I was looking over a GRE practice test today (don’t ask me why — reading things is what I do), and I was surprised that some of the answers were obviously wrong or utterly ambiguous.

People get admitted to grad school with this?

There was a question specifically about the skin’s defenses against bacterial invasion where the whole point of the passage is leading up to summarizing a specific method the skin uses to defend against pathogens, and the answer (which was wrong) was that the passage was a summary of various methods the skin uses to defend against infection.

Well no — there were “various methods” listed, but the whole point of the passage was to tell the reader about this specific one in more detail than the others — that’s why it took up nearly 2/3 of the entire citation.

My guess is that the writer of the question had read the entire piece, but only pulled this portion, and that the the piece in toto was in fact about the various methods the skin uses to repel invaders — but not the bit they pulled. Which very much was not about what the “answer” claimed.

No offense intended to any friends or SOs who went that direction, but glad I didn’t walk that path, into academia. I simply could not deal with that shit.

When you’re smarter than the examiner, the examination should be abandoned for something more appropriate.