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Blast those standardized tests

Bianca Gordon

What is it about those up and down columns of empty bubbles that just throw me off every time? Only one thing is for sure: I hate standardized testing. Like most high school juniors and sophomores, Wednesday the 12th of October meant PSAT. For me, that stands for Possibly Sadist Acclaimed Torture.

Let alone the consideration of doing well, my main concern is getting through them unscathed. I just can’t seem to master the technique that demands finding the one right answer out of five. It might sound easy, with a correct answer staring me in the face at each problem. However sometimes A and C sound correct, and other times none of the choices make sense. It’s not like they make it easy either, with trick questions, no error, and other misleading options, no wonder I get absolutely lost.

It is just such a frustrating experience. There is never enough time to finish the whole section of bubbles. Unfortunately, I’m the type of person that requires reading, contemplating, and rereading before I even understand what the question is asking, never mind considering the possible answers. Of course, with all this intense focus, it is a challenge to complete the test on time. There is also the added surprise of the proctor yelling “STOP!” which breaks my deep concentration; I am usually so shocked that I drop the pencil and hand in the incomplete test.

Last year, in an ethics class, the topic of IQ versus EQ was discussed. IQ being how smart a person is, (ie. their SAT scores and GPA), versus EQ, emotional intelligence, (as in people skills, how in tune a person is with their surrounding situation) were compared to long-term success. Contrary to what one might suspect, people who had performed well in high school with high grades and test scores were not necessarily more successful than those who possessed greater people skills or EQ. In fact, for long-term success the people who had a high EQ were generally more successful in life. Although the future is uncertain, it is comforting to know that these PSAT, SAT, ACT, and other multiple choice torments coming my way might not be the ultimate determining factors in whether the life I lead is prosperous or not.

At least one thing I can count on without fail is the migraine after sitting in that orange plastic seat all day scrutinizing sentence structure, algebra equations, and fascinating, lengthy paragraphs that of course, take more than the time allotted to read.


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