January means a couple of things: ticking off days in a new calendar, completing a new set of resolutions – that most people give up on in February – and getting used to writing “2017” instead of “2016.”
The end of winter break marked the resumption of school, the ultimate dread of most teenagers.
We are not always on our phones texting our friends. In fact, students like me are feverishly studying for exams for universities enrolment.
As a Grade 11 student, with only one day free from extracurricular activities, trying to survive 2017 is nearly impossible. Unfortunately, I am not the only one suffering from this vortex of pressure and assignments.
In a few weeks, I’m taking the standardized admission test (the infamous SAT) and advanced placements (APs) outside of school. On my last week of school in January, I have two unit exams, two final exams and the SAT.
I get it. Standardized tests are designed to measure students’ IQs and how much more they know than the others, but it is very ineffective. Filling in bubbles on sheets of paper cannot accurately measure intelligence.
Standardized tests are composed of questions that are 90 per cent impractical in the real world for most people. There is not a single circumstance where you need calculus to buy celery in a grocery store. Nobody needs to say “I have compunction over inscribing the SAT” over “I regret taking the SAT.”
At this point, standardized tests are designed to test how good students’ memories are, not how well students can apply knowledge to their lives.
Aside from possessing a ton of knowledge, being social, co-operative and easygoing is also essential for obtaining good careers, or in succeeding in life, as a whole.
However, standardized tests only measure IQ but not EQ. Having a high EQ is often overlooked. You have to empathize with your co-workers and know how to talk to other people in order to earn their trust and perform better at your job. If standardized tests are to measure a person’s abilities, they also need to include questions relating to emotions, too.
Standardized tests such as the SAT and AP exams are inevitable for students who want to go to top-notch universities, or for students like me who are being forced to by parents. But standardized tests and entry exams should also include practical problems instead of “selecting the best choice” answer.
Leon Chen, Surrey