Then in college she heard about cramming. Now there was a thought. Don't worry about studying until the night before and then studying until late at night. She studied Old Testament History for a test at Midwest Christian College until 2 am. The next morning, sleepy-eyed at 7 am, she stumbled into the small room and looked at the questions. The test might as well have been written in Hebrew - none of it made any connections in the gray matter of her brain. She received an 'F' fairly for that test. Lesson learned -- don't cram.
Essay questions gives a fair shot at circumventing the question and surrounding the answer in a cocoon of words. Multiple Choice questions are always a problem. Never answer your first choice quickly, second guess as many as possible, set up a debate in your mind about the validity of each answer. Beware of True and False tests. Everyone knows that a double negative makes the comment true, or is it the other way? It didn't matter what topic was tested, and how many times she was told to 'study harder', 'work harder' and all the other platitudes she heard.
At this point, I am shifting the point of view. You knew this is my story, right? In early teaching, I began making up tests. When one student 'discussed' with me my choice of the answer, I listened to the way she chose to answer and why, with support from the text. She received credit. In a graduate course, the professor's final was given at Christmas party, when he gave each of us a question to answer - one-on-one. I passed. Then one class was pass or fail. We are all told that we would pass.
One book, called Learning to Learn, presents the skills for taking tests as: organizing information, recognizing anxiety, recall/memory, practice, over-learning, scheduling, test-wisedness, positive attitude, concentrating and focusing thinking. Many books have been written on testing and learning, but still it is an individual exercise.
What is the value of testing? It is trusting yourself to test your limits! That is courage. (Bernard Edmonds) Testing can come through many areas of life. My Mother knew. As she waited to die, she wrote and asked me to grade her notes. I didn't understand, but she did. She was testing her limits. There are many areas of life in the following quotes in which we are tested:
“The ultimate test of a relationship is to disagree but hold hands.”Testing is evaluation, accountability and realignment. Interesting that our Bible talks about testing. The Old Testament tells us that Abraham's faith in God was tested by the command to take Isaac to the mountain. Abraham placed Isaac on the altar and prepared to sacrifice his son, and his hand was stayed by God. Abraham's faith was tested and he was faithful. Hebrews 11 tells us of the Heroes of Faith. Those who were tested and persevered in their faith.
“The difference between school and life? In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson.”
“My test of a good novel is dreading to begin the last chapter.” (Thomas Helm)
“The true test of character is not how much we know how to do, but how we behave when we don't know what to do.” (John Holt, Jr)
“Wise are they who have learned these truths: Trouble is temporary. Time is tonic. Tribulation is a test tube.” (William A Ward)
We all have times of testing or stretching. When bewilderment and confusion come upon us. The physical suffering, the physical needs, physical illness can bring about a testing of our spiritual faith to stand firm in Jesus Christ, the Rock. It is a pass or fail testing. Life doesn't give us the answers and this teaches us trust and faith as we walk with our Lord. This life contains the every day test that has eternal significance.
Luke 8:12-13, 15 - This story is about some of those people. The seed is the Word of God. The seeds on the road are those who hear the Word, but no sooner do they hear it than the Devil snatches it from them so they won't believe and be saved......But the seed in the good earth—these are the good-hearts who seize the Word and hold on no matter what, sticking with it until there's a harvest.As I watched a friend die of cancer, bit by bit, I saw lady who began the struggle with the Joy of the Lord as her Strength. She went through all the struggles, disbelief and anger that accompanies the advent of life. How sweet it was to see the faith become strong and how she trusted her Lord. When I asked her to give Jesus a hug when she saw Him, she said, "I will." As I looked into her eyes of pain, I felt as if I could see into Heaven. I knew the eyes would close here and open to see her Lord. She would hear, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' She passed the test.
James 1:2-4 - Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.