My brilliant uncle was a PhD candidate in the 70's at a pretty prestigious institution in the US. Well back in the day, to graduate with a PhD in his field of study (engineering), you had to demonstrate your mastery of a foreign language other than English. And by foreign language, only French, German and Spanish counted. Even though my Uncle was born abroad and was fluent in other languages, the administration refused to let him pass the foreign language requirement without mastery of one of the above languages.
Upon inquiring on what it would take to pass out of the language requirement, he was told that it would be based on comprehension of one of these (Spanish, French or German) books where a random page would be selected by the faculty for the student to translate.
He promptly selected the French hardcover book, took it to his girlfriend at the time and cracked open that book to pages 165/166. With his girlfriend's translation, he memorized the contents of those pages.
The next day, he opened that book to page 165, creased the spine and closed it. He repeated that same action the day after. Again he did the same the next day. And the day after that. And so on for the next year until it was time to demonstrate his mastery of the French language. Stepping into the professors office, he handed over the book and the professor flipped open the book to a random page.
The professor handed over the book back to my uncle. Looking down, my uncle saw pages 165/166, cracked a little smile and walked away with his PhD just a month later.