It’s that dreaded season of exam! Perhaps the year hasn’t been so kind to you and catching up on studies has been a struggle. Now with that all important exam round the corner, you are caught up in despair. When the road ahead seems bleak and failure is looming large, what can superheroes teach us about taking exams.
Mulan- Be Brave
Mulan drafted herself in the army to fight a formidable foe, the Mongols, at a time when fighting females were unheard of. She grew up being taught how to be feminine, to be a good wife and daughter, and had absolutely no fighting skills, no knowledge of weaponry or warfare. All she had was bravery and determination. And indeed, the rest is history. Be brave and just do all the papers for the exam, you may be surprised how much you know and have learnt through the course of the year.
Black Widow – Use whatever you have.
Natasha Romanov, was not only the only female Avenger amongst the team of male counterparts, unlike the other Avenger superheroes, she did not have any high-tech weapons like Iron Man, or superhuman strength like Captain America, let alone god-like powers like Thor. Yet, she not only holds her ground in the battles against treacherous foes but even saves her fellow team-mates once in a while. Her strength lies in her quick thinking, street-smart and adaptable approach to problem solving. It’s ok if you have not completed your revision from the first to the last chapter. Not everything will be tested and writing loads of content may not provide a good answer. Apply what you know appropriately to answer the question.
Wonder Woman – Don’t let the past define you
Wonder Women suffered much lost even before she became the renown superhero that the world knows of. In her origins story we see a young Diana, loosing her beloved Aunt and Mentor when the Nazi’s attacked her homeland. In her initiation battle against Ares the god of war, she looses her first love Steve Trevor. Such catastrophic lost can haunt a person all their lives but it doesn’t have to cripple them. Maybe, you don’t have a sterling academic record and your past failures cause you to think that you are not smart. Such thoughts will stumble you and may end up self-fulfilling. Put every past failure aside, don’t dwell on how you did for the last paper and focus on the next one.
Black Panther – Don’t cheat
T Challa, King of Wakanda, a land filled with riches and technological advancement. Wakanda is almost invincible and so was Black Panther in his vibranium suit and after consuming the heart-shaped herb. Yet when fighting against Killmonger to retain his throne, T Challa fought fair, without his suit and superpowers, and based on his own natural strength and abilities. That is true nobility and character fitting of a King. In the exam, no matter how tempting it may be or how feasible you think it can be, do not cheat. Once caught cheating, your entire future will be damaged.
Ant-man – Better things can happen even when your plans fail
Scott Lang, the Ant man missed the fight of a life-time against Thanos in the End-Game movie. He was caught up in the Quantum Realm, totally inaccessible to any normal human being. When Thanos, snapped and killed half of population on earth, the Ant man was not affected. But neither was there anyone to release him from the Quantum Realm until a rat stumbled upon his machinery that got him there and got him back to earth. The Ant man lost five years of his life caught in the Realm but it was a blessing in disguise not just for Scott Lang but the world. Because it was the very machinery that hampered and delayed the Ant Man’s initial goal that eventually saved the world.
So maybe, you feel small and insignificant, like an ant or even a rat amongst the brilliant people in your class. But don’t let those feelings stop you from giving all you’ve got in this coming exam. We often hear people tell us to believe in yourself but what does that mean?
Believe in your brain, that it has been learning even when there are no signs of the knowledge. This is called Latent Learning. Latent learning is a type of learning that is not obvious and visible. This is because there has been no opportunity to present it. Latent learning happens when you are exposed to knowledge, such as sitting in class and listening to the teacher. Our brains are at work even when we think that it is not. At night when we sleep, the information is consolidated but because we do not apply it, it is not displayed. Hence, we don’t know what we know until we encounter a situation where we have to apply that knowledge.
If you are really desperate and have no more time to learn new things, revise what you already know. Don’t spend the night before an exam cramming new information. Sufficient sleep will help your brain to work better and retrieve what you already have been exposed to. Most important, don’t allow your negative emotions to get a hold on you, because when your emotional brain takes over, it will over-shadow your thinking brain. Remember, Be brave; don’t cheat; don’t let past failure affect you; apply what you know appropriately and trust your brain.
Please share this post with a student who is discouraged about taking exams.