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Sep 29th 2017

Does Your Exam Score Reflect How Good Your Teacher Is?

Micheal Bloomberg, founder and CEO of Bloomberg L.P., made it his mission to standardize statewide tests during his tenure as mayor of New York. There was a rise on test results in English and math. Racial achievement gap had been cut in half. Bloomberg's campaign was an illustration of teaching the test, which doesn't suggest that exemplary instructors would be behind it as well. It could be similar to college students studying literature.

Students must need to fill up the evaluation forms at the end of the course, where their response should give members of the faculty an idea on which areas of their teaching they need to make up (for the next semester) and what aspects of the course could be improved (in able to make it more interesting to students). It still doesn't provide an answer to the million-dollar question: Does your exam score reflect how good your teacher is? It has more to do with the students than the instructors.

An exam score would reflect the student's effort on the course. Interest (in the course) could influence the outcome of the tests. It also reveal the teacher-student relationship.

3 Factors That Could Affect Test Results

A student's effort on the course. A bulk of the BA English student's grade will come from the essays. If you don't have time for reading, then you wouldn't pen a 2,000-word essay. If you browse (or skim) the assigned text, then you can only hope for a miracle. Reading the book on its entirety could guarantee you a passing mark, but it doesn't translate to a high grade. This is a scholarly exercise, so effort would consist of reading, analyzing the text (prior to composing to draft), and proofreading. Let's not forget the literary theories that you have learned during lectures. There's more to it, as your willingness to allot more time to secondary reading could spell the difference. It seemed too much, without a doubt. (Anyone who wishes to pursue a Joint degree might have second thoughts after calculating the number of essays required for a term.) Either you try to beat the deadline or you learn to accept the struggles that writers go through. It doesn't hint at masochism, though.

Interest in the course could influence the outcome. This is a no-brainer, as you may not exert too much effort if you really like what you're doing. It's a tough call in literature, as you fancy certain (literary) genres. You're also hoping for your favorite authors (or titles) to be included in the assignments. If you're serious about authorship, then you won't have trouble motivating yourself. If you prioritize the coursework, then you can summon your resolve when the deadline is approaching fast. If you prefer the thrills, then you have a sense of urgency during the last few hours before the deadline. Your professors can play a part here, as their knowledge and experience could inspire you to devote lots of time in it. This might not apply among students, though. (It would be rare for artists to support each other. Insecurity might be one of the reasons. Competition should prevail over camaraderie.) At the end of the day, it would be all up to you. It's your responsibility, so you don't have other options. (Dropping out may be another thing, though.) If you don't want it, then the lectures, essays, and tests will cultivate your desire on it.

Student-teacher relationship. This can be a debatable subject, as student-teacher relationship doesn't translate to better test results. It should be far from Hollywood's romantic depiction of it. This doesn't mean that there aren't unsung Mr. Chips, not even a Miss Brodie in our midst. On the contrary, they might be an exception. (Some would call it an extreme.) Many professors have other things in mind, but teaching would be a job. It should be unfair to suspect them of not looking at it as a vocation. (On the other hand, it may be foolish of them to look at it as a vocation.) Comprehension is another thing, as most instructors wouldn't attempt to know their students' learning curve (unless they ask the question). You must keep a curious mind, which should help during your preparation for the examination. You need to be good in taking notes, and your listening skills.

Watch out on this one

It's natural to be nervous especially when you're uncertain of something. It can be circumstances where you don't have any control over it. Both can happen during an examination. You only need to take deep breaths. If you have prepared for the examination, then there's no need to panic on this one.

There's a tendency to forget something, if not a momentary (mental) block. It can be traced to several factors. (You've been thinking of many things. You are answering the test for a limited time.) Don't press yourself if you can't recall it. Look away for a moment, thinking of something else. (It should be a good thing, if not one of your favorite stuff.) Expect an out-of-the-blue moment, which would save you in a nick of time.

If you really don't know the answer, then make a guess. There's a high chance that it will be right. Don't dwell on it for too long, though.

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