An Eraser-Free Exam

Everyone takes tests differently, using different strategies and tactics. When I take an exam, I try not to change an answer after I put it down on paper, unless I realize I read the question wrong. In fact, I rarely go back and review my exam for this reason…I always psych myself out. And, usually, this strategy works out well for me.

One friend, however, does the exact opposite. She essentially takes the test twice. She goes back, reads through her answers, panics, and changes like half of them. When the tests are returned to us, she finds that her score would easily be 10 points higher if she hadn’t changed her answers.

“You’ve got to stop doing that. You know this stuff. Just trust that you do, finish your test, and turn it in. Be done with it,” I tell her.

“I know. I’m trying. I just get so panicked when I’m taking the test!” She says, nervously drumming her fingers on the desk.

Our teacher is going around, passing out exams to each of us. She also hands us a simple calculator and a pencil. She comes around to our row, and methodically sets down a paper exam on the desk. Then comes the calculator. Finally, she passes a pencil to my friend. And, without any warning, smoothly pulls out a pair of scissors and cuts the eraser clean off the top of it. She winks at my friend, and carries on as if nothing ever happened.

My friend and I exchanged glances, with wide eyes and shocked smiles. Did that really just happen?

But, hey, it worked out. My friend got a 90 on that exam.

Teachers can be pretty cool, even if their methods seem a little crazy at first.