College Student Accidentally Takes Midterm Early, Might Fail Class for a Third Time

What happens when a college student accidentally takes their midterm at the beginning of the semester? Naturally, social media chaos ensues.

Jamie Lerner - Author

Aug. 28 2023, Published 10:39 a.m. ET

One of the latest trends of the TikTok craze is sharing our most embarrassing or surprising moments with fans, followers, and strangers. It’s only August, and already, a college student has accidentally taken her midterm exam for algebra. But she didn’t show us this to show off her smarts; it’s the opposite!

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TikToker Zoey Townson (@zoeyykosnerr) shared a 9-second video poking fun at how she accidentally took her college midterm in August! As commenters try to figure out what happened — is she actually brilliant or is she just brilliant at making dumb mistakes — we figure out where to place the blame.

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TikToker Zoey Townson accidentally took her algebra midterm exam in August.

In her first video about the incident, Zoey posted a selfie video with the subtitle, “It’s my second day of school and I accidentally took my MIDTERM. MIDTERM!!!!!” Her caption says, “This is my sign to drop out,” and commenters took this to mean that she’s either brilliant at math or she’s so dumb that she should just drop out of college.

While we think that neither is the case — stay strong, girly — this video is definitely more of a fail than a win. In a “Part 2” video Zoey made to answer all of the commenters’ questions, she explains, “I have taken this class three times. It’s college algebra, don’t judge, and I just can’t do math. I just can’t. I don’t know what it is about me, I just can’t do it, nope … I’m a business major.

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“So I’m taking this pre-test for this class and … I was on question 70 at this point, sitting there for like an hour, and I’m like d---! Like this s--- is f------ long! And I was like, ‘For a pre-test? Really? Like, come on, now.’ So I click out of it finally because I was just like, I can’t do this, I’m just gonna drop the class. And then I look and it says, ‘Pre-test completed.’

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“And I was just like, ‘So what have I been doing?’ So it took me from the pre-test and it made me start on the midterm progress … So I panic. I emailed my professor, ‘Oh my God, I did not mean to do this, I thought it was the pre-test, like, can you help me out?’ He was pretty much just like, ‘Oh congrats. You’ve already done most of the class.’ And I’m like, ‘Not well!’”

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Basically, our girly took most of her midterm, and although her computer screen says “94 percent” next to the test, that’s referring to the progress of the test and not her grade. She has no idea if she failed or passed, but whatever the result, it will make up about 18 percent–20 percent of her semester grade for algebra. Hopefully, since it’s her third time taking the course, she could have passed! And if not, she expects to take college algebra a fourth time.

Some commenters have shared their own college exam nightmares, while others are still bewildered.

This college course appears to be on ALEKS, an online higher education tutoring and assessment program that students can use from home to take tests. Several commenters shared that they had similar experiences with ALEKS and that it was “so confusing.” Someone else even called it “the death of me.”

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Others are wondering how it was even possible for Zoey to take her midterm in August. “My professors haven’t even opened the assignments for next week, how do you have access to that?” one person asked. Someone else shared, “I haven’t even gotten the syllabus yet?” Well, different college courses go at different paces.

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But the biggest discourse in the comments was whether Zoey passed or failed her exam. Although the screen said “94 percent” next to the exam, some people thought this meant she got a 94 percent grade on the exam, while others thought it meant she completed 94 percent of the test. As she explains (through several confusing turns of phrase) in her Part 2 video, she could have failed the test but has taken 94 percent of it.

Who’s fault is it? Is the professor to blame for not helping Zoey? Should we put all our blame on ALEKS? Or should Zoey be held accountable for taking her test too early? In all fairness, it’s probably a combination of all three — although professors should be forgiving to complicated circumstances. While she can’t retake the same midterm, perhaps he could give her a different test instead.

On the other hand, perhaps Zoey’s already surpassed the other students and doesn’t have to work as hard going forward. It could be a blessing in disguise! Zoey just needs to look at the glass half full … if she can even calculate what “half” of the glass is.

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