Year 1 Sem 2 Midterms


Well, now that those horrible things called tests are all over, I guess I can reflect on them a little.

Last semester’s midterms were ones that I actually studied a whole lot for, mostly for Anatomy. It was a big break in tradition for me, who had little to no desire to study ever since secondary school. I usually study the day before; I managed to study for the whole of recess week (albeit not very efficiently). I thought I had turned a corner.

Then semester 1’s exams came and went, and as I got dragged into the audio game thanks to copious amounts of research that morphed into an obsession, I went back to old study habits. And so that continued to this semester’s midterms, and I ended up not even studying for LSM1401’s final CA, which I failed, somewhat embarrassingly IMO.

But after that poor grade, I still found myself lacking any sort of desire to study (or do my work, which will probably cost me my elective grades…). I think it’s partly due to how the module was (damn easy, and then a final CA that hurt badly), and partly due to how I hate the meritocratic system that ends up turning everyone against each other.

Cue another angry rant about bell curves.

Yes, I detest the bell curve. Overall, my absolute score for LSM1401 should be at least 75%, which should grant me an A- (based on NUS High’s grading system, which should be a decent reflection of NUS’s system). But, with the bell curve, I’m not expecting anything more than a B+, and I wouldn’t put any money on me getting one of those. It drives students to study, yes, but do they seek to learn or just to score?

It’s a sad indictment of our education system, when people see me as a nerd when I ask questions beyond our curriculum. Is our schooling not about learning, broadening horizons? When did we start getting degrees for jobs? Where did the interest go? When did grades become more important than the content which we are learning?

The irony is that I’m just as concerned about my grades (see: bell curve rant above), because it will ultimately impact on my ability to find a job. Change to a system that is touted as excellent won’t come easy, and probably won’t come at all.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this. People will probably think I complain too much, given I score decently despite not studying. Well, that’s because I actually try to learn during lectures instead of dumbly copying notes and trying to figure it out later.


All I know is, I hate exams and bell curves because they put an ungodly amount of emphasis on grades and studying when education should be about developing the mind and learning new things.


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