It was the quarterly ritual. An assessment. A feedback. Time to find out what medal your child was awarded this quarter. I sat through all the PTMs with the subject teachers. Your child is intelligent, curious, attentive, participative, polite, respectful, collaborative…. They smiled in appreciation of his chirpy attitude and enthusiasm. They thrilled in appreciation of his thoughtful reflections. They glowed warmly in appreciation of his respectful behaviour. They clapped in appreciation of his creativity in whatever he did.
But he is not a good test taker. He makes silly mistakes; Is always in a hurry to finish the stupid exam and get on with life ; Answers only for two marks when the question demanded an explanation for four marks; Thinks writing essays are a drag and refuses to quote Shakespeare on demand. Refuses to memorize definitions. Or formulae. Or Equations. Please practice with past papers was the advice given, again and again.
At the end of the PTM, I found myself caught between rejoicing that my child is such a wonderful learner and worried that he is not a good test taker. Yes, I am aware of the list of celebrities who all dropped out of the Harvards of the world to ultimately go to the moon. But today as I stare at the slew of exams looming in his future, I wonder which less trodden path will he take that could harness all his strengths and embrace his weaknesses.