A quirky admissions exam that asked candidates to write an essay based on a single word has been scrapped by an Oxford University college.

All Souls College had offered the exam since 1932, along with more traditional tests. Applicants would discover the word in the exam and have three hours to somehow produce a coherent essay.

It’s described as the “hardest exam in the world”, but surely spinning an essay out of a single word can’t be that difficult?

The horrifying thing about Essay is not how difficult it is, but how simple. You turn over the plain blank sheet of A4 paper, and there is a single word on it; you have nothing else to write about for the next three hours….

The Essay is an exceptional test of intelligence. Ask someone when the Battle of Hastings took place, and they’ll either get it right or wrong. Ask them, “How did Athens run the Laurium silver mines?” – as I was asked in my ancient history Finals – and the answer is still pretty specific. But ask someone – or don’t even ask them, just state to someone – a single word, and there’s infinite room for genius, or stupidity, to expand within the word’s parameters. (Source: The Telegraph)

Here’s a word for you to ponder on: language.