Sunday, April 14, 2013

Will you let an exam result decide your fate?

Has an exam ever changed, influenced, or decided your fate?

It has for me, and for many, exams have been the gatekeeper to experiences brilliant people close to me had hoped to pursue. An algebra exam kept one friend who has run a successful business for years from completing the a Bachelor's program she wanted to pursue. Two friends who have proven track records as education technology leaders were denied consideration for a doctorate program because of their GRE scores. A high school student renowned for his successful political activism was denied entrance to numerous colleges based on his SAT scores ALONE!

The insanity of it is brought to life by Suli Breaks. The talented young man who brought us the viral video, "Why I hate school, but love learning" is at it again, with his latest, "I won't let an exam result decide my fate." Breaks message to us is that these exams and the academic opportunities they promise are no longer the one and only way to achieve success. He inspires today's youth to think outside the exam and stop valuing that as an indication of what we are worth. He suggests we all take note of so many of those in our world, who pushed exams aside so they could move on and achieve their dreams. Watch Break's latest effort to inspire us to reconsider this destructive practice and forge new paths to success in his latest spoken word piece, "I Will Not Let An Exam Result Decide My Fate."


  1. Applaud, Applaud, Applaud... Big Hugs... Learning is not in a box. It is experiential! Doing IS learning. Make IT Happen! I am the elder generation. I got the great scores and did the hoopla... My IQ is high supposedly, but I can see the ineptitude of the current system. Education is a consumer product. You kids are the consumers. If you do not find value in sitting there listening to someone who has never done it... Stop buying into it. Recreate your world. Hugs, The Roadside Philosopher

  2. Hi. My principal just put ths post in front of me as a part of a confused narrative that seems based on "the government is forcing us to change so I am forcing you to change" Lots of emotional rhetoric and suli breaks' back beat, but no specific examples for professional educators to consider and implement. OK. Thank you Lisa and thank you Suli. Ccritical voice must be raised. Two things to the conversation: exams did not work for suli and the examples in this post. But obviously they "work" in some way for some people - what payoff do exams deliver? What benefits? For whom? Maybe if we can identify what drives exams, we can move the conversation forward to improve or transcend exams. Second point: what DOES determine the worth of a person, if not an exam scoring? Do we have a clear and compelling answer? As a teacher in a religious school, I feel I have an answer that serves - whats the secular expression of that answer? What do we tell students is the basis for their worth such that they can face the challenges of exams, projects and life without the results crushing their self worth? In a professional conversation, I believe that question more valuable than the emotional response to exams failing. peace.