Will This Be On The Test

My students are in the midst of second trimester exams, and I’m sure that teachers have been regularly been fielding this question for the last couple of weeks.

Will this be on the test?

The question – the mindset of the test – is anathema to building real hungry learners. Continuing to learn for a lifetime comes from wanting, in your heart, to understand more.

There is no test coming at the end of my life, but I am still trying to learn as much as I can.

We’ve gotten a little mixed up about goals in the classroom. The test is a mechanism to demonstrate what you’ve learned. The goal is to learn.

Instead, society generally considers the test to be the goal, and the class a mechanism to pass the test.

We are incredibly lucky in the music wing; our tests are live performances, and, unlike with classes and tests, we logically understand the relationship between rehearsal and performance.

No student has ever struggled with a measure and responded by asking, “Will measure 27 be on the performance?”

The aim is to get students to understand the intrinsic value of their education – success comes from knowledge. Once you get that, the test is easy. “Will this be on the test” transforms into “Where can I read more about this?”

Music classes have this down pat.