I’ve been happily immersed in ACT Certified Educator training over the last week. This is a great program with terrific trainers. Jason Derby, for example, is a true educational triple-threat, teaching high school classes, ACE courses, and private test prep. No wonder so many of his insights resonated with my own experience of testing. For example, who could argue with this analogy?
The ACT is like a rock wall: there are usually multiple ways to climb to the top.
Jason hits the nail on the head here. Great climbing walls are designed to challenge a wide range of complementary skills and strategies along a spectrum of successful outcomes. Great tests do the same. Neither trial is necessarily designed to allow every competitor to attain the summit but still permits numerous paths to the highest levels of success.
The comparison doesn’t end there. Solving a tough test question is a lot like climbing a wall in that the path to the end isn’t always apparent at the start. Often, you need to start where you can–complete one step or grab one handhold–to determine how next to proceed.
How else is a test like a climbing wall?
- The task is much easier with proper rest, nutrition, and preparation.
- You don’t necessarily need to make it to the top to do well.
- Both look intimidating from afar and even more daunting up close.
- Mistakes may hurt your pride but probably not cause permanent damage.
- Some people don’t care for either challenge… and that’s ok.
- If you really push yourself, you’ll want to collapse when you’re done!
In what other ways might you compare a test to a climbing wall?