Why Students Hate To Take Exams

The tendency to procrastinate is bred into us at an early age. We can’t be blamed for it. Like procrastination, Americans and Westerners in general have an excellent propensity to seek and assign blame. This also is bred into us at an early age. The dog ate my homework. Need I say more? So who can we blame for teaching us to both procrastinate, and, well, blame people for our flaws? The public school system, that’s who. You wouldn’t be saying the dog ate my homework anywhere else, would you? When all else fails, blame Government operated agencies.

So how does the public school system teach us to procrastinate? With loathsome practices such as homework, long-term projects (like the dreaded science project), and oh yes, the universally hated Final Exam. Why put off today what you can still put off tomorrow? Because you can, that’s why. At the very heart of it, this is what procrastination is, putting off priorities to do more urgent things like watching cartoons, playing games and listening to music. School not only allows for procrastination it encourages the practice of putting things off.

How so you ask? Because by design, teachers and courses put things off for days, often months, and then reward you for hurrying to get them done. They introduce us to principles like end of the term exams, ‘long-term projects’ and ‘quarterly grades’. All things that seem far off and distant. Harmless even, until, that is, the due date arrives, sped up as if delivered via a time machine that only devious educators hold the controls.

One day you’re watching Spongebob Squarepants with 7 or 8 weeks until your science project is due. Your final exams are getting close and the next thing you know, it’s midnight, and you’re tracing a human heart out of the dictionary and copying words like aorta that make no sense to you. You have to do it, so you can turn something in the next morning as a science project to avoid getting a zero (even though your planned project was to create a working volcano with exploding lava). So what does all of this flurry of activity get you? A C+ for a grade, that’s what, because at least you turned something in and showed some effort. Effort in the school system equals average. That’s why we have so many career shoe salesman and burger flippers in this world. And the Good Lord knows we need designer shoes and cholesterol in a wrapper, right?

Next thing you know after you ‘complete’ your makeshift project, you’re cramming because the exams you’ve ignored all year are upon you, and there’s no more putting studying off. Cramming means: “To force, press, or squeeze into an insufficient space; stuff,” or “To study hastily for an impending examination…” Only in America would we use a term that means squeezing knowledge into a brain with insufficient space when it comes to studying for an exam. So you’ve been rewarded with an average grade for simply trying, at the last second, to put something, anything together to keep yourself from being grounded because of your science project. So how does this cramming thing work out?

Well, while taking your science exam, you put down answers like aorta and pulmonary valve because they come back to you from places you don’t even recognize. Cramming flashbacks fill your mind with things like ‘Big Bang Theory’. Now, you’re pretty sure that’s a TV show or something, but isn’t it a relevant science term too? Before you know it, you get a C on your final exam, even though you ignored it for most of the term, until the last second. That, coupled with your C+ from your science project, and all of the A’s and B’s you received on your daily work that you were forced to pay attention to every day (which make up 80% of your grade) give you a B- on your report card. You’re not only spared a grounding from your parents, they buy you a toy or give you $5 for getting good grade.

This is how procrastination is bred into us at an early age. It’s also how we develop a dependency on caffeine and coffee. We need it to cram for our exams. Even grade conscious, study friendly students (often referred to as nerds, another American oddity, to belittle those who excel) cram at the latest possible moment, because we forget most of what is not pertinent to us on a daily basis. If the school system wanted to punish procrastination, they would give final exams once a week, so you could bury and forget all that useless knowledge you will never need in life, like Big Bang Theory and math. That’s what computers and documentaries are for any way, to do the math and remind us of irrelevant facts.

The Stress of Exams

Sometimes in life, it feels like everything is pouring down on you at once. From what I am seeing, it seems like you have a lot on your plate. These are all important exams which will determine a major part of your life. But there are several things you can do.

Firstly, it is important to plan your life out. Since you have such a busy schedule, it is important to plan almost every second of your life for the next few months in order to be able to properly prepare for everything. Having a daily, weekly or even monthly planner can help you evaluate what you have to do and when you have to do them. University applications have deadlines that you are pressed to meet. Putting down these deadlines and crafting a few deadlines of your own could be helpful. Fixing the dates for studying can help to ensure that you do not procrastinate studying for these important exams. Also, putting down things that you need to do-like buy stationery for the exams- can ensure that you do them on time.

