Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Test time

It is finals week for me and today I have two finals, then tomorrow and Thursday I have one each day. I'm not worried about them, but it is still that looming anxiety that I cannot seem to shake. I just want the test to be over!

I really hate testing. Yes, strong enough to use the word hate. They are a horrible way of showing skills and, in my opinion, they do not tell the instructor that much. Not near as much as you learn through formative assessment. Also, I am a horrible test taker.

But, the other day, I found myself piping up in class about how some high stakes assignments and tests can be good. My justification was these types of situations teach kids what it is really like in the real world. Most of the time we only get one chance to nail a presentation or make a killer impression at a job interview. High stakes IS real life and some high stakes is good. But, a lot of high stakes, like what kids have these days, is NOT good!

Are you one of those mythical creatures that is good at taking tests? What are your favorite ways to prepare for a high stakes situation?


Julie said...

I do my best to study and get a good night's sleep. When taking the test, if I'm not sure of the answer, I'll put a little dot next to the number so I know to go back and try it again. I then also know that whenever the score comes back I'll have an idea of what I missed. Good luck!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I am actually a really good test taker. I'd rather take a test than write a paper. But I can see your point about it not being the best way to assess people's understanding of a subject.

The most high stakes thing I prepare for these days is the CFA, which you know all about. I spend about 23 weeks studying 15-20 hours a week and hope to God each year that it's enough. It is a horribly difficult test and I am so very glad I am on the last level so I can completely get my life back from the grasp of the CFA! :)

Stephany said...

I am not a terrible test taker, but I do have to prepare a lot for them. I'm not someone who can just study a few hours before and ace it. I could have bought stock in undergrad with all the index cards I bought to use as flashcards!

I think high stakes tests ARE good, to give administrators an idea of how well students are learning but I DON'T think they should be used as pass/fail. I think it's ridiculous that a person could pass their classes, yet screw up on ONE day for ONE test and they can't get their high school diploma.

Marisa A. said...

It depends on the tests I suppose. I test okay on things like the ACT but I DREADED my sociology tests that were taken in a testing lab on campus. I could write you a A++++ paper but those stupid multiple choice tests??? With questions like "On page 86 what did so and so say...." It really was a blow to my collegiate esteem because I loved sociology and studied so hard but I think the best I ever did on those tests was a B.

Anonymous said...

Good luck on your finals! I hate taking tests too..

Nora said...

Great point; you are right, often we only do have one impression to get it right! For me it's lots of note taking, practicing, and writing out answers (even now when I write a proposal I write an outline and then one or two drafts of it!).

Good luck on your finals! I'm sure you'll do great :)

Carolina John said...

Keep calm and fill in the blanks. The holiday break is almost here!

Becky said...

Ugh, standardized testing. I'd rather write an essay any day of the week.

Good luck on your finals - YOU CAN DO IT!