Are all exams pointless?

Exam Meme-5Around this time of year, I always have nightmares.

About that one exam that I still haven’t passed, that I haven’t studied for and that’s being held at 9am the very next morning.

In the nightmare, I’m so poorly prepared that I don’t even know the name of the subject. All I do know is that it involves computer programming, mathematics and drawing.

All subjects I failed while at uni, and skills that I haven’t used since.

These nightmares also feature a mammoth spider. During my year 12 exams I was bitten by a white tail spider, and broke out in a full body rash that lasted a month.

This rash returned every year during uni exams, making each three-hour long regurgitation of whatever coursework I could remember especially painful.

Over time this rash has faded, and I was able to get special consideration for every exam I ever sat, which often pushed a slight fail to a conceded pass. So I got through year 12, and have two degrees.Exam Meme-6

Which means I was slightly thankful for the spider bite, until a uni classmate showed me how to forge a medical certificate using only a black pen and a photocopier.

The day after each nightmare I always think, ‘What was the point of all those exams?’

I don’t use either of the degrees in my everyday work, and I remember hardly any of the information I studied so hard, and even less of it is ever useful.

However, my year 12 marks got me into uni, and those two degrees still get me all sorts of unrelated jobs, along with a highly embellished resume.

(Tip of the day: Lie on your resume – everyone else does.)

So here are a few things to ponder for slackers everywhere.

All through my life I’ve heard people bemoaning the fact that they didn’t study harder, or apply themselves. Never do you hear anyone saying, ‘I wish I hadn’t tried so hard’.

Other lines you never hear:

‘Leaving school at year ten was the best thing I ever did.’

‘This year 12 certificate has never done anything for me.’

‘I really regret finishing my degree.’

Exam Meme-4Anyone who does say any of the above lines is either completely delusional or a liar. Don’t give them any money, or buy them a drink, and check your pocket for your wallet.

Now I’m not suggesting that you become some sort of socially inept hermit in pursuit of perfect marks.

If you have no social skills, all the intelligence in the world might get you money, but it won’t get you laid. I mean happiness. I mean a life.

Actually, I mean all of the above.

The examination system is extremely flawed. The obsession schools have with grades above emotional intelligence, social skills and problem solving is to the detriment of the entire system. However, that’s not an excuse to apply yourself.

In years to come, I really hope it does improve but it’s the system that we have, it’s the one you have to deal with, and the only people with regrets are the ones that give up.

You’ve got the rest of your life to stuff around.

Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian.

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