I was informed by a loyal reader currently in graduate school at Our Lady’s University, but who attended and undergraduate institution in the Deep South, that he had a recent discussion with an acquaintance from the University of Alabama. In the course of this chat, the Alabama student indicated that he didn’t know Notre Dame is a Catholic university.
Just a week ago, our students engaged in that biannual academic marathon knows as final exams. They have now spent the last seven days like invalids, vampires, or burrowing nocturnal creatures, remaining bed-ridden and semi-comatose until dusk. Lest our young men and women lose all their intellectual vigor, and since I was inspired by the spirit of instruction that the previously mentioned Notre Dame lad displayed in educating his Alabama friend, I have composed a brief examination for students from both universities. Take the test and see how you fare, but be sure to select answers from your college’s section.
1. What are the grammatical errors in the following sentence?
If Notre Dame were to beat Alabama in the final game, they would be undefeated and the undisputed National Champions of college football.
a) “National Champions” is not a technical or formal title and therefore should not be capitalized.
b) “Undisputed” should be “indisputable.”
c) In the subordinate, introductory, conditional clause, the verb “were” is in the subjunctive mood, implying a condition contrary to fact; however, in that it is possible for Notre Dame to defeat Alabama, the verb should be in the indicative mood.
d) The subject of the subordinate clause is “Notre Dame” which is singular; therefore the subsequent pronoun which refers to “Notre Dame” should be third person, neuter, singular: “it” not “they.”
e) Both (a) and (b)
f) Both (c) and (d)
g) None of the above
a) We’re playing the Irish not Noter-whoever.
b) Doesn’t say “Roll Tide” anywheres.
c) Not fair they get 2 names and we only get 1.
d) You need to stick “which ain’t gonna happen” somewhere in there.
e) “Undisputed” is a fancy word for “B***S***”
f) Maybe their all wrong.
g) One of the above, who in hell cares.
2. The most significant geological fact about the Mississippi River is:
a) As the primary river of the largest system on the continent of North America, the Mississippi watershed drains 31 different states and two Canadian provinces.
b) The Mississippi formed a border and barrier for New France, New Spain, and the fledgling United States.
c) The Mississippi conducts a large volume of agricultural runoff, creating the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone off its delta.
d) In the early 20th Century, commerce and travel on the Mississippi was heavily controlled by construction of locks, levees, dams, and dikes.
a) Omagawd! Say that last word again!
b) If it was good for anything it would flood out Mississippi State, but it doesn’t matter none because this Tide swamps them every year anyway.
c) The water tastes like stanky catfish.
d) If it goes by Ole Miss, it doesn’t flow – it sucks!
3. A 50-year-old forest of oak trees would sequester _________ pounds of _________ per acre in a year. The same forest would emit ________ pounds of __________.
a) 22,000…oxygen; 30,000…carbon dioxide
b) 30,000…carbon dioxide; 22,000…oxygen
c) 22,000…carbon dioxide; 30,000…oxygen
d) 30,000…oxygen; 22,000…carbon dioxide
a) Just feed ‘em some kerosene – that’ll take care of their breathing for good!
b) Screw Auburn.
c) My dog Bear treed a whole family of raccoons in a big oak once.
d) Screw Auburn.
4. If a rooster sits atop a barn that has a roof sloping downwards at a 20 degree angle, in a 10 mph breeze from the west, and it lays an egg, which way will it roll?
a) The question cannot be answered because the orientation of the barn with respect to the wind is not given.
b) The question presupposes that the egg would be deposited directly at the apex of the barn’s roof, a condition that would be highly improbable under any circumstances.
c) The question is invalid on its face because roosters do not lay eggs.
d) They question cannot be answered because it does not state that the angle of the barn’s roof is the same on both sides of the apex.
a) Trick question – roosters can’t climb.
b) Rooster eggs taste like s***.
c) Wring the thing’s neck before it makes a mess or gives backtalk.
d) Everyone knows chickens lay eggs. Roosters lay frogs.
5. A Graduation Success Rate of 97%, as compared to a Graduation Success Rate of 75%, most accurately means:
a) In a hypothetical sample of 100 students, at one school all but three will graduate, while at the other school 25 will fail to graduate.
b) Over the course of six years for which data on a particular group of students is available, at one school nearly all will graduate, while at the other school only three-quarters of the students will graduate.
c) The greatest measure of success for a college student is that he graduates.
d) Empirical evidence suggests that one school is more successful than the other.
a) Somebody’s cheating and somebody’s being honest.
b) There wasn’t supposed to be math on this.
c) George Wallace would punch you right in the mouth if you asked him a question like that.
d) There are more important things than graduating.
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