It was graduation day and the most important moment of Elizabeth’s life had arrived, the moment for which she’d spent years preparing. The dean of the Faculty was about to announce the class’ best student. Nervous, she was mentally going through her speech, she could already see the plaque engraved with her name hanging in the university corridor. Suddenly, she was awoken from her day-dream by the sound of a different name. “But, wait! I’m not the best?”. She was overcome with feelings of rage and frustration. Without this recognition, the last 5 years were down the drain.
How many times felt like all your work and effort wasn’t worth it because you didn’t reach a goal? From school through to university, we’re taught that the grades we receive at the end of the semester dictate if we have obtained the necessary knowledge to pass. How does this method of learning affect us when we have to face the professional world? Is there a reason why we encourage competitiveness between students and in ourselves?
For a long time, centuries, exams didn’t exist in the occidental world. They Originally Came From China [ESP], where the dynasty Han (206 a.C onwards) made up a complex system of tests to gain access to The General State Administration.
Incredibly competitive, these tests lasted for 3 entire days. Out of the 450 000 people that participated, only 600 succeeded and gained access . Many died of anger or exhaustion.
The question you might ask yourself is, if it required so much effort (and even to risk your life) with little possibility of passing, why in the world would they even participate? The answer (according to the historians), is for status, recognition, network and a place within the local elite.
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