An Alien’s Perspective: Test taking

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What do Apple and the U.S. public school system have in common? If you mention either of them in my vicinity, you will be barraged by an endless monologue of why I think they’re so — to put it delicately — substandard. My opinion of the education standards enforced at higher levels in the U.S, however, is quite positive.

Of the many aspects of the topic, I love that a student’s performance in college is not judged merely by his or her test-taking skills.

Back home, the education system measures a student’s performance largely based on their test scores. A friend of mine took roughly 600 tests over three years of college in India. What this does is create a massive chunk of the youth that are merely experts at being fairly inaccurate data-recalling machines.

As someone who tutors, I have come across several students who understand the concepts and are for all purposes, quite intelligent. Their test scores would beg to differ on the subject due to their poor test- taking skills.

Whether it is stress, or the overall discomfort of being in an examination hall, the information is lost somewhere between the student’s brain and the answer sheet.

Most of the courses I have taken at Wichita State have judged my performance in projects and assignments, in addition to the quizzes and final examinations.

This has created a culture where students are encouraged to spread the course’s workload over an entire semester instead of cramming on the night prior to the final exam.

As a good test taker, I would love to do nothing all semester and test out of the class with an A at the end of the semester. What I love more is that I’m forced out of my comfort zone, and learn to juggle my time, assignments, projects and meetings to arrive at an A or a B.

The finals week can be really stressful. But honestly, they could be so much more so if the education system only judged our performance based on tests.

P.S. I think it’s time you put down the paper and got back to preparing for your finals.