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Sunday, February 7, 2010

This Pretty Much Sums It Up

I typed up something I wrote about my SAT test-taking experience. It pretty much sums the whole thing up. (and no, I didn't exaggerate on the evil least, not a lot)

(I didn't edit this at all, so any typos or weird things, I apologize for beforehand.)


The Experience Of A Lifetime...

...And I Don't Mean That In A Good Way!


My mom’s hand jostled me out of sleep. Yawning, I pulled my clothes on, stuck my contacts in, brushed my hair, gulped down breakfast and collected my stuff for the test. As I headed out for the car, I was unaware that the driveway was completely iced over with black ice. My feet went out from underneath me, and I heard a loud crack as my head hit the ice/driveway. Stars splashed across my vision and I lay limply on the ice as I fought to stay conscious. Then I recovered, sat up and moaned as my head seared in intense pain. My dad helped me up, and gathered my scattered books, pencils and calculator. I could hardly get into the car because my vision was flickering and wavering, my world was spinning vertigo, and my head ached. After ten minutes of staring silently at the seat in front of me, everything went back to normal. I knew that I would regret falling when I would be attempting to ignore the pain in my head while trying to find an answer to a difficult problem in the test.

I wanted to scream throughout the whole car-ride. My head felt like it was split down the back. My eyes hurt, my nose was running, my head ached, and my dad had one of those talk-shows with the gravel-voiced announcers turned up way too loud. The whole car positively throbbed as the gravel-voiced announcer proclaimed his disapproval of such-and-such. I never thought that I would see the day when I would be relieved to pull into a four-hour test center.


After entering the testing area, Dad, brother and I received directions from a bossy looking woman with weird glasses and headed toward the room my brother and I were assigned to. There was a steady stream of kids. One kid was so nervous he dropped his calculator and the batteries flew across the floor to hide under a locker. He looked so embarrassed that it made me want to drop mine just to make him feel better.

A stout woman wearing a bunchy sweater that made her look fatter than she probably was in reality was standing in the middle of the hall, rebuking parents and examining papers.

She spotted us with her glittering eyes. I felt like a mouse in the sights of a hawk. “You there!” she rasped. “Sir, I must ask you to leave. Right now!”

Dad was slightly flustered. “Yes, I understand. I’m just getting my kids to their classroom.”

“Sir, I must ask you to leave right now,” the woman repeated, gesturing to the door with a flabby arm. She zoned in on the papers we held in our hands and snatched them like a maniac. “Aha!” she screeched. “You need student ID, sir.” At Dad’s blank look, she repeated, “Student ID! You need it!”

“I didn’t think—well—Student ID? Isn’t that for highschoolers?” Dad asked. My brother and I exchanged amused glances and tried not to burst out laughing.

“For highschoolers? ‘Course not.” She squinted at my brother and me. “You kids fifth graders?”

“Eighth,” coughed my brother.

“Yes, definitely, student ID is needed, otherwise...” she paused dramatically, “...your test scores will be cancelled!”

“Well then,” said Dad, trying to be cheery, “I will certainly get my kids their student ID.” He was just humoring her, and the woman knew it.

She shook her finger at us. “You don’t forget it. Otherwise these kids—fifth graders, you say?—these kids will have no SAT scores!”

“Eighth grade!” said my brother a little louder, but the woman ignored us.

She turned away and began railing another parent for coming too far. My dad whispered, “You hear anything about student ID?”

“No,” I said. “Just the highschoolers—who are taking the SAT for college entry—need it...not those who are taking it for practice.”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought,” nodded my dad. With a respectful jerk of his thumb at the woman, he muttered, “She’s confused.” In a louder voice he said, “Anyways, you two have a good time with your test. Do your best. Bye.”

Echoing farewells, my brother and I steered clear of the confused woman and headed to our classroom.


I was somewhat nervous and tried to avoid any more women who looked like they were in charge. My brother and I entered classroom 201b, took our jackets off, and stood awkwardly in line, sheepishly shuffling our feet and appearing engrossed in the papers that we held in our hands. All the other kids seemed to know each other, calling out remarks and exclamations.

I received my desk number and meekly sat down. In a few moments, a tall, bespectacled blonde woman marched in, her face friendly but determined—like she wanted to have fun but didn’t have the time.

“Welcome, children.”

I hated the way she said “children”.

“This is a very important test, and I’m glad you all took the time to come take it.” She smiled, and then it slid off her face as she continued on. “You are not allowed to use calculators on this test unless it is a math section—and only an all-math section.”

Is there half-math half-English sections? I wondered sarcastically.

“I will hand out your test booklets. Do not open them until I tell you to do so!”

The kids exchanged scared glances, and no-one even dared touch their booklets.

“Now,” she continued in a less rigid tone. “You will have 45 minutes to work on the first section.” Her eyes became glittering stars shooting daggers at us all. “If I so much catch you peeking into the next section, I will kick you out before you can say ‘cheating.’ Is that clear?”

A few kids nodded nervously, but most of them just stared blankly at the woman, like deer caught in an oncoming car’s headlights.

