Tag Archives: nightmares

Sir Topham Hatt, the magisterial Fat Controller in the Thomas & Friends series, is notorious for his commitment to making the trains run on time. Nothing chafes him more that the twin terrors of confusion and delay. Nothing should irk you more either on test day, especially when the confusion and delay come from clueless proctors. Such was the sorry situation during the April 2016 administration of the ACT in a school district that shall remain nameless. One of our students was on the waitlist, so she arrived at the exam over an hour early. The proctors placed her on a line with other students who were skipping the ACT Writing Test, but allowed students taking Writing to enter. She remained on that line for more than two hours. Consequently, she and other students began their exam somewhere between one and two hours late. No timing strategies can compensate for…

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This past weekend, a massive Nor’easter named Jonas slammed the East Coast, dumping feet of snow on states that rarely see inches of accumulation in a given winter. Unfortunately, this past Saturday was also the last scheduled administration of the version of the SAT first introduced in 2005. Something had to give, and you can be sure it wasn’t the weather! This time around, wild weather shut down test centers from Massachusetts to Georgia and as far west as Mississippi. Nobody can predict where inclement conditions will postpone tests in the future, but anybody can and should prepare for the worst.   How will I know if bad weather will postpone my test? The best way to find out if your test administration is being cancelled due to inclement weather is to listen to the local radio or television station that normally carries school announcements. If you are taking the…

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Something every successful test taker must bring to the SAT or ACT–apart from pencils, a calculator, a watch, and acceptable ID–is an imperturbable ability to ignore or overcome all manner of crisis. Whether other test takers are freaking out, proctors are messing up, or wildlife is crashing the party, distractions abound to distract test takers from their best scores. But trained minds can cope with any and all of these external crises. What about when the problem is the test itself? Students taking the SAT this past Saturday were almost finished with their exams when they had to contend with a printing error in the standard test books provided by ETS. The time allotted for the last reading section was incorrectly written as 25 minutes in the student test books but correctly identified as 20 minutes in the script and manual provided to test center supervisors. While the misprint appeared…

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We should all follow Denis Waitley’s advice heading into a big test: “Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.” But some test day surprises surpass the bounds of common sense… like deer attacks. This past Saturday morning, a deer crashed the party during an SAT administration at Lockport High School.   School Board President John A. Linderman said the deer struck a door in the music wing, damaging a pane on the door, and then ran off. “Some of the kids saw it,” Linderman said. He said no injuries were reported.The pane of glass on the door was broken. Linderman said that despite the drama, the kids were able to complete their testing.   This is the first time I’ve heard about a test disrupted by a deer. Have you heard of other test day wildlife encounters?

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