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Posts Tagged ‘exams’

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This is the big week for exams at the school I work, as well as for those living in my house.

In our house the stress of writing exams comes out in as many ways as there are individuals under the roof!

There is the chocolate-lover, the study avoider, the tummy-acher, the movie watcher, the mom and dad chatter, the bedroom-cleaner, the carb-eater, etc., etc,. etc.

In my job in a high school, I love when I get to supervise, read or scribe for a individual or group while they are doing their exam. For me, the best part of this task is that I get to pray for the students before they start their exams (I work in a Christian school, so I have the freedom to do this).

For so many (I expect for all) who are writing exams the stress can be overwhelming, and praying for those students is the greatest gift and assistance that I can give to them.

I believe that praying does not give the students a better ability to access the knowledge and facts that they have learned, it does not give them a magical power where the control of their pens is removed from their hands, and the right answers all get written on the lines. What I believe that praying for them does accomplish is that it sets the atmosphere for the peace, that only Christ can give, to allow them to relax and remember what is important, and who is in control.

As this week proceeds, this is my prayer for those of you who are about to sit at the seat of examination:

Lord God,

thank-you for this day.

thank-you for allowing us to have breath, and health.

thank-you for giving us the strength and ability to be here today.

God,

these students need your peace,

they need your comfort,

they need to know that you are here with them.

Lord,

help them to relax,

help them to remember what they have learned,

help them to have the time to complete this exam before them.

God,

I also pray that they would remember,

this is just one exam

two hours,

in their entire lives,

pass or fail, it does not determine their value,

nor will their mark change who they are in Your eyes.

Help them to exhale,

hold them close,

remind them they are not alone.

In Your holy name,

Amen

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It’s that time of year again … exam time!

ae85c17eda2d3c8bc0cb18388a4075c3Either you, or someone in your life has just finished, just started, about to start or is in the midst of exam season.

It causes stress, manifested in a variety of ways …

anger or tears,
insatiable or absence of an appetite,
sweating or freezing,
insomnia or exhaustion.

The one thing that all exams do is bring to the surface … stress.

For some there is so much riding on the exam … perhaps whether they pass or fail, whether they get that job promotion, or raise, whether they can move on in their studies or not.

3cb8ea67646ee947903be47ac2843dc1For some the risk of the exam is minimal (other than the physical and emotional stress received simply from having to write it).

I have watched students walk into an exam room looking as though they are walking to their own executions. I have observed the laying out of pens, pencils, erasers and calculator more methodically than the steps in disarming a bomb. I have watched the twisting and turning of hair, tongue and entire face as though possessed in a Poltergeist fashion.

They fret, they fear and the f-word that is most dreadful to them is failure.

I often wonder if we called an exam a quiz, would students perform better on it? They do have a very distinct way of viewing the importance of a quiz, a test and an exam.

My greatest memory of exam time was that if our marks were above a certain mark we did not have to write the final, whole year, exam. Let me tell you, that motivated me to keep my marks up all year long. As a student with not great retention of information that I would file as “will never use again in my life,” I was determined to avoid having to write finals (the mid-term exams which were not exempt-able, were enough to convince me to study).

Really we need to remember that it is just an exam. An imperfect, often inaccurate tool of assessment of learned materials. The most important assessment tool is life. I guess we could say it is not how we did on the exam, it is how we did handling the pressure as we prepared for and wrote it.

And soon, if not already, they will be done 😉

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