There was a slightly different reaction this time; the nervous edge which permeated her behavior the day before was not present today. It seems the tough subjects were out-of-the-way and it might be smooth sailing from this point on. Oh yeah; another day of SAT’s!
The second session of her assessment testing is finished and over with. I think we are both breathing a sigh of relief. She doesn’t like the pressure she puts on herself and I don’t like to watch her melt into a puddle of grief. (Okay, it’s not that bad, but sometimes it feels that way.)
I think we both learned a few valuable lessons this time, which we hadn’t last year. A new year; a new set of learning curves.
Be Prepared to Be Silent; A Lot! – During the testing session, a lot of the students noted how even the smallest sounds could be heard. This added pressure on the kids to be extremely quiet, even when simply shifting papers. The slightest of noises could cause the room to stop what they were doing and find the culprit disturbing the peace. The kids had to learn to be extremely careful about the smallest things, taking others into consideration.
Bring a Quiet Calculator – Aren’t all calculators built the same? Um; no! It seems the ones with plastic keys are especially noisy and the ones with paper feeds, just don’t bother. Next year, our students need to invest in a few rubber-keyed calculators to help keep the peace in that especially quiet room.
No Questions; Period! – Once the initial instructions for the test are given, no questions are to be asked. Part of the test is understanding what the question is asking, not just finding the correct answer. Some of our kids had to learn this the hard way.
Overall, I think most of our kids did pretty well. They always think they did poorly and are pleasantly surprised at how well they performed. I’m sure this year will be no different. I hope they took away a few life lessons from this experience and took a few more steps towards preparing themselves for future academic assessment.
What lessons have you and your children learned from test taking?