"Oh, no! Mrs. Puff is out sick, and a substitute teacher has taken her place! How will SpongeBob cope? Find out in his comical classroom caper!"
SpongeBob accidentally crashes his boat during an exam with Mrs. Puff, yet again failing his boating test. Mrs. Puff, worn out, decides to fake a sick day.
SpongeBob arrives early at Mrs. Puff's Boating School the next day, only to find that Mrs. Puff isn't there and there is instead a substitute teacher. SpongeBob asks where Mrs. Puff is and the substitute, not even looking up from his magazine, responds that she is "out today" and tells him to take a seat. SpongeBob sinks heavily into his chair, but his sorrow is interrupted by another student named Horace who suggests they prank the substitute teacher by switching names. SpongeBob agrees, not really caring because of Mrs. Puff's absence. The substitute takes attendance, and SpongeBob and Horace pretend to be each other, laughing to themselves. The substitute begins handing out a written exam, exciting SpongeBob. SpongeBob and Horace write the other one's name on the top of their own exams.
The class completes the test and (after SpongeBob tries to explain to the substitute how Mrs. Puff usually runs her class) the substitute begins reading out a list of students who Mrs. Puff wants to stay behind after class for extra help, which solely consists of SpongeBob (who the substitute of course thinks is Horace). Horace looks over at SpongeBob and winks, and SpongeBob walks home in tears. SpongeBob explains the situation to Patrick, who reassures him that Mrs. Puff will be back the next day and SpongeBob will be "failing another boating test before you know it". Sure enough, Mrs. Puff is indeed back the next day, making SpongeBob feel very relieved. However, Mrs. Puff realizes that the substitute teacher gave the entire class the final written exam by mistake, and sent Horace (thinking he was SpongeBob) to retake his boating exam instead of giving him extra help after class. Mrs. Puff also realizes that Horace (under SpongeBob's name) passed said boating exam, and thus SpongeBob has finally passed boating school, horrifying Mrs. Puff.
SpongeBob excitedly runs home, yelling to everyone that he passed his boating test, but becomes incredibly sad upon the realization that he will never see Mrs. Puff again. The next day, a small crowd gathers to watch SpongeBob drive by himself for the first time. SpongeBob tearfully says his final goodbyes to Mrs. Puff before driving off as Mrs. Puff vows to move far away, not wanting to be on the same road as SpongeBob. A few seconds later, SpongeBob is stopped by a pair of police officers for not stopping at a stop sign and is asked to show them his license. SpongeBob complies and the police officers realize that while SpongeBob passed the driving portion of the exam, he still has yet to pass the written exam. SpongeBob is overjoyed and leaps out of his boat and into Mrs. Puff's arms, realizing that he has to go back to boating school. Mrs. Puff realizes that she'll still be teaching SpongeBob for a long time and moans that she needs a vacation.
Spanish re-release cover
There is a color-in Plankton activity on the back cover of the book.
The boatmobile on the original cover looks different than the ones seen in the TV series.
On the opposite side of the book in the 2013 reprint, it comes with another book called Demolition Derby.