On Campus

National Biology Competition by U of T: Catnip for Nerds

Not being able to guess at multiple choice is like a Diehard movie without Bruce Willis

After 18 hours, I still haven’t completely recovered.

I never want to see the word, “phenotype,” again. And I still don’t know what the hell Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium is.

I’m totally shell shocked.

I wrote the University of Toronto National Biology Competition yesterday.

I’m still not actually considering Toronto as a possible university to attend this September. My alter-ego didn’t knock me out, sign up for the test, and then, in the ultimate act of copyright violation, cross the multiverse and destroy all parallel-Scotts, absorbing our collective energy and becoming The One.

I actually signed up for the annual competition because A) I’m a nerd. It’s what we do. And B) All 50 questions were multiple choice. How hard could it be, right?

My ignorance was my downfall.

Multiple choice is easy. Unless A, B, C, D, and E all seem like plausible answers. Take this question, for instance:

Which of the following signal transduction molecules is not bound to the plasma membrane?
A) Cyclic AMP
B) Peptide hormone receptors
C) Adenylyl cyclase
D) Phospholipase C
E) Endo-cyclic Scott-is-screwed triphosphate

Not to mention the fact that the University of Toronto doesn’t hold up to the Evil Villain code of ethics. After single-handedly defeating all 867 henchmen that were sent after me (one at a time, of course), I prepared for a climatic, 10-minute long swordfight with Lord Toronto himself. At which point, Toronto whipped out a machine gun and blasted me into naive little pieces.

Yes, marks were deducted for wrong answers.

Sure, you could argue that if people could guess at answers without any sort of penalty, someone’s score could be artificially inflated. And I haven’t yet come up with a counter-argument to end this paragraph properly.

But really, this totally defeats the whole purpose of multiple choice. Not being able to guess at multiple choice is like having waffles without syrup. It’s like a Diehard movie without Bruce Willis.

Or a Shakespearian play without an innocent, doomed grade nine class.

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