Wednesday, May 20, 2009



By : Dr. Chuang Ho Fung, Esq. (bar licensed in all 50 States, plus the District of Columbia), M.D., D.D.S., C.P.A., D.V.M., P.E., D.P.M., Certified Race Horse Rider & Jockey, Certified 500-Meter Springboard Diver, N.A.P.T.-Certified Personal Trainer, State-Authorized Dietary Technician (New Jersey); Chairperson, The American Board of Standardized Test Takers (Multiple Choice Division); CEO and Founder, Ho Fung’s Test Wizzes, Inc., a Delaware Corporation with subsidiaries.

In America, success depends on taking tests. From school to work and professional life, Americans must repeatedly prove their merit by answering substantive questions under supervised time pressure. Third-graders must take tests to prove they can spell. Eleventh-graders must take tests to prove they can handle college work. Doctors must take tests to prove they know the aorta is not the colon. And lawyers must take the Bar Exam to prove that they know what contracts are. Tests define and mark our lives. If we do not do well on the test, we fail. If we do well on the test, we succeed. Our tests determine whether we go to college, get a job or make money in life. In short, tests are everything. Without solid test-taking skills, success is impossible.

We are successful because know how to take standardized tests. Test-taking is an art and a science. It involves iron nerves, time management, cunning, skill and aggressiveness. In that sense, taking tests mirrors American life. Just as a successful person must have iron nerves, solid time management skills, cunning and aggressiveness, so too must a master test-taker. Great test-takers manage their time to the minute. They do not spend 61 seconds on a question that only deserves 45. They know how to answer questions. And they are cunning; they can ignore distractions and focus solely on the important information in a problem.

We did not become master test-takers overnight. We spent our entire lives learning how to take tests. We endured failures before learning how to decipher standardized questions. We did not always know how to answer questions such as: “It is raining on Sunday, but not Thursday; Jones goes to the park on Wednesdays, unless it is Friday; Marge cooks in the parlor every day but Sunday, unless Jones goes to the park; When does Jones not go to the park? (A) On Tuesday if it is raining; (B) On Fridays, except Good Friday; (C) Unless Marge cooks in the parlor, on Saturday night; (D) (A) and (C), but not (B); (E) None of the above; but all of the above if Marge cooks a steak.” But now we can fish out the correct answer simply by looking at the sentence structure. We know how testers think. We can read their minds and give them the answer they want. We know how to use the words “but,” “unless,” “except,” “not,” “all,” “if” and “none.” Armed with those skills, we passed tests that made us doctors, lawyers, accountants, professors and veterinarians. All Americans can learn test-taking. They need not actually know the material; they just have to know how to take tests. In America, results matter. Tests measure results. In that light, testing is everything. Knowledge is unnecessary. Even the most knowledgeable man will fail a test if he does not know how to take it. And if he cannot subconsciously interpret the word “unless,” he will stand no chance at all.

Our test-taking abilities brought us untold riches. By learning how to take tests, we got into the best schools, passed all the professional license exams and landed extremely high-paying jobs. We learned how to take each test, aced them and started collecting our money. True, we often forgot everything about the test after we passed it. But that did not matter. We achieved our goals. We got our degrees. We landed our jobs. We did all this because we knew how to take each test along the way. Who can argue with success? Too many Americans complain that they just “cannot get over the hump.” We disagree. As the Successful Peoples’ Practical Alliance for the Reduction of all Life Questions to a Multiple Choice Test, we believe that all Americans can achieve success. They must simply know how to answer questions in a standardized test format. Once they learn this art, no door will close to them. Rather, even Harvard and Yale will bombard them with scholarship offers. After all, it is all about the score in America, in both life and sports. If you get the high score, you get the result you want. Test-taking skill will get you the high score. And that will get you all the love America can give.

Educators in the United States do not understand this. They believe that students should learn for learning’s sake, not merely to pass tests. They think that knowledge is a permanent asset, not merely an expedient instrument necessary to overcome a looming exam. These are fundamentally flawed assumptions. If it came between a well-rounded person who “learns for learning’s sake” with no special test-taking skill and a narrow-minded person who “learns what is necessary for the test” with special test-taking techniques, the trained test-taker will always get the higher score. And in America, high scores trump low scores. It does not matter that the well-rounded person retains his knowledge and thinks profoundly. Nor does it matter that the test-taker immediately forgets everything he learns before moving on to the next exam. Scores are more valuable than knowledge. Harvard does not take “smart people;” Harvard takes people who get the high scores on standardized tests. High scorers do not need to be smart. They simply need to know what’s on the test and how to correctly—and quickly—answer the questions. Intelligence actually hampers test-taking ability, since “intelligent people” see ambiguities in unambiguous test questions. Rather than instinctively answering, they hem and haw, pondering grammatical issues in the text. What good is intelligence when it costs them test success? Nothing. Thus, educators have it all wrong. Intelligence and knowledge are not the goal. Rather, students simply need to pass tests. They do not have to be “smart,” “curious,” “profound” or even “remotely bright.” They just need to know whether (A), (B) or (C) answers the question—within time limits.

