Exam, like a thief…

Dear Afasites,

Exams are no longer approaching, but at the door fiddling with the knob as the semester sprints down the tunnel.

Last semester was a preparatory phase for freshers. Little wonder some wandered aimlessly, staring at the white and black stripped script before them with pen hanging and head aching. Although they read hard, the ‘mighty’ Unibadan lecturers served them with hot marine cake. Many erred in the method they employed in reading and were slapped with the holy realism of Book of Life. This is another opportunity to right the wrongs and learn from experience.

Many acquired the knowledge, they know what they read but don’t understand, and thereby find it difficult to convert  and interpret it when it matters most. Lecturers with their crafty tactics take you to a lonely forest that makes you remember Fagunwas igbo irumale in his Ogboju Ode ninu Igbo Irumale (Apologies to non-Yoruba speakers). In class, you learnt that 2 + 2 = 4 but in exam you are given, prove 2+2=22. That is when you realize that the Nneka you refused to share your sweet with in the village is still on your matter. In the end, you manage to scribble a few lines so that the lecturer would at least score you for your effort and ink.

My friend, Im so sorry what befell you did, despite the rigorous reading you were willingly subjected yourself to, battling the elephant-like mosquitoes in Faculty of Arts. You wonder what became of you when your pen wanders idly inches above the book of hell before you while your neighbour’s dangle pointedly penning in papers with the author smiling. He loudly requests, Extra sheet please! while your paper begs for two more pages so you could at least have used up half of your answer sheet. Two things are involved from the archive of reading: to know what have read and to understand. 

The problem most students have with this is that they read to know, so their knowledge is restricted to what they know because they refuse to understand what they read. So when questions that require thinking outside of the box says “hello”, you frown.

Fine, your lecturer wants copy and paste. So you feel you just have to read, cram, take your pen during judgement day and scribble it all down (after downloading all the downloadables with GSP WiFi of course). When you see your result, you cry foul play when you played the lecturer foul first giving him what you know and not that he requested from you. You read 2+3 is 5 but you were asked 2×3 in the exam. Whereas the answer is 6, you write 5. This is nothing other than giving the lecturer what you knew but not what he requested.

Yes, you are right it’s the same topic you vastly read with marathons of TDB and MTN but that is where the problem lies. At a clinically concise scrutiny with apropos of the question, the lecturer demands the understanding of what he gave you in class just like that of the lonely forest he took you to and expects you to give him what you understand similarly the same way he wants you to map out the entry to know the exit.

The basics is not so difficult. Understanding a question especially the cunningly ambiguous and wayward ones will make you take them to the federal hospital of wisdom and give it the best medication.

At a time, I wonder why our primary school day prayer “Lord, give me wisdom, knowledge and understanding” has been eroded by “tush” prayers of material wealth and long life. Even Solomon preferred wisdom.  Knowledge as critical and essential as it is, is only the antecedent to understanding and their end result is wisdom. Let’s take it statistically, to know+ to understand=wisdom – M.I

How come? As implied earlier, one thing is to know a question…”sure this is coming from lesson 3 which I read wella and murdered in the course of murdering sleep… And another is to understand… ‘Sure and ofcourse’ I understand what this lecturer wants me to extract from his teachings and deliver to him… Both though antecedent and consequent to each other are summed up to an antecedent to being wise…oh yes! I know and understand what this lecturer wants but of course how do I translate what have read with the aid of a converter and please this lecturer. 

Even after knowing from where the question was brought up and understanding the concept of the question, these two potent weapons are toothless if a student still can’t write a pleasing reply to the lecturer. This is some students thoughts for most of the hour and few minutes left the winchy bird from its bed rouse and rescue them from the recess of reverie they embarked upon and here’s when you see them scribbling fast with few minutes to go.

Those who got high grades last semester have this mathematical equation embedded in their cerebral faculty and not because they read better than you did…NO! Ask them and you will get to know they read less, but understand more. Just that they were wiser while all you did is know. You just have to wisen up. Read to know and understand to be wise and then the exam sheets are there for shredding. Don’t forget the wordy arithmetic that “you can only be wise when you understand what you know.




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