Ramadan Reflection Day 26: Will This Be On The Test?

Photo by Universiteitskrant Univers
Bismillah.

I am grateful to be studying something that I am passionate about. I realized that there are people out there who can't enjoy what I enjoy, for whatever reason. When you learn about something you're passionate about, you show that you care. You show that you are not studying it for the sake of grades. The questions that you ask your teachers are questions based on curiosity in the subject matter and not, "Will this be on the test?"

That question is probably the most popular question in my university. Before this, I didn't care for it. But now, I get irritated when I hear it. The worst part is that those students who ask other questions, sometimes questions that are not relevant to the test, but they're good questions, are being shunt. They are known as the "the annoying student who always asks questions." I want to give an award to such a student. I think we should all be like that; thinking outside of the box and questioning the teachers.

If the students only care about the test, then consequently it is very likely that the teachers are only going to be concerned about the test too. They are only going to focus on what's going to be on the test. How many times have you heard a teacher said, "This will not be on the test, so you don't have to worry about it." What do you mean I don't have to worry about it? Is it not valuable knowledge?

It sends a very clear and misleading message: your self-worth revolves around the test scores, regardless of whether you understand what you learn or not.

But I get it. I am not immune to it. I feel the pressure too. Everyone wants us to get good grades; parents, teachers, friends, employees, etc. They want to see the results and they couldn't care less about how much effort, love, and care we put into it. If it's not an A, then we're not trying hard enough - that's not necessarily true. I've met non-A students who are very intelligent and they understand deeply what they learned in class. A test score doesn't necessarily capture understanding. It's unfortunate since we invest a lot of time and energy into it.

This is the reality that I witness almost everyday, and I believe that countless of students like me can testify to it.

I feel that the only path to a good education is through passion. If we don't care, then it's very likely that we're not going to use what we learn in our daily lives. When that happens, I question the point of us going to class everyday.

Students are having amnesia nowadays; taking everything in, vomit it out on a piece of paper, and forget everything afterwards.

If what we're learning doesn't add value and meaning to our lives, then are we really learning?

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Aiman Azlan is a motivational speaker, a vlogger, and an author. With an aptitute for psychology, he likes to address topics related to emotional, mental, and spiritual well being. He has traveled all over Malaysia and beyond to speak to predominantly youth audience, speaking about various youth-related topics such as identity, love, family relationship, productivity, community, and self-worth. He now resides in Perlis with his wife and son.