Monday, June 9, 2008

Could they be more stressed?

Did you ever take the SAT test in high school? I did - although I have no recollection to my scores. I did well enough to get accepted to college. And it being xx years ago, I vaguely remember even taking the test.

Well, this last Saturday I served as a SAT room Proctor. Basically, I helped pass out tests and walk around the room periodically to make sure they were on the right sections and no cell phones out. The administrator of the testing is a long-time friend of mine and lives close enough to ride with. The bad part - getting to his house at 5:00 AM! We had to do set-up for the rooms, testing started at 8:30 and finished around 12:30-1:00 depending on each room start time. There were 30 kids to a room and 15 rooms. Lots of lost faces coming through the doors that morning.

So we herded the kids to the rooms, got them seated and started passing out the tests to these scarily silent young people. They seemed a little on edge - nervous big-time. As the test Supervisor read the instructions, "Do not start the test until I tell you, turn to page 1, fill in your last name, etc.). This set-up process took a little longer than I would have thought. It was touch-and-go for a couple of the kids who couldn't figure out how to fill-in the bubbles on the sheet. You know, where you fill your name in letter-by-letter in the boxes but still have to fill-in those annoying little circles below it.

So the test gets underway. They get 25 minutes for each of the first 7 sections, then 20 minutes for sections 8 & 9, and 10 minutes for the last section. And in-between, they get two 5-minute breaks and a one-minute stretch talking. I got a lot of reading and knitting done.

As I looked around the room I could see kids of every kind - not just physically - but personality as well. But there was definitely the common thread - stress. A lot of those kids moved only when told to. Look up when finished, put your pencils down, calculator on the floor, etc. And there were some seriously stressed out faces.

When the test was over, there was one girl who said, "You'll never catch me doing THAT again." And of course I thought to myself, 'honey, if you're planning on going to college, the fun's just begun!" And it doesn't end if you plan to go to graduate school. There's that lovely test called the GMAT for general business-type focus, and various other tests for other studies like medicine or law. Now, I DO remember the GMAT - needless to say I did not do so hot on that test. That's why I've not started graduate studies.

I'm not a fan of standardize tests. Whose standard am I trying to live up to on these things? And they honestly think I can retain everything that was crammed in my head for 4+ years? Especially math or finance stuff. I am so very glad that there is not one standardized test for the Bible. The test to pass or fail happens every day in our lives through our choices and actions and attitudes. And praise God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit for giving me another chance each day to do it again. At least with God I know whose standard I need to try to live up to!


david santos said...

I loved this post and this blog.
Happy day