Question about stuffs

So, as some of you may or may not know, I am still in high school. We had to take an assessment, and I'm pretty sure the scores are inaccurate, but I just wanted to get an outside opinion. My reading score was extremely low. As in, I would have to go to community college to take a reading class, and then transfer to a four-year college. I've read 1984, and am reading Atlas Shrugged (still, it is one of the longest books ever, and I'm really busy). I completely get what's going on in both of them, whereas someone who scored way above me read 1984, and all they took from it was "don't have sex, you will be tortured." In writing, it said that there was no way that I would be able to take a college-level writing class after high school. As in, there was no way I would catch up. The writing exam consisted of correcting errors in an essay. Now, I realize that I'm not a great writer, but I'm definitely above the stoner who doesn't know the difference between there, their, and they're. He scored a lot higher. As in, he could get into the honors class right now if he wanted to. In math, I scored into the second-highest rank. I haven't passed a single Algebra II test. I haven't passed a math test in two years. Meanwhile, a girl who is taking college-level courses so that she can take a specialized math course her senior year scored three levels below me.

I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that this test was completely inaccurate. I wouldn't bring it up, but I want to get outside opinions for reasons that I would like to not discuss here. Please give your opinions.


I'm not sure how the tests are put together, but a lot of it can have to do with the nature of the questions and your ability to give the answers they require. You can be an excellent reader or writer, but if you don't know how to answer test questions or convey that knowledge you've picked up, you might do poorly. Many students with strong natural abilities do poorly in school, because of this, or because of boredom or a lack of training in how to learn. For example, perhaps you focused too much on the nitty-gritty grammar and they were looking for a balance of things in your writing test. A lot of reading and writing stuff in education is bullshit, and can depend on the teacher/evaluator.


Math, though, is trickier. It's hard to screw up math, because it tends to be logical.


I'd talk to someone.


I qualified for mensa when I was 9, and some standardized tests screw me over, because I read to much into it. I see several answers as POSSIBLE in some of those instances, and that influences my selection from what other people would see as the obvious answer. Not saying thats in play, just a possiblity.


As Wildbow said, math is generally harder to screw up though. that you score higher on standardized than you do on in class... weird.


I would suggest taking some psats online, those are generally a good indicator of ability. (avoid online iq tests, they are NEVER right.)


I read war and peace when I was in sixth grade. My parents were tired of buying me books and gave it to me to slow me down, telling me they'd buy me more when I finished it. They tested me on it when I was done. I took tests and I was reading and writing at a University level before I was in middle school.


But I was a terrible, terrible student.


I think it's surprisingly common. I hear about people who are similar as well - doing very well at a young age, then still doing poorly in academics when it counts.


Ahh, see, I used the library. stack of 12 books every other saturday. heh.


I was always good at tests myself (had some problems of my own with teachers though), but intelligence is often compartmentalized. Doesn't sound like you have that problem as much in terms of subjects. I know it's not uncommon for people who are smarter to get bored with the material and not think much of a test.


I remember one particular test that was an example of how being too smart would get you a wrong answer. It was on "I Heard the Owl Call My Name" and the question was asking something like "Where is the main character going to be sent?" and the correct answer was the literal phrase used in the book rather than the implied meaning that was proven correct a short ways later in the book. Even though that class was supposed to be for advanced students, I'm glad they didn't test on irony or sarcasm.


At the very least, as has already been advised, I'd say to see if there's someone you can talk to regarding what you think were some errors in how your assessment was evaluated. I don't know how useful that's going to be, or if you even want to discuss what might better show your knowledge of the subject on tests with someone (assuming there's even someone at the school to talk to about that).


Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go tie a bear to a policeman.


I read the Hobbit when I was five because my dad had an illustrated version from the cartoon and I assumed it was a children's book. I have friends who studied it in grade ten.


I read the Lord of the Rings at ten because my dad had a really nice edition and that was when he decided I would take care of it. Then I read the Three Musketeers stories. I gave up on War and Peace because it was dull, not because I couldn't comprehend it.


I got Fs in history in grade 8 because I was bored. I got the top mark in high school because I enjoyed the class more. Format and presentation counts.


Assessments are snapshots. The big picture is your classroom grades, patterns, history. Get good grades, go to a good school, and get the degree you want. If you don't care enough to do the work you're in the wrong program.


