It's still exam time. Some of you have had your first round of tests this semester. For others they will come this week. When the exam grades come out, it is easy to just look up your score and move on. But whether you aced it, bombed it, or ended up somewhere in the middle, you should reflect on what you learned and your learning process. Most importantly, you need to focus on yourself. It's easy to rationalize why things didn't end up the way you expected. "I would have gotten an A if …" It is easy to fill in the blank. But don't convince yourself that you actually knew the material if your exam score doesn't reflect this.
Historian Daniel Boorstin wrote that "the greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance — it is the illusion of knowledge."
So be honest with yourself. Go back over your exams. Figure out what you really knew and what you didn't. I know it can be painful. But without the struggle, there can't be any learning. Best of all, when you do ace an exam you can revel in the fruits of your hard labor. You will know that your success is the result of the time and effort that you put into your education. You will be amazed by how much you will learn.
Dr. Vanden Bout