Education and exams

Saw this quote today on Seth’s blog:

“You teach kids how to succeed when they successfully foil the educational system.”

Reminds me of my stance on exams.

When I was in college, I took a side course in econ, along with a bunch of girls who were worried crazy about exam from day one. I was so annoyed I wrote a song about it.

It was only last week that I finally realized precisely why I was so annoyed by them.

My approach to college was always to learn for me. I was there because I wanted to learn stuff I could use. Things that interested me. If it didn’t interest me or I couldn’t see a use for it, or I didn’t enjoy it, I didn’t try particularly hard to learn it.

And if, by the time exam came around, I were to flunk, it would clearly be because the exam was testing the wrong thing, because I had learned exactly what I wanted to learn from the course.

On top of that, I’ve always had the belief that (a) I was going to work for myself, and (b) any employer who would look at my grades over my ability to do the work required wouldn’t be a good fit with me.

If you approach education like that, there’s really nothing to worry about.