Project Brainstorming

Throughout my academic career I have completed nearly a hundred tests, many of which were multiple choice tests, some of which were standardized multiple choice tests. The idea of quantifying my knowledge using questions written by distant professionals with their own biases made me question if what they were testing for was relevant to the issues I would face in my current geographical location. The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a standardized test that most Canadian Medical Schools use to assess applicants, however not all of these schools weight each section the same and for some schools, sections are not necessary such as McMaster, which requests only Verbal Reasoning scores. Some of my peers start rumors that the application is an unnecessary hurdle, to which current contacts within the med schools respond that not much of what is tested is brought up in schooling. With this in mind, I’ve decided to create my own version of the MCAT that is personalized to my location; that way med applicants will be tested on their knowledge of handling situations of increased likeliness. My plan is to create a test made of user-generated question and answers. Each participant will complete the test then evaluate its relevance and finally submit what they think should be on the test. The culture of the community will be revealed as the question bank gets larger. What issues are more important and how community members view these issues will be illustrated in the way people phrase their questions. A comparison between questions from previous years tests supplied by the Association of American Medical Colleges and those created by participants of my test will illustrate the vast differences between the needs of far and distant places to our location-specific demands. Each community has its own obstacles to overcome. I believe that standardized tests take questions out of context and results in two problems: separated from the issues that led to the defining and discovery of the fact leads to a lack in a decreased value for it and concentrating on learning the facts from other places distracts people from concentrating on community problems. I believe that the most successful communities know their strengths and weaknesses and I think concentrating on the problems of distant places is counter-intuitive to moving towards community potential.

Figure 1. A preliminary sketch of interacting with the art piece.