This morning I took my Hebrew 2 final. I knew all the information well so it was just a matter of writing the answers down. The first person to turn in his final did so ten to fifteen minutes before I did. By the time I turned my test in about a third of the class had left. It may be that they are simply fast writers, but I’ll bet you many of them simply didn’t check their work.

In my high school and undergrad days I was a mediocre student, good enough to get a job, but nothing to write home about. Thankfully before coming seminary I read “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom,” which is a Chinese mother’s memoir relating how she raised her two daughters to be the best at whatever they did. Although I certainly don’t agree with some of the ways she parented her children, I learned quite a bit from the book that not only affects my parenting, but my school work as well. One day one of her daughters received a bad score on a test, probably meaning she missed a point. She scolded her daughter and told her to always triple check her work before turning anything in. This stuck with me. Now whenever I take a test I always check my answers several times. It’s boring to check your work multiple times. Do it anyway. Look at your answers from different angles. Ask yourself questions, “did I include this? Did I address that?” Today I found several errors: I had skipped part of a sentence I was translating and I had written the opposite of what I should have on another answer. I knew the answers, but I wouldn’t have gotten credit for my knowledge if I hadn’t checked my work.

Learning is hard work. Don’t waste your effort by not checking yourself.