Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Day 1 of testing

It’s here. It's what the instructors at school have all endeavoured to arm us for, what they gave us guns filled with words, penmanship, logic, and calculation to go out against, and what's required for us to graduate high school and relieve ourselves of the prospect of having to endure countless, long hours at the remediation desk. It’s a spectre that’s haunted us for three years and has subtly grafted our minds to excel. It’s a New Jersey High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) examination.

Like everyone else, I entered the testing room with a bit of apprehension. The day before all of the graphing calculators had been collected and their programmes wiped as part of a security precaution. Today we got them back and were told to sit in a tight grid. Some smaller desks had been brought together to afford the student more space to work. As soon as we settled down, we were called up to get a drink of apple juice and a few fruit chews to hold us over for the parts of the exam.

Then the teacher took up a pile of test booklets — green, hideous leaflets decorated with blanks, spaces, and areas in which we were expected to record our answers to complex questions and show our computation. We then received our test forms, which were bound into three sections and could only be opened by rubbing the seals with the eraser. As soon as the scrap paper and measurement tools were passed out, the teacher read what was on the script that she had been given for about five minutes before we were finally told to begin.

The test itself was easy. It’s illegal for me to disclose any of the questions, but what I can tell you is that all of the courses that we had taken with our math instructors had rendered all of the questions easy to answer or explain. I even found myself writing paragraphs to explain away some of the responses because I had so much time and apprehension. All in all, however, all I had to do was use very simple logic to answer each question and, in the cases of some open-ended questions, clear two or more tasks in one stroke.

I’ll be blogging the rest of the test, although you won’t get questions or responses from me. Next on the menu: a hearty reading evaluation, a main course of essay corrections and a filling persuasive essay, and for dessert a science beta that won’t be formally administered until next year test.

1 comment:

Onanite said...

If that is you in the header pic, you are HOT! You should be a model.