Wee Scoops

Measure for Measure

Testing Times

Scotland’s teenagers are looking a bit peaky. Hair in bad pony-tails and the flawless make-up is on hold. On occasion, pupils have been seen heading towards school with UN-straightened hair!

It’s exam time. The pupils have a corporate epiphany that everything they have been taught all year IS relevant after all. At least for the next month…

I loved exams. Except Standard Grade Physics. (I had a problem understanding electrons – still do. In Chemistry I could visualise electrons orbiting a nucleus – but then in Physics they were meant to be going around a circuit. If so, where were the nuclei that they were orbiting? Or did they abandon their orbit to go and be electricity? I just don’t know.)

There is something very last-century about the exams taken by the vast majority. A teenager, a desk, a poorly heated/ventilated games-hall, several biro pens, an answer booklet and THE QUESTIONS. Eek!

Ultimately, though, there is only one skill they are tested on: the ability (the will?) to read the question, and do what it says.

And this skill really is relevant and transferrable into the jobs market:

MANAGER: So, can you put all the biscuits on this shelf and the nuts on this shelf?

TRAINEE: Sure, no problem.

Manager leaves. Trainee looks at the stack of food, the shelves and thinks, ‘Nah… I’ll just put everything up randomly because I am sure that’s what he meant. And peas and carrots are nice and colourful, so I’ll stick them in. And was I not supposed to put one-of-everything up too? I mean, that will surely please the boss’…

As the sheep and the goats are divided across the nation, I wish them well.


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2 thoughts on “Testing Times

  1. Actually, you gave a great piece of advice that, too often goes unheeded. Simply do what the question asks you to do. Simple, you nailed it. If more people did that, they would see the sense of it, instead of trying to make it all complicated. You made it clear as a bell..

    • I think they feel cheated because any exam can only ask them about part of what they’ve covered, so they feel the need to prove they know lots of stuff , thereby ignoring the task, consequently doing less well than if they were more focused.

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