Observations In An Examination

I had the opportunity to observe an examination and since I had plenty of time to kill while waiting for the rain to stop, I thought of some lessons learnt.

1. Stop Being Trapped In Similar Situations
The ones who broke something while doing the examination did not learn from their mistakes. They broke the same thing again, within a short space of time. They are trapped in a vicious cycle where they continuously repeat the same mistakes. Telling people to learn from mistakes do not work.

They have to do the right steps the first time round, because habits are formed from learned behaviour. It is just like playing the piano. Once you make a mistake at a particular part, you would have forgotten how the right tune should sound. Your fingers would have developed the muscle memory of playing the wrong note each time round.

When you have to concentrate on avoiding that mistake, since it is already learnt, you take time away from other parts which you have already done well. That is because there is only so much we can concentrate at a given time. Things that are repeated will become a habit.

2. See Things From A Different Angle
In the same task, people approach it differently. Some squat down to look at it at the same level, while others bend down to look from top down. Do they get the same results? Perhaps. However, there are occasions when results are really different due to parallax errors. When is the last time you approach a problem from a different angle?

It also means that when you work in a team, people see things differently. They view the same issue from different angles, and you can check whether you are on the right track.  

3. Be Well-prepared
During an examination, some of them forgot to bring certain stationery. Just like a swordsman should have his sword during a duel, a person having an examination should have his or her complete set of stationery. If not, such people are just short-changing themselves. While an artist can simply use what’s available on hand, there are still certain things that are absolutely vital.

Did they make a checklist of the necessary equipment beforehand? Did they carry out a check before going for the examination? In business, if you have a presentation to make to a client, you jolly well have to make sure you have everything with you. If you tell them something is forgotten, or another thing is spoilt, they will have very bad impression of you. They can just give the deal to another party, since they are afraid you will be ill-prepared for their work.

I wonder what is stopping them from being well-prepared. Is it disinterest? Poor attitude?