VCS Insights 1 VCS Insights Volume 2, Issue 10 December 2009 Final Exams?
Dr. Dennis Demuth
This is the week of semester exams. Students look forward to taking exams like most look forward to going
to the dentist. Very few students delight in taking exams. In fact, a few years ago when middle and high
school students were asked, “What kind of help would you like to have that would help you improve your
academic performance?” The overwhelming response was, “We need to learn how to take tests.”
How to Do Better on Exams Experts in test taking skills provide the following tips for
test taking: 1. Read directions carefully. This may be obvious,
but it will help you avoid careless errors. 2. If there is time, quickly look through the test for
an overview. Note key terms, jot down brief notes. If you can, mark the test or answer sheet with
comments that come to mind. Ask if that is
permitted! 3. Answer questions in a strategic order. Answer
easy questions first to build confidence, score points, and mentally orient yourself to vocabulary,
concepts, and your studies. It may also help you make associations with more difficult questions.
Then answer difficult questions or those with the most point value. With objective tests, first
eliminate those answers you know to be wrong, or are likely to be wrong, don't seem to fit, or where
two options are so similar as to be both incorrect. With essay questions, broadly outline your answer
and sequence the order of your points. 4. Review. Resist the urge to leave as soon as you
have completed all the items. Review your test to make sure that you have answered all questions;
did not mismark answers. 5. Do Not Make Simple Mistakes. Proofread
spelling, grammar, punctuation, decimal points, etc.
6. Change answers to questions if you made a mistake, or misread the question or if you find
information elsewhere in the test that indicates that your first choice is incorrect.
There is an examination process that each one of us as Christian Educators needs to take. Paul refers to it in 2
Cor. 13:5; “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in faith. Test yourselves. Do you know yourselves that
Jesus Christ is in you? Unless indeed you will be disqualified (failing the test). (Living Bible)
If we were to take time to really examine ourselves we would realize our utter helplessness and dependence
upon Him, just as David did when he said, “Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.”
(Ps 26:2) Paul is not referring to examining our spiritual
character, church attendance, our good works, as evidenced in preparing and delivering lesson plans,
arriving at and serving our duty stations, getting papers graded in a timely manner – to name a few good things
- to see whether or not we measure up to expectations set forth in the handbook.
The self-examination Paul is addressing is not an examination of righteousness, spiritual condition or our
good works. We are to examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith, that is, to see whether we
are putting all of our righteousness and good works aside and placing our faith and rest in Jesus Christ, His
righteousness and His finished work. Answer these questions
Does condemnation govern me when my works aren’t too good? If you answer yes, you are not in faith but in
works. Do I feel like I’m a failure when someone points something out to me? If you answer yes then you are
operating on how well you are doing rather than on the grace of God. To be ”in faith” means to hold on to faith in Jesus Christ or what He has done and not what we have done. “If we really are resting in Christ, then nothing we do is
going to affect our faith. The message of the gospel is that nothing I do changes the fact that “It is finished.”
Therefore, nothing I do need hurt my faith in that “finished work.” The devil will no longer be effective in using our sin and
failure to move us from our stand in faith.