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16 hilarious answers our ancestors gave in school tests

Picture of Niall Cullen - Senior Content Strategist
Niall Cullen
3 September 2019

You won’t believe some of the shameless exam responses we’ve uncovered in our historical newspapers.

Do you fondly look back on your school days as the best times of your life? Well, it seems that times may not have changed as much as we’d like to think they have. Children throughout history certainly didn’t let strict schoolmasters and challenging conundrums distract from their fun. You only have to delve into our newspaper archive for the proof. But were these school test answers cheeky comebacks or innocent blunders? Decide for yourself.

Explore newspaper archives

Funny exam responses

Leamington Spa Courier, 18 April 1913

Funny test answers

Manchester Evening News, 6 August 1917

crazy test answers from the past

Sheffield Weekly Telegraph, 30 May 1914

Funny answers to school tests

Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette, 9 January 1914

Funny things kids say

Gloucester Citizen, 19 August 1925

Funny school tests

Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette, 22 August 1923

School test from the past

Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 7 April 1906

Unbelievable school test answers

Whitby Gazette, 19 August 1904

Funny school exam answers

Worcestershire Chronicle, 7 December 1901

Hilarious school test answers

Derby Daily Telegraph, 16 November 1905

Old school exams

Tamworth Herald, 19 May 1900

Funny ancestors

Nottingham Evening Post, 18 April 1933

Discover your family’s school days

What do you really know about your ancestor’s childhood? One simple yet revealing way to find out more about their formative years is to look at their school records. One particular highlight is our exclusive collection of England & Wales National School Admission Registers & Log-Books. They will give you family tree information that you won’t find elsewhere. The records come from schools, record offices and archives throughout England and Wales and date back to 1870. Trace your relative’s entry among the nearly 10 million records, and as well as basic names and dates, you could uncover their exam results, reasons for absence and even lesson plans. So, you’ll soon realise if you descend from a line of scholars or troublemakers.