Posts Tagged ‘exams’

choices choices choices

October 31, 2012


Here is a question from reluctant philanthropist Jess:

For about six months, I have been volunteering in a charity shop on Saturday afternoons; however, now I am thinking about quitting in the near future. This is mainly due to it taking up my time, which could be better spent doing school work, which I am starting to be overloaded with, having just started my A levels, and doing three subjects which revolve around essays, and one foreign language.

Because it is on a Saturday, it also eats up the time that I could be spending meeting up with friends. Not to mention, the work is incredibly mundane and monotonous, and I really don’t enjoy it. The situation is complicated because I know the assistant manager well, and see her at least once a week, so it’s not like I can just stop turning up and pretend the shop doesn’t exist. What would be the best and politest way to quit without antagonising anyone?!

Erm, the truth? At least the bit of truth that isn’t about the work being boring. Tell the manager that unfortunately you don’t have time because you need to study for your A levels. Why would anyone bother arguing with that?

Since we’re on the subject of A-Levels, here’s a question from Johnny from Brighton:

My friend wants to be a doctor, but thanks to some dodgy lecture at our school about ‘what employers REALLY want’ he thinks that he should do RE as well as his medical stuff to add some ‘range’.

Now, normally I would only feel kind of wonky about this but he’s only doing it because he believes it will be easy. Surely at A-Level you should do what you want to be able to do for the rest of your life? Unless he’s got some hidden urge to become a pastor he hasn’t told me about, I feel he’s making a huge mistake!

Answer me this, should I try and get him to change his mind or should I just not stick my nose where it doesn’t belong?

Well, Johnny, you do seem unusually concerned about your friend’s subject choices. The real question, I think, is why do you instinctively wish to control him? If you can’t face examining yourself, suggest he take Psychology A level instead, so eventually he may be able to explain your negative urges to you.

Anyway, have you discounted the notion that perhaps he is actually interested in theology? And given that wannabe medics have to do several hard-to-bluff subjects such as advanced maths and sciences, sitting an exam that is slightly less demanding is quite a pragmatic decision. Maybe the RE would even be a complementary choice, as he would be able to perform the last rites over his patients if he turns out not to be a very good doctor.

His other option is to ‘add range’ by enjoying a variety of extra-curricular activities (such as working in a charity shop like Jess!). However, I can’t speak for employers of medics, but I don’t how important ‘range’ is to them rather than ‘excellence at medicine’. By the time he has completed his seven years of medical training, I doubt they will be particularly interested in what he did at school. If he doesn’t appear to be a well-rounded individual by then, they won’t be convinced that he is one because he did Duke of Edinburgh, swimming and tap dance when he was sixteen.

Lastly, I must dispute your assertion that your A level choices will necessarily have anything to do with the rest of your life. I had to decide mine when I was fourteen! It is a mercy that none of the decisions I made then proved binding at all.

That said, had there been A levels in podcasting or self-employment, I certainly would have been tempted. Frankly, Russian hasn’t come in particularly handy. YET.


EPISODE 191 – the enemy of creases

September 8, 2011

Well, listeners, this is it. The last episode for a month – Answer Me This! Episode 191:

This classic episode is available to BUY NOW for just 79p at the Answer Me This! Store, through a secure server, without DRM restriction. CLICK HERE to find out more and support our podcast. (This helps keep our most recent episodes free)

In our last yaps before shutting up for a month, we speak of:

Gossip Girl‘s out-of-character choice of search engine
Tate & Lyle
Jon Snow’s laptop
cinder toffee
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
Samson speed-dating
iPhones vs. traditional toilet reading
bio vs. non-bio
blue plastic champagne flutes vs. classiness
Rihanna’s Navy vs. Bruno Mars’s Hooligans vs. K£sha’s Animals
female magnets
paediatric brine.

Plus: Olly reveals the secret to his Oxford success – York Notes; Helen has worrying plans to become a major soak over the break; and Martin the Sound Man will be jetting off to space on the back of the Philips Man Iron. Brrrrm brrm!

This week’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App is about newsreader Kay Burley’s eggs, which are available exclusively to denizens of the Sky News make-up room – unlike the AMT app, which is available to any old chump with an iPhone, iPad or Android device.

