In a discussion with a sister from another school, regarding a student we knew mutually but whom didn’t belong to either of us, they told me that the student in question never did very well in exams. The student is in their third year of a Bachelor of Medicine degree. I was told they were hard working. I thought how strange to not do very well in testing but to be in the throes of completing such a difficult exam rich degree. I recalled them as being meticulous, perhaps not overly creative, but very disciplined and focussed on their performance and results, perhaps ruthlessly. The next day, CCPS Years 10 to 12 students commenced their mid year exams, and after they commenced the Year 12 English test, an essay on Macbeth, I have to say I was enjoying the exam. That was because it’s a reasonably logical exercise, asking the students to learn and understand content that they in their testing isolation would write alone to record their thoughts. I didn’t have to write the essay either, something that I hadn’t done in an exam for thirty five years. Macbeth is about pain and the reorder of the natural world. Sitting alone in an exam writing about the murder of a medieval Scottish king is unlikely to be in our students’ natural spheres, and no doubt the previously unseen exam question was causing some pain, or at least anguish.

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