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  • Back to News
  • Tests and Exams

    Tests and Exams
    30 Oct

    Posted by Evolve College News

    What's The Pressure?

    When you go into a test or exam do you freak out? 

    Well, most of us would have to say yes or that at least we have experienced this. 

    But why do we freak out, and do we have to? 

    It really comes back to the falsities we are taught in much of what is our education system. What is meant by that is - we are taught that remembering a whole stack of stuff and being able to spit it out on command, makes you ‘smart’. So we get completely anxious trying to pack it all into our heads just before the ‘spit-out time’ (exam) and we are made to think our education is all about that. We’re smart if we can and we’re stupid if we can’t. Gosh. 

    But the truth is, that is not it. That is not education. 

    And it is actually very harming in how it makes people feel - about themselves, and about learning.

    Besides, what does it actually achieve?

    If you recall times you’ve crammed something in, do you actually remember it all years later? Chances are you don’t. Or do you find it playing a useful practical part in your life? Chances are, no.

    Education should foster and develop us - draw out the strengths that are already there, give people real tools and tips for what they will need next in life (in their chosen career or field) and support you as a person to be confident and ready to bring your all. The education should equip you with all you need to know, and need to know how to do, alongside supporting you to develop and grow as a person - as much as you want to. 

    Regurgitation of information is not understanding and nor does it truly make you intelligent or prepared to work. Likewise if you fail to recall masses of information on demand, word for word, figure for figure like a robot (which is what schooling currently expects of us) that does not make you not smart. Regurgitation is simply regurgitation. There is a big difference. 

    Education should help prepare you for life and whatever is next for you in your chosen field. 

    If we made education about that, an assessment would not be a freak out experience. It would be an opportunity to learn and grow, or to confirm what you’ve already mastered. There will always be more to learn. That’s what life offers. So why hang your self worth on an academic test?! 

    Doesn’t seem to make sense, does it. 

    Educational institutions have a responsibility to help their students feel supported - from kindergarten through to the highest degree and all in between. Educational bodies, of whatever nature, need to stand beside and behind their students and show them they are with them to help all they can. Not in a rah-rah way that beats you and them up, but true, genuine and very real support. 

    The fact is, when you feel supported and held, you can start to explore and have fun with your study and let the real ‘you’ come out. You might find you have a hell of a lot to offer, that just needed support and permission to come out. 

    Assessments or tests do not have to be a freak out when we see them as something to work to prepare for, but that do not of themselves define us. 

    Education is a process and in fact a never-ending one that can be enormously satisfying and fun. 

    One day we would love to see all educational bodies teach and operate like this. Anything less means an educational body’s claim of ‘putting students first’ is really just hot air. 

    We know that people really are smart - there is an intelligence there that is far, far beyond regurgitation. And what people are looking for in education, when they want more than just the usual conveyer belt pump out - is the real deal. 

    Because - really - you are far more than the result of any ‘test’. When we see that, we can use those tests as markers along the way to show us where we are at and what we might need to focus a bit more on. In other words, they are a tool. 

    Evolve first used the term ‘life-long learning’ many years ago, before it became hype. When you cut through all the marketing slogans etc, education at its core is about people - people learning, developing and growing. 

    That is not a test of their worth or value - it is an opportunity to learn and confirm all they already are - and were from the day they were born. 

     You are welcome to link to or refer to our articles from Evolve College News. Acknowledgement of Evolve College News is required, along with a link to the original article and our site. Questions are to be directed to news@evolvecollege.com.