(The end of Scar’s song “Be Prepared” from The Lion King.)
If you know me well, then you know that I hate feeling unprepared for things. It just gives me a sick, cringing feeling all over that is like a step above normal nerves. You can imagine then that pre-tests drive me crazy! I understand the idea of knowing where you are at the begging of the year so you can track your progress, but the fact that I know I’m not prepared, and can’t do anything about it vexes me.
Today the feeling was even worse because not only did we take a pre-test, but it was a pre-test for AP World History so it made me even more nervous. Every one kept telling me all day that it is no big deal and I shouldn’t worry about it, but I can’t help it. Who enjoys feeling unprepared?
Sure enough we took the test today, and it was long and hard. It isn’t that the AP test scares me, I am sure that my teacher will properly prepare me for when the time comes, but that won’t be until the end of the year. However, after taking the test especially, I know there is so much that I don’t remember, have gotten confused with something else, or simply haven’t learned yet.
I didn’t even finish during the class period, so I had to take it home for the last 8 problems. Seeing others around me finishing made me even more tense. I know it isn’t about the grade, but I also know that this is high school, and the moment we find out how we did everyone will be comparing. That especially is when things get the worst. On pre-test like this there is some amount of remembering facts from past years, but a lot of the information on the test we haven’t learned, so it boils down to just luck from guessing. I am not a good guesser. I never have been. I either know information or I don’t, and being a person that typically does well in school people will expect me to do well. However, I am not expecting to do very well, and then I know people will have to make a big deal out of it.
This is one of the most annoying things; just because I’m decently smart doesn’t mean that any time I make a mistake it has to be a huge deal. This wouldn’t be the first time it has happened either, and probably not the last. So what? Ya, I made a mistake. I’m human. I will use my mistake to learn for the future.
It use to be easier to ignore people that feel the need to point out other peoples mistakes, but as I’ve gotten older and more emphasis has been put on GPA’s and larger grade gaps have been made, it has become much more difficult.
I usually do well because I hate feeling unprepared, so I work hard so that I do understand information. This causes a big empathy gap between me and people who don’t always try their hardest because I don’t understand how they can deal with that nauseating feeling.
One of the things that scares me about life past high school is if I will feel prepared for the world once it is time to be. Are grades and test even necessary to prepare students for the world? Why do we have to put so much stress on them? Why do grades have to be a big deal? When will learning be about understanding rather than about a number?