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Educational Testing Is A Major Cause Of Poverty

March 25, 2022

When was the last time you cared about how much a successful person scored on some stupid tests they took in high school or college?

When was the last time you applied for a job and the recruiter cared about your test scores in college and high school?

When was the last time you sent a book proposal and the publisher asked you for the same?

When was the last time you tried to sell something and you were asked the same?

Did you care about my test scores before you became my fan?

The reason you never cared is that test scores are utterly useless and unimportant. If they were not useless, the top people on this planet would be nerds from high school.

Besides a few government-regulated areas, almost the entire world does not care about test scores. What infuriates me the most is that so many parents all over the world lie to their children. I can’t accept that they legitimately believe that test scores matter. Those that do probably live a bad life since they are massively delusional.

As a result, high school students waste four years preparing for tests that no one cares about in the real world. They prepare for a world that does not exist. They live in a false paradigm, motivated by false rewards. This is particularly bad in India, where colleges do not care about anything other than test scores. In India, a student who does good on the JEE would be far more likely to get admitted to college than a student who is a scientist or an entrepreneur. But we already know who would succeed in real life. The world of academia is completely out of touch with reality. We can see why students are motivated to be autistic nerds and forgo their social and creative development. This is also why I think that no one should go to college in India. People should not participate in a system that incentivizes test preparation, which has no value in the real world, and completely ignores talents and skills, which is all that counts in the real world. The system is literally upside down.

In comparison, I found the US system much better. Colleges demand a resume and a portfolio, which reflects the real world. Employers and customers do want to see a good portfolio. This allows students to develop professionally. A US student can get an internship in high school and it would help him get to college. An Indian student would get hurt by the same because his peers would invest the same time in test preparation and outdo him on the test. The Indian system of education is literally shaping students to be professionally, creatively, and socially dull. Are we supersized that they are succeeding?

Imagine a system where college application does not include testing but only a portfolio or maybe a resume. Imagine the world this system would create. High school students would feel incentivized to externalize and hone their talents. Most of them would escape poverty within fours years. This paradigm accurately reflects the economics of the real world, where everyone loves talent. This is why people watch YouTube. And no one cares about test scores.

Finally, I would like to tell you how I dealt with such societal stupidity. 12-year-old me felt like the world was a fraud because nothing made logical sense. I would express my ideas at school, which my peers loved but my teachers and Agent Smiths disliked. They often made false complaints to my parents to get me chided at home. My parents were just as blind. I mean they were and are serial idolaters. They couldn’t see that my teachers were just insecure and jealous. They thought I was crazy and felt no qualms about calling me crazy and stupid. But then I never expected anything better.

I felt like the world was lying to me, but I had no concrete evidence. I did not know about philosophers back then. This was before the internet. I made a plan. I decided to read everything by heart. If my intuitions turned out correct, most would grow up to be losers. If the system proved to be a fraud (as it did), I would need a lot of knowledge to build my life all by myself. This is why I ruthlessly studied everything I got my hands on. I knew knowledge is power. There was one shortcoming in the plan. I did not think about a revenue model, an alternative to the system. I also did not think about getting help, because everyone I knew was deeply brainwashed. I did not know that there were well-functioning critically-developed adults.

Please, I beg all my readers to never ever care about test scores. And share this truth with as many people as you can. Test scores can help you get into college, but life does not end at 21. In the real world, no one cares about stupid test scores. Let’s not repeat our parents’ errors. Let’s not perpetuate a false paradigm.

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