I used to get all sorts of worked up about tests. I studied and studied and studied and got what grade I was going to get. The grade never seemed commiserate with the amount of studying. After all, how does a letter equate to the amount of time I put in? It does not. Especially, when you learn that once you leave school nobody cares about your grades. Nobody does.
They care about what you know, in particular what you can demonstrate that you know. And that is when I started taking tests like I do now. I read what I need to read. I pay attention in class. I take notes. And I take tests relatively cold. No cramming before hand. No long nights and weeks spent studying.
I know what I know and I do not know what I know and will not until I take the test.
A good test, a rarity these days, tests what I know. Does not test the cleverness of the professor. Does not involve test taking skills. Does not have a pattern. Does not have tricks. A good test, tests what a student has learned. A good test, should allow them to express what they know.
I am probably, as Paul would say, an outlier in this as well. It works for me and keeps me from
- obsessing about my grades
- stressing out before exams and tests
- focused on the real goal of education to LEARN, not to learn how to take tests
Today and tomorrow are exam days. I went into today’s exam with a headful of knowledge accumulated over the past four years. I tried to read some of the online information, but two things got in my way…
- a sinus infection, which causes me to fall asleep at the drop of the hat…sucks
- online material is a blank spot for me. Give me a book or handout and I can tell you what I read years/decades later, but ask me to read the same thing online and may not remember what I read the next day. I haven’t figured out why, but I have purchased a really good printer that prints off lots of pages cheaply
I think I did okay on this exam; plenty of questions I knew the answer to, one real brainfart, and one question I deliberately answered wrong because I wanted to use “I Don’t Know” at least one time. Silly or stupid depending upon your point of view, but fun for me and tests should have an element of fun. Such as the Walking Dead Spoiler Alert in this test…well it sounded like a spoiler, some character drinks a Coke. Given the show is about a zombie apocalypse, having the time to drink a Coke seemed like a spoiler. Either way I enjoyed the reference. 🙂
Soon enough all of the tests will be over…then what will I do with my free time?
Oh yeah, write. 🙂