Studying is hard, and I think most of you agree with me on that. You have the ones that find studying easy and are learning fast, and the ones (like me) who have difficulty studying and need to put more effort in knowing the material, the theory. I am however, someone who’s content with a sufficient mark, instead of someone who has to get the highest mark. Of course, the latter attitude is better, as it challenges your ability, asking the most of yourself. I usually use the excuse of “wasting time if you can just get a sufficient” or “I won’t be needing it later”, while I can do better myself. But that’s a different topic.. I want to talk about tests. Yes, they’re horrible, especially when you haven’t studied..

Tests are momentary moments to see what you know; to test you. They measure your knowledge of a certain topic, your capability in a certain area, and afterwards give you a result; the indicator of your capability. For some tests, you won’t have to do anything, you can get a good grade without studying, but for most tests you have to study, otherwise you’ll fail. There are also diagnostic tests, which serve the purpose of giving you feedback, without actually giving you a grade. With those, you can adjust your current route or keep going the route you went in order to achieve the goal, be it a good grade or something else.

In my opinion, tests which require you to study (or cram) for a certain ‘deadline’, after which you are required to take the test and see what you know/how able you are, are pointless. The only thing you are doing is trying to remember material from books, writing it down on a piece of paper and getting a grade; good or bad, the latter meaning you have to do the process again. You study, do a test, get a grade, and don’t study the same theory again, because you’ve already gotten a good grade, so why keep on revising the same theory? This results in the knowledge you needed for the test, your ability, the theory, flushing from your brain. Not at once (even though this might happen; it happened to me once.. or twice), but gradually it fades away and you’re left with a good grade, but without the knowledge. And you’ll need the knowledge, later, at your job, in your field. Isn’t this strange? Studying for one moment, the short-term, temporarily having the knowledge, being able to do the test and passing it, but afterwards not possessing the knowledge anymore? Studying should be focussed on the long-term.

Practical tests, in which you DO something, with your hands, arms, feet, legs, or whatever, are good for remembering. You have to actively do something. Actively doing something, putting into practice what learned; this results in remembering. You possess the skill(s), and you can use it again. And again, later on. Practical tests have their flaws as well, but as for remembering something, they do their jobs.

So, what should we do, if things were going to change? Maybe some kind of process-bound testing? Giving grades to the process, instead of the result. This is hard to do for written tests, as you can’t really give grades to a studying process, especially when someone doesn’t study at all. But draw the practical part in, judge someone by how they do something, how they take care of matters. See what they’ve learned after the thing is done, instead of judging the result. Okay, maybe the result should count as well, but it shouldn’t carry as much weight as the process. Or multiple tests; measuring if you still possess the theory you’ve studied before.

The whole thing I’m trying to say is studying for the short-term doesn’t work. It’s only good for and at that moment, but it won’t benefit you in the long-term.

Or is this an excuse to stop studying because it’s tedious? It might also be procrastination (as I have to study for exams at the moment..).

What’s your take on this?

Have a jolly day!

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