Monday 17th December 17:28

"Bonk Testing"

Hi everyone,

On nearly every course I run, I like to end things with some kind of test.

I have 2 rules. First, I like to test my trainees on what they should have learnt on the course. If I've trained them well, they should do OK on this. The second test is on something they've still got to learn. That brings them down to earth and encourages them to continue with their own learning by themselves.

I've come to call this "Bonkistry" which is named after Professor Bonk, a chemistry professor at Duke University in the United States.

The story is told that, one year, two male students of Professor Bonk decided to take the weekend off before a vital exam. Both students had done well in the course and were expected to score top grades, hence their decision to go to a party with friends at the University of Virginia the weekend before the exam.

The party was great, so much so that the two students slept all the Sunday and missed the exam on the Monday morning. They duly reported to Professor Bonk, made up a story about getting a flat tyre on the way back from Virginia, and asked if they could re-sit the exam the next day.

Professor Bonk thought it over and agreed.

That night the two students crammed for the exam. The next morning they arrived at the exam hall where Professor Bonk placed them in separate rooms and gave them the exam paper. At the allotted time, he told them to turn the paper over and begin.

The first question was a relatively easy problem on molarity and worth 5 points. Both students thought, "This is going to be easy". It was everything they had crammed for. They then turned the page to the second and final question which read:
"Which tyre? (95 points)".

Happy training and happy testing!

Eric

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