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  1. #1
    From the Undertow CuriousFeeling's Avatar
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    Default NF's and taking tests

    Was wondering what types of test questions NF's generally tend to do well in, or find more enjoyable. As an INFJ, I tend to do the best with essay questions where I can explain my rationale for the point I want to get across. I find writing out my answers and formulating connections between the things I have learned in an overall nature comes more natural to me rather than dealing with something such as the multiple choice questions which force you to draw upon specific information. I'm not that great with factual recall. If it gets too specific, it stresses me out. I prefer a question that focuses on the big picture or extrapolating data/ making predictions of what could happen.

    What have the rest of you experienced with taking exams in school?
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  2. #2
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    I prefer essays and take-home exams that I can spend some time mulling over. In my discipline (and with most other humanities), multiple choice tests and the like are a pretty lousy way to gauge a student's abilities after a certain point.

    With science and math, I didn't really care one way or the other. I liked the idea of writing down the process of coming to a solution because it was a nice little safety net for when I got the answer wrong (hey look! I plugged in the wrong numbers but at least my reasoning was right!) but in practice, I never actually did this very well. I either skipped a lot of steps because it was boring to write all that stuff down or I went on unnecessary tangents and picked the most roundabout, inefficient ways to come to a solution. Multiple choice tests were okay; so was explaining stuff. No clear preference one way or the other.

  3. #3
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    I agree with the essay thing... one of my best ever classes was philosophy in college. Didn't read much of the books, just grabbed a bunch of information from class discussions and maybe a quick skim of a couple of chapters. Then I would go take the test and they would ask these really open ended questions and I would just try to make some kind of connection between one random thing I learned and another, and the professor thought I was some kind of a genius. Making examples of my work in front of the class. It was hilarious to me, because in philosophy, a lot of people were really intensely involved in what they were reading, and were making legitimate comments. I was just using my wonderful BSing ability. Nailed it every time. Nailed the whole class, without having learned much. It was probably my greatest pride and joy of a class, and one that I enjoyed doing because I didn't have to study and the tests involved simple creative writing. Other tests in subjects don't allow room for interpretation, and took a lot more time to make sure I knew and mastered the information, I didn't like that as much. Public speaking was a good one for me, too. Natural talent. I was pretty good at math and word problems as long as I could figure it out on my own, not strict formula based. Tougher time in science, requires more detail of thought. (Like, one slip of a detail in some science subjects ends up being a huge mistake. Surprised I wasn't one of the kids who blew something up in lab.) History was boring, can't make up history. Anything involving less school and and more improvisation. Creative writing was by far my best subject throughout the years. Anything requiring, (or that you could use creative writing for) was good for me.
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  4. #4
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CuriousFeeling View Post
    As an INFJ, I tend to do the best with essay questions where I can explain my rationale for the point I want to get across. I find writing out my answers and formulating connections between the things I have learned in an overall nature comes more natural to me rather than dealing with something such as the multiple choice questions which force you to draw upon specific information. I'm not that great with factual recall. If it gets too specific, it stresses me out. I prefer a question that focuses on the big picture or extrapolating data/ making predictions of what could happen.

    What have the rest of you experienced with taking exams in school?
    Pretty much all of this. I preferred tests which allowed me to demonstrate I understood a concept & to express my own reasoning than ones which required showing I knew detailed steps or specific facts. I never liked history much, as most of it was presented as factual memorization, not focused on understanding why & how things happened. I always did really well in math and liked it once past the basic arithmetic of elementary school. I never saw it as memorization of steps, but focused on the concepts, which is likely why it appealed to me & I tested well in it. Multiple choice math tests were not preferred for that same reason.

    I did do well with multiple choice, but it's because I almost always found it easy to immediately rule out at least two options (of the typical 4 choices), so even if I had to guess I had a decent chance. I thought most people find it easy for that reason... I don't do well with factual recall either, so if I had to do it, then multiple choice was preferred to sheer memorization. I was always good at short term memory though...crash studying 5 minutes before a test really worked for me, but I'd never remember the info longterm even if I aced the test. I always remember the basic idea of things though - "the gist". In short, I tested well, no matter the format, but certain kinds of testing were more in-line with my natural way of learning.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    I almost always preferred essay tests.. but I hated being given specific topics. I'm pretty sure that most NF's will prefer essay style test. However, the multiple choice tests don't bother me all that much either. THere is often a strategy you can pick up even if your not entirely certain of the answer.. like one option is completely ridiculous, one option doesn't flow with the way the question is phrazed, one option is too general, etc. (We can see that I've put great thought into bs-ing my way through tests haha).

    I would say the worst tests for me are the ones where you must write in one correct answer or word, and there are no options to draw off of. These tests target in on concise, rote memorization skills, my weakest points. In the past I have been able to memorize large amounts of info for short periods of time, but i have to develop a pattern or code of memorization behind it. This pattern or code allows me to connect words and info through a rule set in my mind.

    I do very well with in person testing. A few years back in a team meeting my boss started asking us off the wall questions that we would have never just known. I answered most of them correctly and he was floored. He asked me how I knew the answers and I told him that I was just. that. good. But really, I just picked up on his delivery of question. Tone, inflection, body movement, pace of speech, etc. I cracked his code about 3 questions in =)
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  6. #6
    Member nomoreshallwepart's Avatar
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    I'm going to break the mould and say that I prefer recalling knowledge, I tend to go off on a bit of a tangent with essay questions, I have got better with them though. I think I can get in to INTJ mode when my emotions are in neutral.

  7. #7
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Actually, in test situations, I was always much better at maths and science and terrible with essay questions.

    Its not that I'm bad at essays, I'm fairly good with essay-based assignments. I just could not deal with exam based conditions. Along with the problems of time pressures, I seriously struggled with the handwritten aspect. Partly because I personally find writing by hand to be rather labourious, but more significantly, it forces you to think in a linear fashion which is highly unnatural for me. When writing essays on computers, I could free-write ideas, cut and paste phrases or paragraphs, add in content at any point, edit and clarify until it made sense. This is the most effective way for me to write but this simply isn't possible in exams. I look back at some of my uni exam papers now and sometimes it looks and reads like its been written by a 10 year old.

    However, as a disclaimer: I've been beginning to suspect the last few years that I may have dysgraphia - which would explain all this.
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  8. #8
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    My preferred classes in school were always the maths and sciences, as in those classes, there was always a 'right' answer and I didn't have to worry about whether what I wrote was actually what the teacher was wanting to see/ was the 'right' answer. And, I definitely found the subject matter fascinating/interesting/challenging too. So I didn't have a problem with multiple choice tests, as having read and understood the concepts, I was able to recall the right answer. And.. truthfully.. I often found the multiple choice tests really easy. (At least pre-college; college became another story.) I was fairly decent at memorizing things in a 'short-term' way, such that I could do well on tests, but I've never retained that sort of info (factual, definitions, etc) in a longterm way.

    Literature and classes like that, otoh, while I did well on those tests, was much more nerve-wracking for me than the maths and sciences. I think this again tied to my knowing it was rather subjective, and therefore not trusting that I'd have the 'right' answer - or the one the teacher wanted. I ended up doing fine, I'd just say that in jr/high school, essay questions were NOT what I preferred.

    In college, though, I remember getting to the point where I liked what was called 'short answer' tests in some of my humanity, and even science, classes. A few of my favorite classes were highly conceptual, so as such these short answer test formats were best.

    Sorry.. kinda all over the board.
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