Written by guest blogger Melissa L.
“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.” – Oscar Wilde
The other day my friend reminded me of the above quote by Oscar Wilde. At the time, I smiled knowing that I am sure we all have plenty of “experience” we have learned from. But, later, as I was reviewing a quiz I had just taken during my CMA preparation, I remembered this quote.
It is human nature to dislike seeing quizzes with low scores. It is difficult to accept that low quiz scores are all part of the learning process. But, I would rather make these mistakes now during my review than later on the actual exam. I study the answer explanations and figure out where I went wrong. Did I misread the question, which seems to happen more often than I would like to admit? Did I make a math error? Did I apply the wrong concept? Once I figure out where I went wrong, I learn, I adjust, I move on and try to avoid making that mistake in the future.
When reading the Gleim System for Success (see links below), you will find references throughout about learning from one’s mistakes. An important part of the Gleim system is that you learn more from the questions that you answered incorrectly than from the questions you answered correctly. These questions give you an opportunity to understand why you made mistakes so that you make fewer of them on the actual exam.
In life, when we make a mistake, we may kick ourselves, but then chalk it up to experience. Studying for an exam shouldn’t be any different. To avoid being discouraged by my mistakes, I treat them not as mistakes, but rather as learning experiences.