“No talking, no passing notes, no looking in previous or upcoming test sections, no food or beverages in this test room, and the use of electronics besides calculators is strictly prohibited—whether in the testing room or during break. If I see anyone using any electronics besides calculators, I will kick them out before they can say ‘stupid.’” She looked around the room, as if daring someone to raise their hand and contradict her. When no brave soul did so, she plunged on. “There is to be no breaking of these rules, otherwise the result will be immediate and final dismissal from this test. Am I understood?”

I gulped.

She droned on about rules and what would happen if we broke them—emphasizing on the punishment and shame involved with rule-breaking. I grew more and more nervous every second she spoke, and was petrified when she told us to begin. I knew I was going to blunder something up. I took a deep breath and dove into the problems.

I was still nervous after the first five English problems, but then I let my geeky side wash over me and became completely engrossed in the test. I finished a few minutes before the administrator shrieked, “Time’s up! Pencils down! I said, pencils down!”

She stood from her desk, her face a black mask of rage. She glared at all of us for a second or two, then pointed a cruel finger at a greasy-haired boy who jumped. “You,” she growled, “you stupid boy! Why did you look ahead into the next section? Were you cheating? Did you not know that that was breaking the rules most atrociously? Did you think that I would not see you?” She addressed all of us: “I see everything.” She turned back to the cheater. “Get your stuff. Now. You’re leaving.” I could have sworn she then muttered “imbecile” under her breath.

The boy’s eyes widened and he paled. He grabbed his pencils and calculator, and allowed himself to be marched out of the room.

The woman returned. “That is what happens to those who break the rules.” She sighed. “Next section, you have thirty minutes to work on thirty questions. I will give you a five-minute warning. You may begin.”

Once again, I picked up my pencil, took a deep breath and began working, carefully, but as quickly as I could. Everyone finished early. One strawberry-blonde girl turned in her seat and spoke to her neighbor, who nodded, whispered a few words in return and then fell silent. I watched the administrator’s reaction, and sure enough, the woman had caught that, and the set of her mouth was frozen disapproval.

The woman told us to put our pencils down, then stalked out of the room. She returned and said fiercely, “I am waiting for someone to escort you two ladies out of the room for talking.”

The two girls in question stiffened and exchanged shocked glances.

A stout woman with a whistle around her neck and a pompous air rushed in. “What is the problem?” she barked.

“This young lady”—the administrator pointed at the strawberry-blonde girl—“turned around and talked to this young lady” –pointed to the Indian girl—“who replied to her.”

The stout woman’s brow knotted as she jerked her thumb over her shoulder. “You two. Up. Get your stuff. Out.”

The two girls moved as if in a daze. They picked up their stuff and floated out, their eyes wide and unblinking.


The rest of the test passed by in a long blur. I scratched away at the problems, I tried to concentrate despite my aching head, and I think I did well. I haven’t gotten my test scores back yet, and even if I did I wouldn’t share them up here.

Throughout the first ten minutes of the car-ride home, I looked forward eagerly to a leisure-filled day of lounging and talking and writing and chatting and listening to music. Until my mom called.

After I filled her in on all the drama that occurred, she told me that I had a seven-and-a-half-hour babysitting job. She had already accepted it for me.

My work never ends. ;)

9 replies:

Marissa said...

Wow. That is intense!!! And completely insane!!!
I would have been soooo freaked out!!!!! I only have to take the ACT.... I don't know how different that really is from the SAT or maybe it's the SAT I have to take... I don't really remember..... But wow. You have a CRAZY day! I hope your head is better! And I hope you get a good score =D

Love ya!

PS Those 2 ladies would have scared me SOOOOO bad!

Alex said...

Wow, that sounds harsh. Hope you did well on the test.


Evergreena said...

Wow, this is funny. Reading this made me remember my first experience taking a test like this. (Me and my brother did the PLAN, a sort of pre-ACT.)

Once you do it a couple of times, you get the hang of it. :)

P.S. Why do evil women like to give tests? Hmmm....

Jordyn said...

Ahahaha. This is hilarious. Poor you... :) But you've gotta admit that you're lucky to have practice for those timed essays in WF. All the rest of us are gonna be sitting there wondering what to do, and you'll just be scratching away.

Lova ya,

Jake M. said...

Ouch! The test lady was harsh! I mean, those two girls got expunged *grins* from the class for just talking? Maybe they could be admonished but ousted from the room! That's crazy. Yeah, Jordyn's right. *laughs* You're going to be whizzing through the SAT and all the rest of us will be left staring blankly at it.


Kendrabelle Logan said...

Wow! That sounds really tough! Glad you think you did well, though. I bet you did :)

I love the way you write!


Josh S. said...

That's the way it was...almost... XD
You forgot to mention that i got every single question right.



Lexi said...

oh my goodness thats awful!!!! I think I would have sat and cried. lol

OUCH i hope your head is OK! sounds like a SUPER FUN day (note the sarcasim)


P.S - here is the t-shirt link!

Jessica Faith said...

oooh poor bekah! man i'm so sorry for you - seriously!! :)
that poor kid that dropped the calc - would've been really funny if you did too!!! lol

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