The test is over. The result cannot be changed. BUT that does not mean that it’s time to forget about it and move on! I have been hinting of the last two steps throughout my previous posts. Once the test is over you must reflect on how you prepared for and executed the test and whether the preparation and execution paid off. Did you learn what you were meant to learn? If not, will you purpose to now? Here are the final steps:
7. Review the test.
In the Classroom
After my students have taken their tests, we do two things. First, we hold the Grammar Awards! (I’ll have to explain this in another post at some point.) After the “Grammars,” we then do what I consider one of the most important actions in my class. We go over the test, question by question. I have students check their answers. They ask questions. I explain each correct answer and lay out any steps they could have done to reach that answer. It may take up some extra class time, but it’s so important! I want my students to care less about what questions they missed and realize why they missed them. My hope is that I am setting them up for future success—not just for when they take the next test, but for any test they may face whether in a classroom or not. I want them to learn to reflect. To look at their life and to learn from their successes and their failures.
Unfortunately, I cannot hold a made-up awards show for you when you finish a time of testing. I mean, I could if you reeeeally want me to… Anyway, that does mean that you cannot celebrate it yourself in some way. But don’t just celebrate the fact that the testing is over, celebrate what you learned through it. It probably doesn’t seem natural to rejoice over difficult circumstances, but it’s difficulty that makes us stronger. It’s fire that purifies the gold.
Celebrate and reflect. Consider these questions:
- What best prepared me for this time of testing?
- What did I do well during this time of testing?
- What could I have done better during this time of testing?
- What or who helped me during this time of testing?
- What will I carry with me after this time of testing?
- What is God trying to teach me?
This last question is hard because no one can know the mind of God. Sometimes, the answer to that question is as simple as “Trust Him.” And that’s okay. Because He is unfailingly trustworthy.
Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. (Psalm 62:8)
8. Remember that one test does not define you.
In Life AND In the Classroom
Failing a test doesn’t make you a failure. Ultimately, failure is a choice. It’s the choice to wallow in self-pity or stubbornness and refuse to learn from the mistakes and bad choices you have made. So don’t. Choose to learn. Choose to grow. Choose to succeed.
It’s February. Over a month ago, people around the world created lists of goals they wanted to accomplish and dreams they wanted to achieve as the days, weeks, and months of 2020 passed. I am one of those people. Since that day, many of those people around the world have already fallen short of those goals and given up on those dreams. I am also (almost) one of those people. One of my goals was to write a post once a week. Check the dates and you will see, I have already missed the mark. I could look at that and say to myself, “Well, what’s the point. I missed a week so why keep trying?” But I refuse to let one missed week define the rest of my year. In fact, I choose instead to look at the growth I have already achieved. I have written five more blog posts than I did last year. So I missed a week, there are 47 left, and if I continue to strive for my goal, I will still have written 52 posts this year! That motivates me.
On the flip side, passing a test doesn’t make you a permanent test-passer. Success is also a choice. It’s the choice to remain humble and teachable and continue to learn from mistakes and make better choices. So do. Choose to learn. Choose to grow. Choose to succeed.
One of my other goals this year was to read 60 books. I read 11 in January (which is probably why I missed a blog post… we’ll deal with time management another time). At this rate, I will read twice as many books as my goal. I could look at my January success and say to myself, “Well, I’m already one-sixth of the way there, so I don’t need to work as hard at achieving that goal.” But if I don’t actively pursue it the way I did in January (when I perhaps had more time than I will in upcoming months), then I will inevitably fall behind. I cannot let my previous success make me complacent.