I think I mentioned in an earlier blog that Chris and I made the decision that I needed to get my boating licence. To be honest, I am quite happy to be a passenger in our boat, watching Chris fish in the early morning, being the spotter when we are pulling water skiers etc. but with living by the water full time, it just seemed to be the responsible thing to do.
The licensing process has recently changed so now, every person needs to take a mandatory online three hour course and pass a quiz for each of the five modules. Once that is completed, you can take the final licensing exam, which consists of 50 questions with a timed response for each question. I am an eternal student so I studied hard and took 12 pages of notes. Chris was laughing at me since he spontaneously decided to take the old 36 questions – test one afternoon and passed it easily. Blah, blah, blah…
Last night was the big exam for me.
Can I tell you how frustrating it was to complete that exam? Despite all the studying, I ended up passing the exam with the absolute minimum mark required, 38 out of 50. This test asked incredibly trivial questions such as the type of map provided by the Canadian Hydrographic Society for Left -handed Anchor Tossers. None of my choices were “who cares.” The point is I studied hard and from the actual course, I learned a lot of important and relevant information about being a pleasure craft operator. Then I took an exam filled with questions that were better suited for someone who was navigating the St. Lawrence Seaway, whilst dodging freighters and tugs, blindfolded in the dark with no flares on board.
I am a teacher by profession. This kind of testing irks me. I didn’t create tests that tricked my students. I designed challenging tests/exams that made my students think outside the box and apply knowledge but I didn’t ask for trivial information that no one needed to know. This boat licensing exam is a classic example of an evaluation that an amateur would prepare – spot a insignificant fact amidst all the information and build it into a question for no better reason than to provide a frustrating question. Good education does not look like this.
I’m glad that I passed. I never thought I would see the day when, speaking about myself, I would say, “Diane’s mark is not indicative of her effort or potential” but it’s true.
You’re welcome in our boat anytime! I’ll make sure you wear your PFD and sunscreen, and I’ll get you safely back to shore with minimal effects from hypothermia.