This I Believe

David - Columbus, Mississippi
Entered on May 1, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe all life is a series of tests. Tests that determine what you are and what you are not. Tests are designed to measure cognitive ability, character, faith and everything else that separates us.

I remember my first test; I was an 8 year old standard 2 student in Karen ‘C’ primary school in Nairobi, Kenya. The test was basic math; I did well enough but did not realize the impending magnitude of math in my future. My last year of primary school I had to take the Kenya Certificate of Primary Examination. This test determined what high school I would get into. I also did well enough on this test but was not eligible to get into the elite national high schools. During my time in the United States I often wish Kenyan High Schools could place freshmen like they do in U.S, by zones and districts! How lucky I would have been.

Don’t worry, I got into a descent boarding school, then after 4 years came the dreaded Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination. This test determined if I could get into one of the 4 public universities in Kenya. I did slightly well enough but not enough to get into any of the colleges. I had my sights set somewhere else, but first I had to take the SAT and TOEFL. Perhaps these were the most influential tests in my life because they in effect brought me to the United States.

Finally I was in a place where zoning and location determined everything and gone were the days of unnecessary rigorous Kenyan tests. Enter credit checks, background checks, medical tests, job placement tests and yeah the GMAT. The test itch struck again and I had to take another test. I took the GMAT twice and as usual I did well enough but this time the second time around.

I believe life is a series of tests; tests place us and separate us. What if there were no tests, how would we perceive one another? Where would I be without all these tests I have taken during my short life?

For now you and I are stuck with tests. I’m looking forward to the future and the many more tests I have to take; the Chartered Financial Analyst Exam is my next test. People I cannot just perform well enough on this test, I need your prayers and well wishes.