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what is the meaning of tests & exams ?

dmbtest I recall back when I was a student, I probably faced the same situation of tests and exams as students of today. Reflecting back, I can see clearly how I was stuck in this “score the As” and “If I don’t do well it automatically means ____ (insert word i.e. stupid)”. However all of these thoughts does not give perspective to the true meaning of tests and exams!

In my opinion, tests and exams are means to grade a student’s proficiency in a subject. And there are two major factors a test can determine

1) A student’s proficiency at understanding a subject

2) A student’s proficiency at remembering a subject

A point to note is that a good test – in my opinion – should consist of 20% 2) and 80% 1). That’s because if a test’s focus on testing a student’s memory, then it can be quite certain to say that the student will well forget what he memorised after the test.

Following on this path of testing, students find themselves having to memorise more and more stuff as the semester year digs in, for example:

Common Test One : Chapter 1 2 3

Mid Year : Chapter 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Common Test Two : Chapter 8 9 10

End Of Year : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Everytime a test or exam surfaces , the student starts from scratch! And what happens when the “big exam” (“O” levels, “A” levels etc) drops? The student has to memorise everything he has learnt in the past 2 years, its no wonder if tests are set in such a format(to test memory) – most if not all students will find it stressful to study.

However, if tests are set in such a way that it directly tests a student’s understanding of a subject, such a scenario as depicted above is less likely to occur. Instead , students will find that simply by reading through the earlier chapters that they understood, they can quickly grasp the concepts and move on to the next chapter/subject.

Because when you understand something ,it sticks with you longer – if not forever.

Hence, as a student, never ever try to memorise something if it can be understood. Remember, when you understand something it’s automatically memorised. It’s so important i’ll repeat it here

Never Ever Try To Memorise Something

If It Can Be Understood

For When You Understand

You Remember

So you may ask, how do I understand ?! This is a subject where books has been written about it and a blog post isn’t enough to cover the entire subject, however if you would like to learn more, please leave a comment (below this post) or msn me and we could have a discussion.

Last but not least, doing well or badly in a test doesn’t show anything except how good you are in grasping concepts and/or remember concepts. To be honest, understanding a subject matter is just one skill (and not ranked very high) in doing well in life.

It is not to say it’s not important, it’s a reminder to you that grades are not everything. Do not think your future is gone just because you do not do well in school ! Your future is determined by so many other factors and in fact, many people who did not do well in school also managed to succeed in life! (there are also those who do well and succeed).

So remember, the true meaning of tests and exams is nothing but a test of your proficiency in understanding and remembering a subject matter. or simply translate

It’s your ability to retain what you’ve read

Its not that big of a deal ! For those of you who work and went for an interview, you definitely know that the above skill is not very much sought after as compared to stuff like..

* HardWorking

* Willing To Learn

* Social Skills

I’ll end this post with a final note, tests and exams is just here to test your proficiency in a subject – it does not fully determine your future or your life.

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