Weeding out or fertilizing?

October 8th, 2008 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

hand-weeding.jpgThis week is almost over, at least the hard part of it. Yesterday we had midterm exams in the two most challenging classes of the semester (Corporate Finance & Data Models/Decisions) Both involve the logical application of formulas and numbers. And if you saw my GMAT score, you would know that the quantitative side was NOT my strength. If any of my classmates read this, they may resent this, but I must say that the tests were almost fun. There’s no real satisfaction in taking a test where you can understand all the questions immediately, apply the formulas, and get everything right. If you got 100% on that kind of test, you would be pleased with the grade, but not impressed with yourself.

These tests, on the other hand, were challenging to a new level. At the surface it seems unfair to expect students to apply their class learning beyond the types of problems presented in class (and that is exactly what the professors did). The questions were somewhat familiar, in that we could usually recognize the basic principle being applied, but HOW to solve them was challenging in most cases. So, perhaps I didn’t score so well on the test, but I did get to stretch myself. It was like a real life work situation. Normally you have some information to get your job done. But you rarely have ALL the information you need to complete a project or report. You have to do some inference, some extrapolation, and use some creativity.

So, in the end, this is a positive reflection on the education I’m receiving. I don’t want to finish every test and think “I knew all the answers”, because that would imply a formulaic exam. I want to be tested in my ability to analytically apply principles I have learned, without everything being handed to me on a platter.