31 December 2016

Tests: Everybody knows they suck


So, I've been inactive for the last couple of days (mostly). It's I had a big test at school. While studying for one of the relatively easier tests, my mind began to wonder. How much significance does a test hold in the grand scheme of things?

Exams are an important part of our life. They determine how we spend the rest of our life (school), if we get employed or not (offices) and what colleges we get admitted to (entrance exam). But what exactly happens during exam season? Mostly nothing of interest.

Time seems to move by so fast when when we are behind schedule on the night before the test. We feel a rush of dread and get worked up. But the truth is, LESS things actually happen to us during this time in our life. When you look at it from a 3rd person's perspective, you'll see that in reality, all we really do is stay cooped up in a room all day reading one or multiple books that aren't even that interesting. We don't even learn anything in exam season. We just revise what we know and already know and what we've learned through out the year. We cram what we can only to forget half the stuff at the exam hall. We try to devise ingenious tricks and tactics to side-step what we can't answer or are bad at to try and get a passing grade. The reality is; you basically sit stationary in one room reading the whole day; go to the exam hall the next day; take a test; come home; and repeat the process until the exams are over. It's one of the most, if not the most boring, tedious and uninteresting segments human life has to offer.

And the funny thing is, it's paradoxical too. Usually boring days seems to drag on for centuries whereas the exam days seem to pass in the blink of an eye. But the exam period itself feels like it's been like this forever. And some people actually want the exam time to be even longer to prepare better. So there you have it! One of the most important segments in a students life is also one of the most boring.

So why do people get this worked up over something so boring? The answer is the sheer amount of stuff that's riding on these tests. Why? I just proved that tests, as a whole are pretty useless. The aim of an educational institute is to teach students all kinds of stuff they'll need in their life, right? So what's with the sheer importance behind something that's about as useful as siting in a room and rubbing 2 stones together all day? Well what's the purpose of having these test? It's to test the student to see if he's actually learned anything. The degrees are given to say, "Congratulations! You did great!" The big companies, offices and industries want to see the degrees to know if they are employing the right dude or not. As a result, we put more emphasis on passing and getting good grades than actually learning something. And can you blame us? If we don't get a good grade, a lot of doors in life just close. Some guys even killed themselves 'cause they failed the test and didn't want to face the life that was ahead of 'em. Surely, this is not what it was supposed to be like.

Now stating a problem is a million times easier than solving it. So what could be the solution to this mess? Ban tests altogether? Like it or not, that would be a very stupid thing to do. Without tests, there will be more unqualified people joining the office and every sector starting from agriculture to IT would get a boot to the face. Besides, our society has gotten so intertwined with the concept of tests that taking it away at this point, all at once will 'cause some really horrible side-effects.

So then what? The degrees, interviews and entrance exams should stay. But the way a person gets these degrees should be changed. Grades and degrees based on grades should still stay. But the tests that the educational institute should hold the aforementioned entrance exams. The grades should be given on class work, home work and like it or not, surprise tests (though the points in this case should be given leniently). The teacher could ask a question or tell the student to explain something in class. The grades will be given based on this. I don't know about you, but I think this I'll be a step up from the tests we currently take.

Anyway, I'm no educationist. I'm just a student who thinks tests suck. If there are any guys who actually know a thing or two about the education system reading this, tell me what you thought. All this was just my opinion.

Thanks for hearing me out.

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