Thursday, December 16, 2010


This week I’ve been a little jealous.

I’ve felt like my sister must have felt as a child. Her asthma kept her inside while the other kids (myself included) got to go outside and play in the snow, and she was left to observe the fun from the living room window! 
While I don't have asthma, I’ve been pretty preoccupied with passing my chemical peel exam, and I’ve had to miss out on a couple fun Christmas activities. And since I’m whining anyway, I’d like to ask… has anyone ever heard of a test where you couldn’t miss ANY questions in order to pass? I hadn’t - - not until my chemical peel cert. exam.  It wouldn’t seem so bad, except for the fact that no test is complete without the notorious TRICK QUESTION.

Here is the trick question that irritated me more than a 45% lactic acid chemical peel -  

What is the recommended treatment frequency for sensitive skin clients?

Seems pretty straight forward, right?  I’m actually ok with this question. The answer is EVERY 4 WEEKS. I even confirmed it on page 63 of my skin biology and chemical peel textbook (don't worry... I’m allowed… it’s an open book exam). The problem enters when you read the options in the multiple choice responses.

     Here are my choices for answers:
A.   Every 2 weeks
B.   Every 3 weeks
C.   Once a month
D.  None of these

Don’t test writers realize how important the details are to us type A crazies? You can’t just substitute “once a month” for “every 4 weeks” - - at least not in an exam. I mean, technically, some months have five weeks in them, right? So while “once a month” seems reasonable, "none of these" seemed equally reasonable to me.  My world felt perilous with one question, and it was only question #4 on the exam.

I thought about pausing my test to contact the chemical peel company and let them know how they had failed on question #4.  Instead, a thought came to mind.

Remember the fail-proof rule of test taking from back when you were a kid? Everyone used those long skinny SCANTRON answer sheets (with the only compatible #2 pencil). The rumored rule was this – if you don’t know the answer, always select “C”. Apparently, us fifth graders were well studied in statistics and knew all about how "C" had been determined to be correct... most of the time.

Since I could no longer rely on my diligent studying to answer the trick question, I decided to go old-school and apply the only rule I knew from Childhood Test Taking 101. I sucked it up, and knowing that the answer could only be C or D, I selected C (and sulked about the question through the remainder of the test).

Turns out the rumored rule actually paid off. My answer “C” was correct, I got the necessary 100%, and received the certification in chemical peels. Who knows? Maybe next week I’ll discover that your eyeballs really do pop out of your head if you keep them open during a sneeze. For the sake of my beauty school career, let’s hope not.  

Gettin’ Beauty Schooled,


  1. I am so glad to know that I'm not the only one who would panic over those multiple choice selections. I'm not so sure that I would have even been able to select an answer based on the simple fact that some months do have 5 weeks. OMgoodness girl, I can already feel my heart beating faster and I didn't have to take the test. So glad that you got 100%.

  2. I ALWAYS stress over multiple choice questions. Essay questions are way easier, lol. Congrats on getting the all right!