SAT: The Self-Assessment Test

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1.  Did you study enough?

  1. Yes, you took a two-month long prep class and were tutored for weeks after that.
  2. But you didn’t always do all of the homework you were assigned because tests and clubs and friends and projects and Drivers Ed got in the way and it’s impossible to fit nine 25-minute practice sections into the hour before you have to leave.
  3. Plus, Sunday nights were the absolute worst time they could have chosen for a five-hour class because all you could think about was the essay you had to write and the cupcakes you had to bake for the bake sale the next day for the club you forgot you were even a part of and the homework you still had to finish when you finally got home.
  4. And staring at the clock doesn’t exactly count as paying attention.
  5. So you’ll probably fail.

2.  Should you have been studying tonight?

  1. They say you’re not supposed to study the night before the test.
  2. But you don’t see how it could possibly have hurt to learn 100 more vocab words.
  3. Except you skipped the last half of school so that you could finish the Great Gatsby essay due at 12 o’clock that you had spent the entire week not doing in place of finally finishing all the SAT homework you had spent the past four months not doing.
  4. And now you’re not going to go to bed until 12:15 even though they say you’re supposed to get a good 8 hours for the three nights leading up to the test.
  5. So you’ll probably fail.

3.  Did you take enough practice tests?

  1. You spent four hours every other Saturday morning for the last two months at the Private Prep offices.
  2. You woke up at seven in the morning for god’s sake.
  3. Except you looked up the vocab words you didn’t know on your phone during the 10-minute breaks and went back and changed your answers.
  4. So the scores you got on the practice tests weren’t actually the scores you deserved or the scores you are going to get on the real thing.
  5. So you’ll probably fail.

4.  Will you be able to get your math score up?

  1. The reason your parents wanted to get you a tutor in the first place was so that he could teach you the basic math you had somehow survived three years of high school not knowing.
  2. But the math homework was always the one you got around to last or not at all because you hated the feeling of not knowing the answer and you despised marking your own work incorrect.
  3. So a lot of the time you decided to erase the answer you put down and fill the right one in with pencil instead of red pen because obviously you just made a careless mistake and you would have caught your error on the day of the test.
  4. Or you flip to the back of the book when you can’t choose between three answers that all seem equally right or five that all seem equally wrong but tell yourself that you were absolutely going to pick the answer that the answer key says is right as you bubble it in.
  5. So you’ll probably fail.

5.  What happens if you don’t know any of the vocab words?

  1. You started learning them over the summer.
  2. Your box of words made its permanent home in your beach bag.
  3. But every day until the last day you decided that today it would be fine for you to just tan.
  4. And the day you finally opened the box happened to be particularly windy and numbers 81-96 were blown all over the beach.
  5. So you’ll probably fail.

6.  What happens if your calculator breaks?

  1. That doesn’t actually happen to people.
  2. Although you know a lot of friends are bringing extra batteries.
  3. Or backup calculators.
  4. But you only have one graphing calculator and you just ran downstairs to check and there are no more AA batteries in the junk drawer and no stores are open this time of night.
  5. So you’ll probably fail.

7.  What if the proctor screws up?

  1. They have that book of annoyingly specific directions right in front of them.
  2. But there are probably things they would rather be doing with their Saturday mornings.
  3. And you always hear those stories about kids only being given half the allotted time to write their essays or not being allowed to take breaks or not being given five and ten minute warnings or not having the time written on the board.
  4. And you tend to have the worst luck with these types of things so you just know that you’ll get the woman who was up all night with a screaming baby or the twenty-something-year-old who was out all night partying and comes in still reeking of sweat and alcohol or the elderly man who forgot his reading glasses at home.
  5. So you’ll probably fail.

8.  How much money will you have wasted?

  1. You know how lucky you are to have gotten all this individualized prep.
  2. The only way to re-pay your parents is by doing really really well.
  3. This can’t be socioeconomically fair — there are kids who can’t even afford the practice books.
  4. This is too much pressure.
  5. So you’ll probably fail.

9.  Should you have taken the ACT?

  1. Apparently everybody is naturally suited for one or the other.
  2. But you had an away game rescheduled to the day you were supposed to try taking one.
  3. And you were doing pretty well on the SAT so you told yourself it probably wouldn’t matter.
  4. But maybe you made a colossal mistake.
  5. So you’ll probably fail.

10.  What is this test even testing anyway?

  1. How carefully you can read directions.
  2. How capable you are of sitting still for four hours.
  3. How much money your parents are able to spend on tutors and classes and practice tests.
  4. How willing you are to sacrifice the time you could be spending hanging out with friends or doing work or watching TV or doing just about anything else.
  5. How you’ll probably fail.
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