Why do students hate taking exams?

Procrastination is the longest four-letter word in the dictionary. We are all guilty of that from time to time. We set out to clean out the old inbox or clean out the garage and lo and behold, that 1970s TV miniseries starring Lee Majors and Rip Torn that we haven’t seen in years shows up on the subway. We are lost for the day. One thing finds its way to another and, pretty soon, we’re knee-deep in popcorn and comfy pillows instead of cleaning out the garage of stuffed animals and toys we salvaged from the 1950s. On the other hand, who You know, one can never be entirely sure that Hula-Hoops and Slinky’s won’t come in handy one day, can they?

The tendency to procrastinate is instilled in us at a young age. We can’t be blamed for that. Like procrastination, Americans and Westerners in general have an excellent propensity to seek and blame. This is also instilled in us at a young age. The dog ate my homework. Need I say more? So who can we blame for teaching us to procrastinate and, well, blame people for our shortcomings? The public school system, that’s who. You wouldn’t say the dog ate my homework anywhere else, would you? When all else fails, blame government-run agencies.

So how does the public school system teach us to procrastinate? With disgusting practices like homework, long-term projects (like the dreaded science project), and, oh yeah, the universally hated final exam. Why postpone today what can still be postponed tomorrow? Because you can, that’s why. At its heart, this is procrastination, setting aside priorities to do more urgent things, like watching cartoons, playing games, and listening to music. School not only allows procrastination, it encourages the practice of procrastinating.

How come you ask? Because by design, teachers and courses put things off for days, often months, and then reward you for rushing through them. We are introduced to principles such as end of term exams, ‘long-term projects’ and ‘term grades’. All the things that seem far and far away. Harmless even, until, that is, the due date hits, sped up as if delivered through a time machine that only devious educators have the controls on.

One day you’re watching Spongebob Squarepants with 7 or 8 weeks until your science project is due. Your finals are coming up and the next thing you know it’s midnight, and you’re tracking down a human heart in the dictionary and copying words like aorta that don’t make sense to you. You have to, so you can turn something the next morning into a science project to avoid getting a zero (even though your planned project was to create a working volcano out of exploding lava). So what does all this flurry of activity bring you? A C+ for grade, that is, because you at least delivered something and showed some effort. The effort in the school system is equal to the average. That’s why we have so many running shoe salesmen and hamburger flippers in this world. And God knows we need designer shoes and cholesterol in a wrapper, right?

The next thing you know after ‘completing’ your impromptu project is that you’re cramming because the exams you’ve ignored all year are upon you, and there’s no more putting off studying. Cramming means: “Forcing, pressing, or squeezing into insufficient space; things” or “Studying hurriedly for an upcoming exam…” Only in America would we use a term that means squeezing knowledge into a brain with insufficient space. when it comes to studying for an exam. So you’ve been rewarded with an average grade for simply trying, at the last second, to put something together, anything to avoid getting punished for your science project. So how does this cramming thing work?

Well, while you’re taking your science test, you write down answers like aorta and pulmonary valve because they come to you from places you don’t even recognize. Crammed flashbacks fill your mind with things like ‘Big Bang Theory’. Now, you’re pretty sure it’s a TV show or something, but isn’t that also a relevant scientific term? Before you know it, you get a C on your final exam, even though you ignored it for most of the term, until the very last second. That, along with his C+ from his science project, and all the A’s and B’s he received in his day job that he was forced to pay attention to every day (representing 80% of his grade) gives him a B. – on your report card. Not only do you save yourself from being punished by your parents, but they buy you a toy or give you $5 for getting a good grade.

This is how procrastination is instilled in us at a young age. It’s also how we develop a dependency on caffeine and coffee. We need it to study for our exams. Even grade-conscious, study-friendly students (often referred to as nerds, another American oddity, to belittle those who excel) get crammed in at the last possible moment, because we forget most of what isn’t relevant to us at daily. If the school system wanted to punish procrastination, they would give final exams once a week, so you could bury and forget all that useless knowledge you’ll never need in life, like the Big Bang theory and math. That’s what computers and documentaries are for, to make accounts and remind us of irrelevant facts.

Most students hate exams. It is also why most people in Western civilization learn to procrastinate as a defense mechanism, and why we as a people believe that a little bit of effort means average and equality, which explains the popularity of procrastination. reality shows these days. Because we encourage ourselves to postpone everything we can until the last second, when the world around us explodes and forces us to focus by making us do too much in too little time. Simply put, procrastination is the foundation on which all civilized society is built. We accept the mediocrity of others because surely one day, sooner or later, we will know it; we are going to postpone something until the last second. It is the American style. Now, if you don’t mind, there’s an amazing black and white movie on TV that I haven’t seen in years. I have to go see it! So here is a sentence I wrote, for every student who has ever attended school and any adult who has an important report for the first day after a weekend or after a long vacation.

A student’s prayer

Every time I have to study,
I pray to the Lord that I don’t go crazy,
A computer can help me learn this crap,
But will it help me so that I don’t fail?

There is so much to do,
And so much for Cram
Oh! There’s mom and dad watching
I better pass that exam…

There is no sympathy or pity for me at all…
There’s nowhere to go but for study hall…
So dear Lord, please help me to pass the exam tomorrow,
So that mom and dad stop nagging and I can finally rest…
Amen!

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