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Despite investing a lot of time and energy, you are not able to get a better grade. Do not worry about that because you are not alone. There are a lot of people like you. The problem is competition. Everybody out there is competing with you. The people above you are investing time and energy and constantly trying to move ahead of you. The people below you are also trying to move ahead of you. As more people move to higher grades the standard of test is set higher. The fact is that you have to invest certain minimum amount of time and energy just to maintain your status quo. It is like a red queen’s race. If you have to move ahead, you have to invest extra time and energy. The world wants efficient people.

The expected level of efficiency is increasing day by day. If you want to survive the severity of competition, you need to understand the fitness landscape of learning. Learning started from the time first human beings appeared some 2 million years ago. It doesn’t mean that other organisms are not learning; their learning is in a rudimentary form. Once we learned how to think then learning became faster and faster that we are exploring other earth like planets in the universe and of course finding the gene that is responsible for our intelligence.

Competition

Competition is either natural or designed. Individuals of a species are competing with each other for the limited resources and a species as a whole is competing with other species for survival. The struggle for existence is ubiquitous. When natural resources are scarce and demand for such resources are high then competition to acquire them will be more. This competition is natural in any ecosystem. In the institution of education, the competition is designed in order to increase the efficiency of the students. The number of seats to higher education is limited or the top ranked institutions may prescribe a higher level of standard for the applicants. It means you have to be more efficient to get a seat for higher education. There is pressure acting upon you from outside. You will have to tackle this pressure with a positive mind.

The competition is intended to grade you in order to find your fitness for higher education and for better institution. There may be some flaw in the way the grading is done by the institutions (a lot of research is being done to perfect the grading method), but competition per se is not undesirable.

Grading

Grading is arrangement of people or things in groups according to their ability, quality, or size, etc. Grading in education is used to find your fitness level at a particular point of time. If you are getting a poor grade then it implies that your fitness is poor at that point of time. It does not imply that you will never be able to improve your grading. The problem is our mind set or the way we think. Once the institution labels you poor then somehow it sticks to your mind. You have to remove this stickiness from your mind. If you identify yourself as poor you will remain poor for life. The grading is done at a particular point in time and tells your existing ability and skills. You can always improve your analytical skills and expand your knowledge base to get a good grading. Grading is an opportunity to know your competency level, strengths and weaknesses. You should get rid of your weaknesses which will take you to higher achievements.

Knowledge vs. Intelligence

While knowledge is the information, understanding, and skills that you gain through education or experience, intelligence is the ability to learn, understand, and think in a logical way about things. Howard Gardner has argued for a theory of multiple intelligence that recognise each talent like fluency in music, language, and sports or the ability to understand other people’s mind as a separate ability. Robert Sternberg has suggested instead that there are essentially three separate kinds of intelligence – analytic, creative, and practical. School exam is mostly a test of your analytic intelligence. Analytical problems are ones formulated by …