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Monday, November 21, 2011

Philosophy is Phun Blog # 56 – Exams

As college finals start to roll around in the next couple weeks I wanted to dedicate this next post to the exams in our lives. We all know what exams are but to define it I would say that exams are the tests that are utilized to determine the amount of knowledge or skills you have acquired through learning on a particular subject.

If you have ever gone through the educational system you have no doubt been tested in some shape or form. These tests supposedly used to measure your intelligence on certain material to make sure that you know what the Board of Education has determined you need to know to be successful in the working world and life in general. The way that these educational institutions have put an incentive to make sure we perform to the best of our abilities is through grades. These grades play such an influential role in determining what you can achieve in the future. If you don’t do well in high school then you won’t get into a good college and then you can pretty much count your chances of having a good life goodbye is essentially what we were taught when we grow up.

This is true to an extent. While you shouldn’t necessarily blow off your grades in an attempt to always get 4.0’s I have definitely felt there were times when I worked harder than necessary and I could have achieved sufficient if not the exact same grade. This is where artful strategies come into play. Life is a game and you need to know how to play in order to be successful. You can think of exams as milestone markers to test what you know or you can do to see what you’ve accomplished so far but you need to know how to budget your time and effort effectively in order to be as successful as possible. Studying and reviewing is a vital part in being successful on your exams but you need to budget your time with other activities in order to maximize your chances of success.

The idea of an exam is not exclusive to school however, and can be applied to almost all facets of life. Life will inevitably throw difficult obstacles at you which can be thought of as tests. You ultimately everyday are applying your knowledge and what you’ve learned to the world and if you know your stuff you will prosper.

With each test you face in life you need to approach it with a specific tactic. Like I mentioned earlier, Life is a game and with each game you play there is a different strategy you need to take. You wouldn’t play a game of Monopoly the same way you would play a game of chess. They have different rules that you need to play by and there’s no way you could even pose a threat to your opponent if you attempt to checkmate Mr. Moneybags. This is why you need to make sure that you do enough research ahead of time (or studying in the case of classes) to be successful for when it is actually time to be tested.

Even after we graduate from school and never have to take another math or history class again, we will still continue to be tested until the day that we die. In our jobs, we will be given tasks that need to get completed with a certain budget and a deadline. The great thing about tests though is that they give us an opportunity to demonstrate our aptitude for whatever area the test focuses on. We can showcase our abilities and each test ultimately has a final goal that will be achieved if you perform well on the test. There is almost always a benefit associated with doing well on an exam whether it is a good grade in school or get a promotion for doing a great job on an assignment your boss gave to you. Tests can be nerve-wracking, especially if you aren’t prepared for them, but if you manage to succeed on a test then there is no doubt you are on the right track to succeeding in life.

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