One of the criticisms of standardised tests is how bad they are at… testing. You know, the thing they’re meant to do. Tests have a way of filtering out people who are good at the subject but bad at testing, which are unrelated skills.
If that’s you, sorry my friend. Tests ain’t going anywhere.
As bad as they can be, they’re easy to use – especially for large groups.
They’re easy to compare results across time and space.
And the only thing worse than overly rigid criteria are opinion-based ones. You think tests are bad? Imagine your grade came from how much your teacher liked you.
Maybe we’re not even talking about school anymore. Perhaps your job requires certification or maybe you know your presentations backwards… only to freeze when delivering them.
No matter what, you’re not alone. Many people know the answers and fail the tests (whatever form they take).
But here’s an idea worth considering:
Test-taking is a skill you can learn.
And no, I’m not talking about all those little strategies – read the question carefully, go with your first instinct, leave harder questions to the end and so forth.
Those can help, sure.
But I’m talking about becoming a master test-taker.
An elite exam executioner.
Someone who takes pride in their performance on the battlefields of the mind.
Tests might be flawed but, if they’re not going away tomorrow, you have two choices:
Wallow in the pressure, anxiety and injustice of it all.
Break through the BS and become amazing, even when faced with a blank page and a ticking clock.
Especially when faced with this.
Because if the pressure is powerful enough to stop you, what would happen if you used that power? What if exam jitters transformed into excitement, fuelling your body and mind right up until the last question falls to your pen?
If you already know the answers, this is the only thing that will help. Not studying more, not herbal remedies, not adding a thousand exam strategies to your list of things to memorise.
It’s nothing but this: becoming calm, focused and excited during exams.
No one’s not born with this, which means you can learn it.