November 17th, 2015

They only serve to help us uncover our true potential

I REFER to the letter “A test that’s part and parcel of life” (NST, Nov 9). In Singapore, in 2001, Lysher Loh, 10, committed suicide by jumping off the 5th floor of her apartment building.

The reason for her death was attributed to Singapore’s pressure-cooker school and the society’s demands on schoolchildren to strive for success from a tender age.


There have been similar cases in Japan and other Asian countries.

Society and the education system have used tests to categorise students and to separate the winners from the losers.

Society and the education system have failed to understand the true reasons for tests.

Tests are there for us to learn from our mistakes, to learn the gaps we have and to discover our strengths and weaknesses.

Tests are not the answer to everything.

Here are some of the things that tests cannot measure:

TESTS can’t measure the character of a person.

TESTS can’t measure the attitude of a person.

TESTS can’t measure the joy of being in a loving family that accepts children as they are.

TESTS can’t measure the nurturing spirit of a child who would look after God’s creations.

TESTS can’t measure the righteous spirit of a person.

TESTS can’t measure the intimate relationship one has with their spouse, child, siblings and God.

TESTS can’t measure the spiritual maturity one has with God.

TESTS can’t measure the acceptance of others as they are.

TESTS can’t measure the ability to relate to people who are different.

TESTS can’t measure success in life. The true reason for tests is to help us uncover our full potential.