T is for test

Do you like tests?

I usually do. The only test I’ve been particularly stressed over was my driving test. Exams, at school or since, have been enjoyable opportunities to show what I can do.

These days, it seems that the expectation is that the person taking the test knows exactly what’s being tested and what they need to do to get a good mark. In my day, it always just seemed to be a vague expectation of doing your best and hoping.

Sometimes it feels like life is a test, and one where I don’t know the rules, or the requirements, or even who’s testing me and how. That’s when it’s not so pleasant.

In the end, testing helps us to see how well we know something, or how well we can do it. It’s hard to understand those who cheat, because they’re cheating themselves. In the end, we’re only competing against ourselves.

I’m reading a book about education at the moment, suggesting that schools should be allowed to change focus, and move away from endless tests. It seems that at the moment rather than testing what needs to be learned, the focus is on learning what can be tested.

I talked yesterday about studying. The result of studying is being able to put that learning into action, and that, then is the real test.



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  1. The endless testing is a hot subject of debate amongst many teachers. It is important to have a measurable source of data to look at and compare, but at what expense of the child and their learning experience. Growing up I had a lot of difficulty testing, however my husband is completely different. He’d rather take a test, because he is good at it. Most students I teach have such anxiety over these test, because we as teacher (even if we don’t mean to) put a lot of pressure of these tests. Heck, our pay is tied to whether or not they do good! Overall, I think there needs to be some education reform, because what we are doing right now is not working.

    • The trouble is that we end up teaching what we can measure, rather than measuring what we teach. But what’s the right solution?
      Thanks for dropping by and commenting!

      • Of course! I understand, and often use, testing to determine what a student knows. However, I find that really knowing my students through working with them and talking to them about a subject gives me the most insight into what they truly know. To determine if a child is gifted they provided testing that measures their level of logical and creative thinking, not what they know. If we could somehow figure out how to apply that to all subjects, maybe then we might have a good start in measuring a students true knowledge.

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