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All of the Above

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John Keats writes his famous poem "Beauty is a) truth, b) beauty, c) all ye know and all ye need to know, d) all of the above.

This is a) an article b) a webpage c) hack-work d) all of the above. It concerns a) the concept b) the idea c) the notion d) all of the above of All of the Above. All of the Above usually occurs in a) multiple choice tests, b) multiple choice exams, c) tedious assessments made by lazy teachers for indifferent students d) all of the above.

Multiple Choice Tests

Multiple Choice Tests occupy a special place in educational examinations. They cater to students whose understanding of the subject is too vague for them to succeed at short answer questions, but not vague enough for them to write long essays. As such they provide a useful middle ground. The fourth option - True or False tests - is now obsolete, since everyone now knows that all True/False tests follow the pattern TTFFTFTFTF without fail.

How to use the phrase "All of the Above"

When a) writing, b) typing, c) printing, d) all of the above, a multiple choice test, every few questions you should put in one that has All of the Above as one of the options. Ideally, this should be a) all of the above, b) Westphalia, c) syphilis, d) the last of the several choices, as this is the only way it makes sense.

The exact meaning of All of the Above has long been debated by a) philosophers b) stoners, c) wankers, d) all of the above. Plato claimed that it meant literally all of the above, and therefore included a) birds, b) the sky, c) George Clooney's ego, d) all of the above. Socrates on the other hand, felt that the "above" aspect terminated at the beginning of the question, and therefore only included answers a) a, b) b, c) c, d) all of the above. Pythagoras pointed out that "above" had to be relative to the examination paper, otherwise the answers could be altered by turning the page. He then presented a twenty page mathematical proof of this axiom. This is why no one liked talking to Pythagoras.

One of Newton's exam questions

In later years, Sir Francis Bacon brought about the modern era of All of the Above into the modern era when he translated the phrase into English, from its original Greek form Αλλ Οφ Θε Αβονε . Bacon was initially uncertain what to do with it, so it remained unused until Sir Isaac Newton made its first modern use on a pop quiz that he set his students (see image)

After Newton, the next major development came from Karl Marx. Seeing the notions of "above" and "below" as essentially bourgeois, Marx insisted that the answers in multiple choice exams should be arranged horizontally, "Fighting shoulder to shoulder in common cause". This would naturally eliminate All of the Above. This insistence was met with near universal apathy in schools and universities, leading Marx to spend the last twenty years of his life sulking, much to the annoyance of his flatmates, who eventually grew tired of the sound of Emo music coming from his room. Ironically, shortly after his death, a patent on horizontal multiple choice tests was taken out by J. P. Rockerfeller, who made over five million dollars from license fees.

Communist multiple choice question, in which all answers are equal.

The most recent development in the All of the Above has come with the introduction of online tests. Using the very latest technology, a test that would have taken ten minutes to complete and two minutes to mark can now be done in under two hours, not including multiple phone calls to that IT guy who is aways out to lunch. I mean seriously, who's out to lunch for that long? What's he eating? a) a horse, b) an elephant, c) a whole whale, or d) all of the above? What a prick.


Two of the Above

The card you picked was: 1) the ace of spades, 2) the ten of hearts, 3) the five of hearts... 52) the jack of clubs, 53) One of the above

In this version, instead of the final choice requiring that all of the above statements being true, this form requires that a) two, b) more than one but less than three, c) Tiger Women of Mars (Mexico, 1963), d) two of the above statements are true. This is often an improvement on All of the Above since: a) there is no need to specify which two of the three are correct, b) it is easier for the teacher to think of two plausible sounding statements than three, c) if you leave a banana in the fridge for too long, it will turn into a zucchini, d) any two of the above.

None of the Above

In this version, the final choice must be a) techno-ukulele fusion, b) yams by the truckload, c) Collagen! Collagen! Collagen! d) none of the above. When using this variant, there are two vital points that must be a) ignored, b) forgotten, c) seduced, d) none of the above.

Firstly, even though none of the choices are true, they must nonetheless seem a) implausible, b) laughable, c) Bush-esque, d) none of the above. Secondly, you must never place None of the Above higher than All of the Above, as this will create an ontological paradox which could destroy all of space/time.

3 Down from 4 of the above

As you can see from this headline, if you go 4 headlines up from here then count down 3 headlines and continue reading you'll be a headline above this one. Thus ending up reading this again. It is advisable that you stay within this loop until the theory is well embedded in your brain.

All of the below

Metahumour at its finest

Rare. In this one, the examiner has sneakily placed moved all of the correct answers in the following question. Example:

4: Which of these actors played James Bond (not counting sexual role-playing)

A) Martin Short
B) Michael J. Fox
C) Steve Guttenburg
D) All of the below.

5: What formula best describes the theoretical maximum efficiency of a heat engine?

A) Sean Connery
B) Roger Moore
C) Daniel Craig
D) None of the above.

In this case, the answer to question 5 is D; there is no answer to question 4 since the Roger Moore referred to here is not the famous Roger Moore, but a dry cleaner from Ottawa by the same name. His friends often rib him about his moniker, but he likes it because it's a real conversation starter.


All of the above with nothing above it: This is what happens when teachers try to prevent cheating by scrambling the answers. It's still right.

Some of the above, maybe, I don't know: Exceptionally rare; this one has only been seen on the hunting license test for the state of Alabama.

One or more of the above If you see this one, it is usually a good bet.

Zero or more of the above Even better; you can't lose with this one.

A & B are true, etc In this case, the question has several a) correct answers, b) you are a coprophage c) answers that are not incorrect d) Only A & B are true, e) only B & C are true. This is a slightly more sophisticated version of "two of the above" since whoever's sitting the test must a) correctly deduce that more than one answer is correct, b) identify which answers are correct, c) I fucked your mom last night, d) only A & C are true, e) only B & C are true, f) only C is true, and I also fucked your sister, dad and cat.[1]


The oldest known example of this truly timeless phrase.

From its humble beginnings as filler in ancient quizzes to its current status as filler in modern quizzes, All of the Above has a) entertained, b) inspired, c) done anything remotely interesting to, d) none of the above - untold generations of students. It is a a) vital, b) unnecessary, c) diarrhea-inducingly dull d) any two of the above - element in modern education and looks like it will a) go from strength to strength, b) go fuck itself, c) go fish!, d) A, B & C are true, but not D.

What does the future hold for All of the Above? Well likely, within the next 5–20 years it will a) be replaced with iAlloftheAbove which will do exactly the same thing, cost a fortune and be impossible to maintain or even recharge, b) be replaced with NanoAlloftheAbove which will take decades of research, billions of dollars of funding and accomplish fuck all, c) be replaced with BioAlloftheAbove' which will be twice as profitable, ethically questionable and boycotted by Hippies, who will opt instead for free-range quizzes or d) all of the above.

In the meantime, we'll just have to make do with good old pen and paper All of the Above, the way our ancestors did since caveman times. What? I didn't mention cavemen before? That's because some of this article is bullshit. How much? Well, I'd have to say d) all of the above.


  1. The dog felt rather a) upset, b) confused, c) left out, d) all of the above.
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