With final exams just right around the corner, many stressed-out college students need this reminder. I cannot emphasize enough that tests don't define us! They don't always prove your knowledge of the course's learning materials, nor do they reflect your level of competence.
I can definitely say that I'm a good student. I show up to every class and put all of my efforts into everything I do. However, you can put a test in front of me and give me limited time to finish it and I will sit there and stress myself out. Considering the fact I write for the Odyssey, I guess you could say that I like to write. When I'm enrolled in a course that is essay-based, I feel confident in my abilities to put my knowledge on paper. I personally hate being in a class when the tests are weighed the highest towards your final grade. In other words, if I were to do poorly on an exam, it would demolish my grade.
Every individual has different strengths and weaknesses. I'm a pretty slow reader. I like to take my time and reread information to make sure I completely understand. When I'm taking a timed test, the clock always seems to be my worst enemy. A lot of other students experience test anxiety, which can make it even more difficult to reflect their capabilities.
Tests don't always show how much energy you spent studying. They don't always indicate your dedication and commitment to the school. Exams also do not measure your success in life or decide your future. Just because you do bad on a test here or there, you can still get a great GPA. You can still get that job offer and you for sure can still graduate.
It can be hard not to think, "If I don't pass this test, my future will be ruined!" I can assure you that future employers will not base who you are off of your scores. When in reality, they pay close attention to your personal qualities that can't be measured from taking a useless test.
College libraries are filled with students 24/7 during exam week. Generally, students can invest an outrageous amount of time studying for a test. The amount of information that professors expect us to recall can be ridiculous. Many of the things you are tested on in school you will never use in your life. I mean, when am I going to need to differentiate between the types of rocks or calculate the mass of the sun? Um, never.
I can't think of a single person who actually enjoys taking an exam. I'm not saying that tests don't matter, but I'm not saying that they do. Your skills and comprehension will not go unnoticed, so don't let those tests defeat you. At the end of the day, always remember that you are more than just a grade!