paper was clear:

‘In the event of a discovery in the field you are being assessed, changes will be made to the examination to reflect current scientific consensus.’


Jerry turned the paper over in his hands. While it was an impressive bit of kit, it didn’t quite have a 180 degree viewing angle, so when he held it side on the type wasn’t clear. It was thin and light, he had to give it to them, and it felt just like paper.

What a waste, he thought. Jerry rubbed his answer sheet, confirmed his pin and removed his workings to question seven, all useless. He cursed the names of the scientists publishing today, the examiners who had to change the tests and the politicians who thought it was a good idea ‘to ensure we aren’t teaching our kids obsolete information.’ Jerry would rather have been wrong for a lifetime than answer that question again.

A black dot appeared next to question four. About half of the room audibly crumpled. At least Jerry was ahead of the game, he thought, before realising he’d have to redo that one too.

Some days it didn’t pay to get out of bed.

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