Life is filled with tests, but we do not call them tests! As a teacher, I give tests to my students as an assessment. There is no secret to that! I have to take tests or classes to demonstrate my knowledge or qualifications as a teacher. This week I had to take a test to prove I could administer a state test.
You would think that my teaching credential would be enough to allow me to administer a test, but it is not! This state test is different; it is very specific and requires training. I watched a two (2) hour video which was interactive to make sure I learned the information. Following the video, I had to take a test. Have you ever taken a test where you must get 100%? In education, many of these tests require 100%. Every year, I take a child abuse test to remind me of the policies and laws and I must receive 100%.
In school, I do not remember a class that required a 100% test score requirement. Throughout school, good grades meant A’s or B’s! Although some schools require a 2.0 GPA to graduate (high school), some schools have higher requirements such as passing a comprehensive test to earn a diploma. In New York, passing the Regents exam means you receive a Regents diploma. If you achieved 90% or more on all the tests, you would receive a Regents diploma with honors.
In college or graduate school, you work hard and get good grades, you may graduate with honors. The highest grades in college may help you achieve the highest honors such as a degree cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude. You may even graduate Phi Beta Kappa which is the most prestigious honor society. All these honors indicate excellence in taking tests! You score high enough, you accomplish these honors. In life, you measure success differently or I at least I thought.
As a teacher, I must reach a higher standard! It does not make me better, but I have no choice. I took the test and failed not once, but numerous times! There were questions that were not answered in the video, but it does not matter. Is this isolated to education? There are difficult requirements in every profession and in life in general. Some should be more difficult! Colleges have entrance exams (SAT’s) that make it more difficult to enter good colleges.
Certain professions such as medicine, law and public accounting have licensing exams. There are other professions that have licensing exams such as nursing, engineering, contractors, pharmacists, social workers veterinarians, architects, therapists and surveyors to name just a few. Do not forget all need a driver license to drive a car. Non of these tests require a 100% score! Immigrants even need to take a test to become American citizens, but they do not need to receive a 100%.
You would think that testing is over when you graduate school. We are tested all the time in just about everything we do. It just is not a test with a 100% score requirement! When you want to get a credit card, mortgage or a student loan, you go through a credit check. You either get the credit card or loan or not! Your past credit history and some factors are used to determine if you are worthy. It is a test and you either pass or fail. It measures you past performance. Good credit risks get the best borrowing rates.
You interview for your first job, it is a test! You either pass or fail! If you have the skills, experience and qualifications, you will get the best jobs and work for the best companies. If you do not, you will not. It is a test and you pass or fail. It does not stop at your career or borrowing money! It enters every part of your life and you need to understand it. Owning a business is the ultimate test! If you do many of the right things, you will succeed. If you do not, you fail.
There are more tests! Things like parenting, your health and personal relationships to name just a few. Parenting is a series of tests. Parents are testing their children to see what they will do before they are given responsibility or freedom. Children test their parents too. I think children test your patience or authority and it is just the way it is. It is part of developing your individuality and judgment. Success is based on tests and you need to do well.
Pass or Fail?
My test almost got the better of me because I only fail when I give up! I make up for my shortcomings with a strong will and determination. I would go so far as to say determination helped me succeed. I kept taking the test until I passed (100%) it! I had to watch the video again and retake the test more times than I care to admit. So what! I was not going to let this test beat me. This is how I approach life! I go for it and stay at it until I succeed. Do you?
This is the essence of my success strategy! I am willing to work at things I want and keep at it until I win. It reminds me of how I played games when I was a child. How do you handle things that are difficult? Some of my students stop trying and give up! That does not work because most things worthwhile are hard. It is determination that gets you through those difficult situations. “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man’s ( or woman’s) determination.” (Tommy Lasorda).
If you think tests are just in school or some isolated situation, you are missing the point! You are tested everywhere and you either pass or fail! Success is accomplishment of something such as a goal. Some goals are easy and some are more difficult. You will fail at some goals, but you only fail when you give up! What are your limits? How do you handle failure? Do you give up or just keep trying? Do you have high expectations? Remember everything is a test and you either pass or fail. What are your tests results?
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