because you never forget that funny smell

A Friend In Need

testing times

When I showed this story to a good pal of mine the other day the response that I got was totally unexpected. Saima sent me an email and all but accused me of being unfair, short sighted and ignorant. She said that like a majority of the public I did not recognise how unfair the testing and examining regime is to very many people – why should the whole future of an otherwise talented young person be determined by a set of tests?

Read a little of what she said:

“…….Hi Woolie, trust that you’re well.

I must let you know how disappointed I was when I read your comments. The actions of this guy who sat the test on behalf of his prospective MP should commended. He behaved as a true friend. Clement Waibara ofcourse went on to beat the other fifteen candidates in a landslide victory. Clearly Waibara had leadership qualities which his opponents may not have shown.

Woolie, back in my day I impersonated a terrified young lady and took the driving test for her. Word got round and soon I realised that there was a demand for this sort of service. My list of prospects grew and with a bit of reluctance I introduced a modest fee. That did not stop them and I sat more tests. I grew greedier and increased the fees but still they came; I sat more and more tests for people and the cash kept rolling in. The deception now extended to different examinations and tests in all towns and cities across the country and my typical day back then would have me sit a couple of driving tests, a medical test, perhaps a pregnancy test or two and several drug/alcohol tests for anxious employers. My best earners were driving and accountancy candidates.

Woolie, the test system is the most unfair way of determining a candidate’s suitability. It is designed to bottle-neck applicants opening doors to the priviledged few and denying opportunities for the many. After making my fortune abusing this system I now spend my time campaigning for fairer ways of assesing candidates’ suitabilities…..”

Does she have a point?

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  1. Given her experience in this, I would say she’s right. Testing needs to be looked at from a global perspective imo. If you’re only testing one thing (a score, for example) then you’re missing out on that candidates other qualities (like their ability to generate original thought in a short amount of time, how they assess situations, how they respond under stress, how creatively they resolve issues etc etc) except a pregnancy test, which only really has one of two answers 😉

  2. There is a clue right there in your comment Mia –What are we testing or assessing. If we educate people to pass tests and exams…..It is said that 95% of drivers would fail a test if they took one today – and yet these are people who would be considered perfectly competent on the road…….

  3. I know tests are unfair, but perhaps in some situations, a comprehensive test would be better. Like when interviewing candidates for a job, it’s not just a written but oral, and many other tests.

    Can someone suggest an alternative to tests?

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