Saturday, May 10, 2008

More Tests

For someone who has expressed reservations about testing I am sure doing a fair amount of it. Sean is making his way through the Spectrum Practice Tests for grade 8 and today I was working with Clare on her Grubel SAT practice book.

I actually don’t really have a philosophical objection to tests or test-taking per se. I do often question the functionality of tests and I often don’t like the way they are designed and implemented. Today Sean found a typo in one of his tests — there was a reading comprehension test with no real right answer. He showed me the choices and showed me why in the text each one couldn’t be true. Finally, I checked the answer key and sure enough, the answer given was 1887 whereas the only date choice among the multiple answers was 1877. Someone could have easily doubted their own eyes and chosen one of the other “softer” answers, knowing that 1887 definitely wasn’t correct.

So Sean knows that test-writers aren’t infallible, if he didn’t already know that, and that he was right in thinking that the real answer was “none of the above” even though that wasn’t marked as a choice. He was able to analyze text which was something he couldn’t do with assurance a couple of years ago.

Clare finds herself doing better than she had thought she would in the Math portion of the SAT practice, which is confidence-inspiring. I sat beside her but she didn’t really need my help. She has to decide whether to take the real SAT in June or wait till October…. or both.