I still remember my tests in middle school. I will let you decide how common this experience is:
During a Literature test, I was asked: “Have you read “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy?” I honestly answered that I had not. The response I received from my teacher was, “OK you get a C.” During our final physics test, our teacher spent his time looking out the window. So, most of the students opened their books and copied all their answers.
I remember only one real test - a math test. Yet, we had spent so much time doing math exercises similar to the test that it was pretty hard not to pass it.
I would say it is impossible not to pass all tests. With the slightest effort, even the backsliding and lazy students can usually manage to pass one way or another.
I understand some of the teachers, too. They all have a plan for their students’ results. I also understand students: usually, they do not clearly understand the meaning of studying. I have read that the brain is fully developed by the age of 25. Most people start to really apply themselves at that age.
There is a very interesting proportion in any school - 90/10. Only 10% of students are capable of a qualitative learning. The other 90% are having problems. In spite of its necessity, students usually perceive studying as something unpleasant and boring. In other words, for 90% of students, knowledge has no value - they just need a paper showing that they finished school.
There are on average only a handful of "A" students in a group. Look at how many people can actually dance well in a night club - usually not more than three out of 50.
Every teacher knows this 90 to 10 proportion, but they still have to teach everybody - and not just the 10% who can actually learn. If all tests were honest, the results would be catastrophic! Now, who would get the blame for such poor scores? The teachers, of course, because they “cannot” teach their students.
This is exactly the reason why teachers and schools often make tests easy to pass. The grade results are higher, and everyone gets a pass regardless of the actual knowledge. Teachers do not have the time to deal with the real problem of education. Therefore, they have crafted a system where most students pass regardless of their knowledge. Most of the 90% who do not really know the material pass anyway. Teachers act like they teach, and students act like they study.
Some people even exploit this problem to make money. The numbers of private schools continues to rise. Private courses, education by mail, education over the Internet: all are evolving education routes. There are hundreds of schools where you can get any diploma in a short period of time. It is a perfect for everybody. Students are getting diplomas they need; teachers are getting good money for tutoring. One of my friends was studying at a very respectable university; yet, he had very poor grades. His parents transferred him to a different private school; now, his grades are much better. Basically, he is getting good grades not for his studying - but for his parents’ money.
The education of the ninety percent of students with some form of learning problem is simply being ignored or even pushed aside as unnecessary or, recently, psychologically damaging to poor students. The real education system is becoming weaker and weaker. True universities are becoming less and less popular.
You cannot learn anything in a short period of time doing nothing. A quality education means hard work.
It is very to find out the level of education in a university by its tests and exams. If the university you are choosing is using any of the following ways of testing students – and if you are looking for knowledge, not just a diploma – you would need to find something else. Here are some examples:
1. Simple questions
Questions are specially created so that the students can answer them without studying or reading anything. They are based on well-known information.
What is the name of the biggest animal in the world? What animal died in the Ice Age? Who is the president of the US?
It is possible to make up these types of questions about any subject. Student will be able to answer them with little if any reading at all.
Someone I know is taking a translations course in pursuit of a Masters' degree. One third of her grade in the course is decided by two questions:
● Based on your own experience and/or observation, describe a bilingual person.
● Of the various theories of bilingualism you have read about, whose theory do you most agree with? Why?
2. Tests (Multiple choice questions)
Multiple choice tests are getting more and more popular. Most universities are using multiple choice tests all too often and in most every test. Basically a multiple choice test is comprised of a question with several optional answers. Even if you looked through the book only once and quickly at that, you would still be able to answer most questions correctly. Most of the time, you can logically figure out the right answer or you can always guess.
What is the capital of France? (Paris, Madrid, Rome)
3. Exact data is always skipped in the tests
Most universities never ask for exact information on tests.
When did the battle of Nicopolis take place? (1396, 25 of September)
4. Simple sums and equations
Most people think that math and geometry equations are complicated and difficult for students; yet, those equations can be solved easily if you know the formulas for them. There is no need to have any ton of knowledge - all you need is a cheat sheet with a few formulas.
