Why Exams Are Useless

Exam” is a four-letter dirty word no student wants to hear. Ever since its inception, it has been associated with stress and competition. Many students dread the daily trip to school all because of it. It’s also frightening to see the school curiculum revolving around exam preparation and nothing more. In my opinion, examinations themselves are not the problem as they also serve as a method for students to gauge their learning ability. What renders exams useless is the way society views exams. To most people, grades are all there is to an exam and failure is not an option. As a result, many take an exam for the sake of taking it or just to attain a grade to show off to everyone. As result, exams become “do-or-die” as students feel stressed due to the fear of failure and humiliation. This completely defeats the purpose of examinations. In this article, I will discuss how and why exams have become useless in the modern world. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to the newsletter!

Reason #1: Unnecessary Stress

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Because of the way society views examinations, students are pressured to excel and succeed. It’s now all about the ‘A+’ on the report card and nothing more. In the mind of a student, his/her success is wholly dependent on his/her educational qualifications. As a result, many students go to extreme measures just to obtain a desired grade. This includes forgoing sleep, long study hours and endless tuition classes. Instead of allowing students to enhance their learning, examinations now do more damage to their mental and physical wellbeing. Only if society learns not to treat failure as the end can learning be possible. Schools should also not focus solely on exam preparation and cut down on the content tested at one time.

Reason #2: The Joy of Learning is Taken Away

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Students are now given piles and piles of homework, forced to study many subjects and take exams they clearly dread. Learning now becomes confined to mere memory, answering techniques and essay writing skills. Instead of cultivating students who are attuned to the world and are enthusiastic to learn, schools produce students who have been trained to become answering machines in every respect – “If A, then B; if question asks X, I give Y.” For the joy of learning to be present in the classroom and beyond, society needs to place less emphasis on the importance of academic qualifications and a person’s learning abilities. Now, students memorize heaps of knowledge just to regurgitate it on the exam paper. In fact, most students forget all the knowledge they have learnt right after an exam and do not follow up on it, unless a future exam requires it. Evidently, most students of the modern world do not possess curiosity or the desire for learning. If you would like to learn more about the importance of curiosity and how it is relevant in the modern world, check out my article at https://bestofwrite.com/2020/12/07/the-importance-of-curiosity/.

Reason #3: Exams Become a Race to the Top

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Instead of learning for themselves, students now, in a sense, learn for others. Due to the fact that society places so much emphasis on academic success, exams become a platform to show off their intellectual prowess. Students work themselves to the bone just to beat each other and become the best among their peers. Learning now becomes all about winning. Because of this, those at the top start to become arrogant while those who are struggling at the bottom are looked down on. The truth is, life is not all about winning or losing. It is better to be at the bottom and be contented than be at the top and be unhappy. All men strive for happiness, do they not? There is no point in learning if it brings no happiness. Rather than focusing on having their students achieve academic excellence, schools should focus on cultivating the joy of learning in students. It is better to have average but enthusiastic and happy students rather than disgruntled and insecure students who have ‘A+’s everywhere.

How Curiosity is Relevant in the Modern World

Curiosity is the art of asking questions, no matter how dumb it might seem. As we age and mature, we gradually lose this ability. We are afraid that people would judge and criticise us. This is worsened by the fact that we are accustomed to following orders blindly, in the workplace or in school. As a result, we become mere machines, made to follow a specified routine or order. Our lives become meaningless. Curiosity, on the other hand, grants us the ability to think for ourselves and explore more about this world. In fact, many inventions would not exist if not for the curiosity of the scientists and engineers who designed them. In this article, we will explore why curiosity is important and how it influences our way of thinking. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter. Remember to like and comment down below as well!

#1: It Enhances Observational Skills

Source: https://www.csoonline.com/article/3268030/the-best-cybersecurity-analysts-should-play-the-part-of-detective.html

Curiosity is said to be the defining factor which separates Sherlock Holmes from everyone else. While climbing a staircase, Sherlock would count the number of steps while a normal person would happily do so without any second thoughts. It is the curiosity of this famed detective that allowed him to be mindful of his surroundings and solve a crime using the tiniest of details, which an average joe would dismiss as normal or insignificant. As Sherlock famously proclaims, without curiosity “You see, but you do not observe.”

#2: It Lets You See Things In Different Perspectives

Source: https://www.livescience.com/can-you-ever-stop-thinking.html

As humans, it is common for us to think in a fixed and biased manner. Unable to see the world in a different perspective, we become rigid and inflexible. We are afraid to ask ourselves “what if?” Curiosity, however, grants us the ability to analyse a problem in different angles and find a solution, despite it being seemingly unsolvable. Sometimes, the solution to a problem is right in front of us. It just takes a curious mind to identify it. Nothing becomes unsolvable for you and with this mindset, you will have the potential to change the world.

#3: Your Mind Becomes Active and Sharp

Source: https://thriveglobal.com/stories/you-have-the-power-over-your-mind/

Instead of waiting to have answers delivered on a plate, as we are so used to, a curious mind will seek them for itself. In other words, it becomes proactive. Your mind becomes hungry for knowledge and starts to notice details which would otherwise be ignored. The mind is like a muscle; use it and it grows, leave it and it atrophies. Curiosity always gets your mind working and this results in greater intelligence, concentration and memory. As Samuel Johnson once said, “Curiosity is one of the most permanent and certain characteristics of a vigourous intellect.” Indeed, intelligence is useless without curiosity, as the latter is the one that brings the former to use.

Conclusion

Curiosity is a skill that everyone must possess in this ever-changing world. We must not become overly dependent on the internet or technology to solve our problems. Only when we open our minds to different possibilities and perspectives can mankind advance further. On a side note, if you are curious about how you can build or destroy habits of any kind, check out my blog at www.bestofwrite.com/blog/. Thank you for reading!

Should Everyone Learn Music?

It’s common to see parents send their children to all sorts of classes, including music classes. Obviously, parents want the best for their children. They want them to excel in everything they can and be better than their peers. But is what they are doing correct? Today, we will discuss whether everyone should learn music and analyse the topic from the perspective of parents. Before you continue reading, remember to follow me and subscribe to the newsletter on my website.

Why Parents Force Their Children To Learn Music

Source: https://www.sso.org.sg/bravissimo/bravissimo-june-2019/dont-shoot-the-piano-tuner

There are many reasons as to why parents force their children to learn music. Some of them include better intelligence and creativity. Or it could just be because “It’s a nice skill to learn!”, as most parents proclaim. Indeed, there are many benefits learning music can bring, such as better hearing, coordination and dexterity. Research has shown that music enhances cognitive development in children and builds new neural connections, thereby improving brain structure. Furthermore, it enhances memory and concentration. But is it worth it?

Why It Doesn’t Work

Source: https://www.azcentral.com/story/all-the-moms/2017/03/23/text-anxiety-a-5-step-plan-for-parents-to-help-their-stressed-out-kid/109564854/

Sure, there are many ways that learning music can benefit your child. However, it is all useless if your child is not happy learning it. All of us have our own strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. One child might enjoy playing the piano while another might find it torturous. Naturally, your child might resent you and all that he/she has learnt. Without the necessary motivation, your child will not benefit from learning music. Rather, more damage is done. The key is to find out what your child likes to do, be it drawing, cooking or playing the violin. Only when your child loves what he/she does, can he/she have the potential to be the best at it.

Conclusion

The answer to this question is a resounding no. While learning music has many benefits, everyone should have the freedom to decide whether or not they want to do so. It should not be imposed on everyone. This applies to any other skill and choices in life. A person’s happiness is more important than the skills he/she possesses.