Academic Performance

12.14.06

Frequently I see students memorizing and cramming as much information as possible before an exam and then trying later to mechanically regurgitate the information during the exam – and very likely the machine will break down. I like to think of exams and school work as a performance, some are in front of a live audience like exams and others are recorded like take home exams and homework. Its not how much you know about a subject or how well you can recall the material, its about the final product which will be created uniquely over the span of the exam. That is why no amount of preparation can ever be enough for an exam because in the end its all down to talent.

When you enter the class room for an exam, it should be like walking onto a stage. There’s nothing you can do except to trust that you can perform what you have practiced or that if you don’t remember something that you can improvise to a degree to which no one will notice. One should also never attempt to perform without an inspiration. Imagine playing the Four Seasons by Vivaldi without anything feeling – every movement would be as dull as the previous – spring and winter would for once be the same.

An exam is a performance: don’t take it, perform it.