5. Short tests
Some tests are very short. It is very easy to be prepared. For instance: memorize 20 new words.
Normally, students get a few questions picked from a huge amount of questions. Like 2 out of 200. Students are also given some time to get ready. This time can be used to look at a cheat sheet, for example, but if a student is ready, he/she should be able to answer right away. Let us skip over that and ask ourselves this question: If a student knows answers for two questions out of 200, how do we know that he knows the answers for the other 198 questions?
You can assume that it is the same everywhere, that all universities are testing students like this. You would be wrong; it is not true. There are universities and teachers who have a true goal of sharing knowledge with students. So, then, how should students be tested?
Small Amount of Material
Let us say we have a test in physics. Students get a blank piece of paper and an assignment. There is not one single question on it but,
instead, something like “Please write everything you know about “Atomic Physics” (last names, dates, formulas, constant values, main concepts).
Big Amount of Material
An oral exam should take place for physics material. It would be very clear to see how well a student is prepared. No questions should have any hints as to the answers.
Tests can be made even more complicated. These should be used only for students who had special memorization training. This kind of testing means not only writing information from memory on a blank piece of paper, but also preserving its sequence. If the data is recalled correctly but does not correspond to the sequence numbers it will be a mistake. If at least one element, subject to memorization, is omitted or contains an error, then it will also be counted as a mistake. It is a test in the School of Phenomenal Memory® containing 25 different types of information.
In the process of studying in our school, students are memorizing five pages of exact and un-memorizable data. All information has an order number. This way, at the end of the course, students can be tested to recall memorized information not only preserving its exact sequence but, also, retrieving it selectively. Questions are not allowed during the test.
How do we Test Them?
Our students have to write information on a blank sheet of paper completely and in exact sequence which is a very long process (it takes a few hours), OR they have to recall information selectively using teachers' questions like: “What is located under number 3.2.1.?” Instead of questions, students get numbers of information. Using this exam, we are testing our students to see how fast they can find the correct answer by going through all of the memorized information.
Questions cannot be used in our school because each element of the memorized information is a direct hint to the whole of the information. For example: “What happened in the year 1346?” If this number was memorized by a student, he instantly recalls the full answer: 26 of August, 1346, Battle of Cracy.
But that is not all. Our students can do something that will seem unbelievable to most. It is enough just to name “176” and choose a subject. Students will find all information in their memory related to this number. The answer will be something like this: “1,76 X 10-11 (coulomb/mass) – it is a physical constant value meaning specific charge (ratio of the charge to mass of electron) established by J. Thomson, an English physicist who discovered electrons in 1897. Written in section 29 of the high school physics textbook. Name of the section is: “Atomic Physics. Rutherfords' experiments.” It is also possible to recall all other related information, for example - all information from section 29.
If exams in most of the Universities seem extremely simple, then exams in our school seem not only hard or complicated but also nigh impossible. From our experience, most teachers are not ready for Phenomenal Memory in their schools. When they see a student recount entire paragraphs from a history book, they tend to freak out. Teachers are so used to seeing little to zero memory from their students that phenomenal memory is shocking to them.
It is understandable because it is a huge difference: many were trained to believe that a normal person cannot fully memorize. It is in every Psychology book. Phenomenal Memory looks like a disease to them. Is it normal, during an exam, to be able to reproduce a text with the exact sequence of paragraphs, last names, dates, terms, and their exact interpretation and constant values? Perhaps not. However, with Phenomenal Memory, it is possible.
All students are welcome in our school. People who finish the entire course will be getting "A"s only because studying in a regular university with Phenomenal Memory is the same as a workout with a one pound dumbbell.
Once you have mastered the techniques of Phenomenal Memory, try not to show off. Do not utilize this tool to disrespect your teachers in front of others as it can cause a lot of trouble. You can read some articles about it here. Use it wisely and enjoy it, because universities will not change the way they test students! It is the best time to get your diplomas!
© School of Phenomenal Memory