It is important that you talk to people. Keeping these feelings bottled up inside of you can be dangerous for your health. Your teachers and parents are only being hard on you because they know how much work you have to do and they want to make sure that you get all of it done. But if you still feel like they are pressurizing you too much, tell them how you feel. They will most likely want to assist you in any way that they can. Also, you may feel that everyone is out to get you because of a few unrelated incidents. Talking to your friends about these problems can help you get different perspectives of the situation. If you feel uncomfortable talking about your issues to someone, writing in a journal can help. Expressing your feelings is important in helping you not to get too stressed out.

Lastly, it is important to pray. Every decision that you make should be carried to the Lord in prayer. It is only God that knows what is good for you and only He knows his will. The will of God must be at the back of your head. The Bible says that all those who love God should ask and they shall receive. Strengthen your relationship with God through prayer, meditation, Bible studies and righteous deeds. Pray with friends for the Bible says, when three or more are gathered in my name, know that I am with them also.

 

Secrets Of Successfully Sitting Exams

Many people work hard studying various subjects to sit for examinations in them. Fine. Hard work is usually a necessary condition for passing exams. Unfortunately it does not follow that it is a sufficient condition! Exam technique can be almost equally as important. It can make all the difference between success and failure or between poor grades and good grades.

As students, we often complain about the examination system. That is usually because we feel the pressure of an uncertain outcome. But like all systems we need to understand its mechanics in order to make it work for us.

What follows is largely concerned with exams needing written answers, rather than mathematically-based subjects.

Frustrating Examiners

This section applies as much to writing course work as to examination answers

When you consider writing essays, also consider the person who will have to read them. He/she has a psychology. Make it work for you, not against you. Most examiners do their job well and effectively but…

Exam assessors usually have a mountain of scripts to wade through. They like to get through them faster rather than slower, with relative ease rather than difficulty. When they find a script which facilitates the two former objects, they are delighted and their disposition towards the writer soars.

A great frustration is caused by having to ‘.dig’ into the essay to discover whether or not the student has given a correct or acceptable answer. Sometimes this job is very difficult. The examiner has to re and reread the essay to discover what is actually being said. Sometimes an actual decision has to be made by the examiner as to whether a correct answer has, in fact, been given, because the composition is so obtuse.

Some method is needed which will avoid this situation and which will improve the examiner’s disposition towards the writer.

Writing Effectively

Writing effectively in exams is really not that difficult. There is a simple technique which can be used and adopted to virtually every type of question.

The technique is to divide your essay into three (unequal) parts:

1. An introduction

2. An expansion of 1;

3. A conslusion.

Numbers 1 and 3 are quite short and basically say the same thing except in rather different ways.

1. is critical and is a short version of the answer. This lets the examiner know immediately that you know what you are talking about. It require slight differences of emphases depending on the actual wording of the question.

For example, a question which asks something like “What are the factors which influence…” needs an introductory answer which starts something like: “The factors which influence so-and-so are… ” And you mention them in descending order of importance. A question of the type: “Discuss such-and-such…” needs an answer which starts something like: “When discussing such-and-such one needs to take account of…” and then mention the major points which you consider to be important and which you are going to discuss.

There may be other variations in the phrasing of the question, but the approach you adopt needs to be always the same: present the examiner with what is effectively a concise answer to the question. It usually takes no more than a few lines, maybe a dozen at most. He/she will jump up and down in excitement at having found someone who not only knows the answer but who can also actually make it explicit.

2. The expansion of the essay is simply a development to show that whatever you said at 1. is correct or relevant. This takes up most of the essay. Use a new paragraph for every new point. Don’t be afraid to be pedantic. End each of these paragraphs by relating what you have said directly back to the question. e.g. “Hence it can be seen that…” and so forth.

If, during the course of writing your answer, you suddenly remember a really major point which really should have come earlier, just “knit” it in as if this is where you always intended it to go. Thus: “Of course, a further point which needs to be given especially emphasis at this juncture is…” Try and make it seem the most natural place to put it. The examiner may think it better put elsewhere, but he will not usually penalise you for that

3. The conclusion will be little more than a restatement of the introduction – but you do need a conclusion. During the writing of the essay you may have thought of some other points not mentioned in the introduction. If so, be sure to mention them in the conclusion.