Christopher Ruel
Christopher Ruel
Community and Social Marketing, Wiley

There are legitimate excuses, and then there are questionable ones. Some, while honest and candid, still fall into the unacceptable bucket. We recently asked over one thousand instructors for the most common and dramatic excuses they have heard from students who fail an exam or miss turning in an assignment. Here are some of their responses.



Excuses For Not Passing An Exam:

  1. “I had no idea what I was doing.”
  2. “I studied everything you didn’t ask on the exam.”
  3. “The exam was nothing like the homework.”
  4. “I didn’t expect Chapter (X) on the test.”
  5. “I don’t consider myself good at time management.”
  6. “I was set up to fail.”
  7. “I expected the study guide to tell me exactly what would be on the test.”
  8. “I thought it was going to be easy.”
  9. “The questions were worded differently than the homework problems.”
  10. “I don’t do well on exams.”


Excuses For Not Completing or Handing In An Assignment:

  1. “The WiFi stopped working.”
  2. “It seemed easy when we did it in class.”
  3. “I was on social media.”
  4. “I had a date last night.”
  5. “I have other classes.”
  6. “It’s not you, it’s me.”
  7. “I left my sunroof open and a raccoon stole the assignment from my car.”
  8. “I was at the carwash and the bumper fell off my car. I had to deal with insurance, etc.”
  9. “I was arrested for selling tee shirts on the interstate.”
  10. “I made the Olympic national team.”


While course management systems and e-learning environments may not completely eradicate the need for students to supply excuses, they can certainly help.  After all, it would take a crafty raccoon to steal a laptop and log in to an LMS.


Learn more about the next generation of Wiley’s courseware here.


What excuses have you heard to add to the above? Let us know in the comments below.


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