The Student's Guide to House Targaryen

Or, take back what is yours with fire and blood.

Note: if you actually have a dragon, just bring it to school and you have no need to read this guide.

For mere mortals, though, it may be more difficult to coerce the teacher to give you an A on the exam. In fact, most of us are probably happy with a pass. But when your answer is rejected with stupid reasons (or you're half a mark away from pass), here's how to argue with teachers and get your marks back.

1. Ensure that you can actually argue for marks.

This is unlikely to be something established by a figure of authority. Consult more experienced victims (i.e. older students) as to possible consequences when demanding what is yours. Do not, and I repeat do not challenge the rules unless you are certain you can win.

Situations where it is okay to demand the right to argue for marks: the teacher is new, the teacher is the only one who doesn't permit it, the teacher is not a figure of terror.

Situations where you do not even try: marks will be deducted, the teacher is evil.

2. Do not invalidate the model answer; prove it doesn't invalidate other answers.

Even when you truly, deeply know that the model answer is as crap as George Lucas love stories. Start by asking why your answer is incorrect. Listen intensely. Always suggest your answer as an alternative. Under no circumstances yell "I don't care about the textbook, it's incorrect!"

(I haven't done that in front of a teacher, but I did when I was doing a biology MCQ past paper. A biology postgrad friend and I chose D. A high school just-graduate and the model answer chose B. *facepalm*)

3. Find your own army of Unsullied.

Most of the time, you have a group of ready allies behind you: your classmates. Chances are, you're not the only one to get the answer wrong. Rally these people. There is superiority in numbers, and at least the teacher will know you're serious (and experienced). Huh, nice assonance there.

To illustrate how successful this tactic is, I once had an entire hall of 200 odd students applaud for me as I emphatically pointed out exactly why my interpretation of the assigned text was supported by textual evidence and commonly accepted connotations and symbolism of natural objects. The teacher ended up posting lists in each classroom about the mark edits because nearly everyone got marks back.

4. Win or lose, do it with good grace.

We (as in all students) hate to admit this, but teachers do have the upper hand. If you're aiming for better scores, you can only draw the line so far. Know when to just shut up, step back, and complain to your classmates instead. If you threw a fit (I did once), send a polite, not-really-heartfelt apology email. (Letters cannot get past my conscience, but they're more kiss-ass.) Trust me, this sort of thing works. You might even get that mark back.

That's it for today: please do leave a comment whether you laughed to death, were shocked by my ridiculous comments, or simply awesome enough to make my day by saying hi :D And don't forget to subscribe for more random morbid insanity!


  1. Okay, I'm grinning. The part about the 200 students was pretty awesome.

    I never argued grades until this last year, and I'm always paranoid that the teacher will get annoyed at me and make my grade even WORSE instead. (probably won't happen, but...) I'll keep these tips in mind when the evil doom (aka finals) arrive.

    1. I was fighting extremely hard to keep the smug grin off my face. Democracy!

      Good luck resisting the dark side of the Force ... I mean, entirely benign teachers ... *cough*

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. I want a dragon. But whether I want a Night Fury or the one that Ransom ran into on Perelandra is still up in the air.

    1. Ah yes, so difficult to decide between the various dragons. Although I do really prefer Chinese dragons; no wings means a smaller target for archers. This round of patriotism brought to you for no good reason. ;P


IMPORTANT: Please use Name/URL instead of Wordpress/OpenID to comment, otherwise Blogger hobbits will eat your words. So sorry about this. Thanks!

I respond to all comments and would love to check out your blog if you leave a link :D Unless it's spam. Then I'll delete the comment and put you on the takeout blacklist, what a shame!