Hey, it has been a while! I know you miss me, just as I feel sleep-deprivation when I am not in touch with you for quite a long while, Mr. Writing. So shall we?
Today is the last day of the mid-term test. It deserves a status of specialty because it is the last midterm test of last semester of me and my classmates’ senior year. Bravo! The last test is our IS407 course, International Human Rights Law.
We have been suffering from mental “torture” for a few weeks for having simultaneous tests within a week; you know like 3 respective critical tests per week. But, wait! The term I use here “torture” is a bit exaggerating, and lecturer might blame me for falsify the situation as torture. Since the intensity, severity and intention are not critical enough to be amount to either “torture” or “degrading treatment” because it is just a TEST. And I am sure lecturers are forced by circumstances as well, ending up all the burdens on us, only.
During the test, I was stuck with one question, well actually a lot, but I manage to “sell peanuts” in other questions. FYI in IFL regime, “selling peanuts” means writing whatever you can think of so that you won’t leave the blank space and a lot of kind lecturers tend to buy our fried peanuts as well. So, I was saying I could not answer a question related to “liberty”—when can liberty be taken away lawfully? Give 3 reasons briefly and with examples. I can find one reason: when you are found guilty by the court that you may be detained, which is when your liberty is derogable. I was thinking hard for other two reasons, but I could not, so I left the white space blank – I do not have good peanuts to sell this time. But after test ended, I noticed something, something I and you should know about humans and something to reflect on “exam”, whether it is an “effective” form of getting students to study or is there any other reasons for exam to exist?
Walking out of the classroom and whining about the stupidity of not reviewing enough, I suddenly realized I was reviewing about “forced/compulsory labor” whereby a person liberty is taken away in situations like emergency, military services, etc. But while I was working on the liberty question, there was no the word “forced labor” (even the forced labor also appears in the key term section) that appeared in my brain, which I can use to write in that liberty question. Reflecting back, I have to acknowledge that our brain sometimes use diffuse mode of thinking to connect information we have stored. Have you ever met someone who has not met for a long time and while encountering, you cannot recall his or her name? But after a while, you will be like “His name is Ploy.” It is called diffuse mode of thinking. Here, I think there is a fallacy about exam because exam is designed with a time limit; therefore, we cannot have time to think clearly. Sometimes, good ideas come with a delay of time like the case of diffuse mode.
Given this phenomenon and reality, we should reevaluate how the test nature should be designed by the taking these three into account: time, content and purpose. I believe the content of the exam shall be designed in accordance with the time given or vice versa to ensure that students rightfully can express themselves.
Despite this, I truly believe there are core values of taking exam. It might be not only about measurement of our understanding and memory, but also to get some information to stick into our brain through the process we have to do for the exam — reviewing (pain, pain, pain, right?). Although we, students, keep excusing ourselves saying exam does not determine our future, exam plays an important role in imprinting what we cover in class to our memory because for some, imposing a rule by having to review is an effective method to remember some important lessons. Our brain may remember only 10% of what is taught in class, if we do not review, I am sure we study nothing. All in all, I appreciate the “exam”, but how it is designed and done shall be reevaluated.
After all, I am just happy today 🙂