By Zachary Roman
Christmas music has started playing everywhere and it can only mean one thing:
I work in retail and hate my life. It is approaching that time of year again: exam season. The time when the failings of standardized testing, and our education system as a whole, rear their ugly heads.
As the holiday season approaches, many students are preparing for five, sometimes six, exams while they also complete the last of their coursework and major assignments.
Cue the Scantron testing system: every professor’s wet dream. Its invention in 1972 was the beginning of the end of tests that actually test your critical thinking and problem solving abilities. Now, it’s all about fact memorization, baby.
“I don’t see anything wrong with memorization being the only indicator of intelligence that our school values,” said Joe Towgraffick-Memory, a fourth-year biology student. “I just do a quick scan of my textbook before each exam and get over 90 per cent every time.”
Visual learners, conceptual thinkers and that one guy who never came to class are all feeling left behind by the current testing system. Most exams at Ryerson now consist of multiple choice and short-answer portions. Some particularly lazy professors have went so far as to make their exams entirely multiple choice.
“I’ll give it to you straight champ. Why would I ever mark tests by hand if the school is fine with me handing out Scantrons?” said Jack Adaysacal, an accounting professor who hasn’t lifted a pen in 15 years. “My subject matter is so dry that it would be unfair for me to be subjected to it 100 times in a row while I mark.”
The cycle of studying for multiple tests one after another proves to be the biggest waste of money and time since Game of Thrones season eight because students aren’t actually retaining anything they are learning.
Third-year engineering student Josh Leader said that since his totally legendary frosh week, he has felt as if he was sucked into a whirlwind of examination that has not subsided since. One first-year student told The Eye that they haven’t remembered anything they’ve learned since high school.
“It’s upsetting and it makes me think that university isn’t worth it,” said Dee Grettful. “I might drop out to pursue my true passion—mini golf.”
The Ryerson Mini Golf Society’s President, Dill Pickleson, said that it would be unfortunate if she did because Dee is one of the worst mini golfers he has ever seen. “Dee wouldn’t last a second on the pro circuit, those players are putt-throat.”
Many students report never being able to relax, ever, because the intrusive feeling of approaching deadlines doesn’t stop from the first day of the semester to the last.
“I spent my last $500 dollars on a weekend spa getaway in Blue Mountain,” said third-year film studies student Tim Iplex. “Even when I was six beers deep and sitting in the hot tub with a cucumber face mask I could not get the thought of my first exam out of my head.”
Exam schedules were released on Nov. 1 and those who actually checked them are currently grappling with existential dread.
Ryerson’s School of Performance considered running a musical adaptation of The NeverEnding Story. Production of The NeverEnding Exam Period was cancelled after test audiences fainted, waking up saying that they had seen hell itself.
“I felt like I was Eleanor realizing I was in the Bad Place,” said second-year film student Janet Michaels. “An eternity of exams is the worst hell I could think of besides being trapped in a Ryerson library cubicle with bed bugs.”
Good luck this exam period, Ryerson. The only thing we can know for sure is that we’ll forget everything we studied within a week.