Tests are a normal part of school. Math tests. Spelling tests. Vocab. Science. History. Reading. Multiple choice. Fill in the blanks. True/False. Essays.
The left side of our brain is all for it. It’s ready. Bring it on. Tests are easy for that part of us. Tests measure the kind of thinking the left side of the brain does best.
But the right side of your brain is in a panic. It broke into a cold sweat just thinking about taking a test. The right side hates multiple choice, short answer, true false questions and essays. It’s completely contrary to the way the right side of the brain works.
- The right side of your brain sees LOTS of possibilities and new ideas.
The test wants ONE right answer.
- The right brain sees and thinks in PICTURES.
Tests are WORDS.
- The right brain thinks BIG. Tests want SMALL details.
- The right brain has NO SHORT TERM memory.
Tests measure what is stored in SHORT TERM memory.
- The right side of brain has a HARD TIME choosing words.
Essays – short or long – are all ABOUT WORDS.
- The right brain can do math WITHOUT KNOWING how it got the answer.
Tests want you to SHOW YOUR WORK.
- The right brain does NOT do well with TIME.
Tests have a clock. A TIME LIMIT. Tests want to know what you know and right away.
The right side of your brain wants nothing to do with all this. Panic, fear and dread are there because it knows – the more right-brain dominant a person is – the worse they’ll do on tests. We do need a way to measure and gauge what the right side of brain has learned but it’s not true false, multiple choice or standardized tests. They don’t measure or reflect who they are or what they understand.
The Right knew that all along. That’s why the fear, panic and dread. That’s why he didn’t want to take them. It’s not his job. Not his area. It’s why he’s miserable, anxious and fearful at test time.
For visual spatial learners, taking tests is just one more way to feel bad about themselves. One more way to fail. One more way to feel inadequate. One more way to lose.
How do we measure and gauge learning for right brain visual learners? There are ways. But it starts by understanding that current testing methods aren’t working for them and their negative response to testing – is warranted.