Tests gave us all we could ever want in the world. We achieved our status because we learned how to take the tests and aced them. Nonetheless, even master test-takers face quandaries. Despite our superior test-taking abilities, there are some questions in life that we cannot answer. This frustrates us greatly. We feel cheated. We worked long and hard to learn how to take tests, only to discover that there are some questions that do not appear in a standardized format. Worse, no one grades or corrects responses to these questions, making it impossible to achieve a high score for answering them. Put simply, this is unacceptable. Test-takers deserve better. We believe that all questions in life must appear in a standardized, multiple-choice format subject to grading and scoring. We can answer any question by ruling out (A), (C) and (D). Why can’t we apply our skills to answer “unanswerable” questions? What message would it send to hopeful test-takers if they knew that all their hard work will never answer certain questions? As master test-takers, we are accustomed to success. We refuse to allow life to ask any question that we cannot answer in a graded, standardized format.

To reinforce respect for test-taking in America, we must draft a standardized test for “difficult life questions.” It is not enough to test future lawyers by asking them about evidence, contracts and property division rules. It is not enough to test future engineers by asking them about load walls and stresses. Rather, we must test and grade responses to all questions, not just questions necessary to get into universities and obtain professional licenses. To do this we must introduce a Universal Life Standardized Test (ULST). We must appoint a professional board to grade it. This is the only way to bring all life questions under standardized control. We are not accustomed to questions without answers. That is why we resolve ourselves to answering them all now—once and for all. No longer will people say: “There is no answer to this question.” Soon, there will be. And you will fail if you do not answer it correctly.

We believe that we can answer any question as long as we know the test. The ULST will provide definitive, objective answers to all life questions, even questions that have eluded explanation since time began. For example, the ULST will pose questions such as: “The purpose of life is which of the following, assuming Herbert is present in the room on Friday: (A) To live well according to James Wilson, except if his wife objects; (B) To obtain $5,000,000 before age 50, but not if it snows in London this March; (C) Meeting James Wilson; (D) Not meeting James Wilson; (E) All of the above except (D).” It will also resolve intractable philosophical issues with questions such as this: “Happiness can best be described as: (A) Joy, but not pain, provided the supervisor consents; (B) Pain without joy, unless the supervisor does not consent; (C) A warm house owned in fee simple absolute and not subject to adverse possession claims; (D) Mental retardation and lifelong dependency in the State of Ohio, but not mental retardation or lifelong dependency in the State of Hawaii, unless it is a leap year; (E) Death, unless it is not quick.” Additionally, the ULST will test an applicant’s ability to ascertain previously-unknown—and apparently insignificant—facts: “Bill Ruggles went for a walk in June 1987 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. During that walk, Bill DID NOT think which of the following thoughts: (A) I need to get home in order to urinate, but not feed the cows; (B) My wife is a mean and awful woman; (C) I do not need to feed the cows, but I need to get home to urinate; (D) My left middle finger has a cut on it; (E) None of the above except (A).” Lastly, the ULST will test matters of taste and morality: “Good people: (I) Read good books; (II) Eat good food, but not eel grass; (III) Exercise regularly without ingesting more than 500 calories per day; (IV) Tell the truth, unless working; (V) Do not tell the truth, except when not working; and (VI) Visit their parents in Duluth during bad weather, but never in summer, unless the parents are named Carlsbad. Applying these facts, bad people do which of the following: (A) (I) and (V), if they are not named Carlsbad; (B) Tell the truth, (II) and (III), unless they are working; (C) (I), (II) and (III), but not (VI); (D) (V) if not telling the truth at work in Duluth; (E) All of the above, except (III), other than eel grass.”

Test-takers will learn how to answer ULST questions in less than 60 seconds. Good test-taking requires disciplined time management. Applicants will have 180 minutes to answer 180 multiple-choice questions on the ULST. Applicants will have one 15-minute break in between the first and second halves. Applicants will not have access to any outside information during the testing session. They must know how to answer the questions without recourse to data. That is the only way to determine whether an applicant truly understands universal life questions. Proctors will circle the room to ensure fairness. The test will be administered quarterly. Registration will cost $575 per applicant, plus applicable taxes and fees.

We suggest that the National Board begin work on the ULST immediately. If we do not reduce all life questions to a multiple-choice test, we insult all the hard-working test takers who gave their lives to learn how to take exams. As it stands now, even the best test-takers cannot truly answer “what is the purpose of life” or “what makes you happy” because there is no standardized test to ask those questions.

No more. Through the ULST, test-takers will remove all uncertainty from their lives. They will take comfort in the fact that even tough questions can be answered—and graded accordingly. Finally, successful ULST takers will receive “Universal Life Certification,” meaning they have correctly answered every question in life. That, in turn, will allow them to update their resumes and legitimately claim that they “know what they are talking about” on any life issue. Of course, success on the ULST will not replace success on specific subject matter tests. Lawyers must still take the Bar Exam even if they have passed the ULST. Doctors must still take their Boards even if they have Universal Life Certification. Although successful ULST takers should not have a problem with specific subject matter tests, we believe that Americans can never take enough tests. After all, the more high scores one achieves in life, the better.

Life is understandable. Everything can be boiled down and graded under an objective standard. There is no uncertainty in life; rather, we can know everything. As long as we phrase our questions in a standardized format, we can answer them correctly. Tests are the gateways to truth and success. We control our own destinies. We simply must write the test, enroll in a course, learn how to take it—then pass it.

Enroll in a special ULST practice course today. Testing day is coming up. You want to pass, don’t you? You don’t want to fail, do you? You want to be successful in life, don’t you? If so, you had better start studying for the test. You can do it. You just need to know how to answer the questions. After all, life has an answer key, just like the ULST. Just learn it once and you’re on your way. Once you pass, you can tear up your study materials and go to work for the rest of your days, confident in the knowledge that you have “Universal Life Certification.”

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