Though we are off-air for a month, we’ll still be updating this site, and more importantly collecting QUESTIONS for the new series. So send them along, by leaving voicemails on the Question Line (dial 0208 123 5877 or Skype answermethis) and sending emails to

We hope you have a smashing month, and we’ll you on October 13th, bright and early!

Helen & Olly


EPISODE 189 – when you can only achieve orgasm using spreads

August 25, 2011

It’s pretty unusual for us podcasters to venture out of our comfortable armchairs, let alone venture into the great not-indoors. Last weekend, however, we donned our cagoules, stocked up on wet-wipes, and took in a lungful of folk-laced fresh air at the Green Man festival – where we had such a smashing time, we decided to record Answer Me This! Episode 189 right there:

This classic episode is available to BUY NOW for just 79p at the Answer Me This! Store, through a secure server, without DRM restriction. CLICK HERE to find out more and support our podcast. (This helps keep our most recent episodes free)

In a field in Wales, we talk about:

camping with Charlotte Church
Batman: Arkham City
talking trains
the sexy Green M&M
the 9 1/2 Weeks fridge
the Cadbury’s Caramel Bunny vs. Jessica Rabbit
Cadbury World vs. Kraft World
George W. Ferris
Mrs Fat Controller
local anaesthetic.

Plus: Olly fears the revenge of Kris Marshall; Helen discovers a sport she IS interested in: topless frisbee; and Martin the Sound Man sees a future where Batman and Catwoman give birth to Dustin Hoffman.

As you’ll hear, we were joined this week by some unexpected guests in the shape of wasps. (They weren’t just shaped like wasps; they were wasps.) Next week, we should be joined by a much less stingy and stripy special guest in the shape of Jon Ronson. (He’s not just shaped like Jon Ronson, he is Jon Ronson.) So concoct some QUESTIONS for the fan of psychopaths, goat-starers and Robbie Williams, and send them in the form of voicemails to the Question Line (dial 0208 123 5877 or Skype answermethis) or emails to

We do hope that Jon remembers to turn up, but whether he does or not, we’ll deffers see you next Thursday,

Helen & Olly

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EPISODE 123 – Jews should not ski

January 21, 2010

Hello, podcast-liking hotties!

Seems Canada survived Olly’s recent skiing trip intact, but did Olly himself? Did you have a sweepstake on just how long he would succeed on the slopes? Find out whether he was a natural snowMann or pisspoor on the piste in Answer Me This! Episode 123 [or just ask his doctor]:

This classic episode is available to BUY NOW for just 79p at the Answer Me This! Store, through a secure server, without DRM restriction. CLICK HERE to find out more and support our podcast. (This helps keep our most recent episodes free)

Wherein we talk of:

Pinocchio’s nose: logical tool or moral tool?
the pain of childbirth
The Wedding Banquet
one SICK PUPPY (mildly NSFW, unless you are happy for your colleagues to think you are a bit of a perv)
driving with Homer Simpson
cod liver oil
bums vs. sharks
the wrong way to achieve the work/life balance

Plus: Olly finds himself uncharacteristically bashful at being the centre of attention; Helen outlines the original sense of ‘no glove, no love’; and Martin the Sound Man thinks that a really intelligent question is one about pissing into a jug. Incidentally, last week he was setting exam questions for Physics undergraduates; so if you happen to be sitting one of Dr Austwick’s papers, by that standard you should sail through.

Now, don’t be upset, but this is the penultimate episode in the current series of Answer Me This!; we’ll be back on 4th March with renewed question-answering vigour. But tune in next Thursday for Episode 124, in which we have a very exciting announcement. No, none of us our pregnant. Guess again. No, we’re not undergoing gender reassignment either. Shut up.

So until then, chop chop and get your free Audible audiobooks HERE – and please ask all your friends and enemies to take up the offer as well! You could also tell them to ask us a QUESTION for next series, by emailing, or leaving a message with Skype ID answermethis or the question line 0208 123 5877. And in return we’ll…um…dedicate a bench to you?

See you next week!

Helen and Olly

PS As promised, this is for all you toenail fetishists out there:

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