What do you think is going on, alex5927, why you scored so low on the reading & writing tests and high on the math? Were you surprised at the results or did you find the test weird and hard to understand when you took it?


It sounds really bizarre, like someone sorted the Excel spreadsheet of marks without selecting the entire sheet first :-

...Seeing as other people are also getting unexpected results in proportion to their usual grades.


My initial thought was that there were rampant misunderstandings about what it meant to be 98th percentile vs. 2nd percentile.


I'm awful at some tests.


Not wanting to blow my own trumpet or anything, but I've got a decent degree in Physics from a decent University, but doing the 'basic' online maths test for my grad scheme?


God I found that hard. The time limit ruined me. I'd been taught/learned all through my degree to let problems stew. In my exams you get a hand full of very complex situations that you have to poke at with your brain and let ideas float around, test things, mess about with stuff until it all fits.


I'd be sitting there applying first principals for every question and second guessing/finding all the ambiguities. I'd come out with the right answer, just I'd only ever finish half the questions.


Did that mean I was bad at Maths? No. It meant I was bad at the test.


My advice, as with any test, is to get your marking. Literally see where you went wrong. Can't do that? Get similar exams/past tests. Ask your teacher to set you an assignment and mark it, then get them to sit down and explain where you went wrong.


Sometimes though, they are just badly marked. My wife got a U on her A-level paper (uk high-school qualification). She just so happened to get the same question at University and submitted the same paper. It got marked as 2:1.


Also: I was always rubbish at anything not logical and mathematical at school. It's a wonder my writing is any good at all...


I hate a blue book test. If it's a test where you write out an essay by hand, I am going to do very poorly. My handwriting is slow and horrendous. It really is a terrible way to evaluate a student's knowledge of a subject. They really should have writing assignments only on computer now. If they're concerned about the internet, just disable access to it from the computer.


You put me in front of a computer and I can easily get more than 70 words a minute without a proper backspace key. (The key itself fell off and I didn't want to pay $20 just to put it back on, so I am now trained to hit the backspace nub for the past few years)


Heck, you get me typing about vomit or farts, and I can easily do more than 100 gross words a minute.


Rather than talk a lot about what my strengths were in school, I'll say that when it comes to the real world and getting by, absolutely none of that matters. If you want to go to college, do what you can to get in, make sure you can get financial aid, and try not to take out any loans if possible. Try to meet someone who might go on to be rich and famous and have connections(though from personal experience, Rockefellers aren't as good a choice as you'd think). The degree matters more than your grade, unless you're trying to get into the CIA or FBI.


I agree with everyone else. Standardized tests are not a good measurement of your skills or knowledge. Since I was homeschooled, I took very few standardized tests, but I took a few, and my siblings all took the SATs. My sister who spent a year prepping for the SATs scored really well and had a higher math score then my brother who was taking college level Calculus courses two years before graduating high school and went on to major in math at college, and I might add, he had not spent much time specially studying the tests themselves.




So, I might use what you have said in an article I may or may not write. If you object, speak now or forever hold your peace.


I object. No offense intended. I don't know enough, and it seems disingenuous to decide to do an article like this without forewarning, more information, and open discussion.


Yeah I agree with Wildbow - for one thing, we aren't directly affected or privy to the details of the situation. We are sharing particular experiences of our own. On top of that, I wouldn't consider anything from an online forum as a credible source - we are largely faceless and any claim to expertise is flimsy.


Fact is, in Canada you're going to get into university based on your overall grades. In the US you have to worry about the SATs but there's a ton of preparation. One single assessment isn't going to make or break your future.


I don't think citing me, with my writings about shoving hands up asses, is going to hold a lot of intellectual weight. Also, what would such an article be about?


It is going to be a semi-opinion piece about standardized tests. I say semi because I am also asking some other people, including students and teachers, about their opinions. It kay be a bit biased, but so is Fox News, and they get away with it.

Also, I wasn't planning on this, I was talking to my English teacher about it (to which she said, quoted word for word, "That's a load of shit.") and she mentioned the newspaper, asking when I wanted to give my lecture to the staff about plagiarism (long story), and then I had the idea, so if you don't want your words reprinted, I completely understand, I honestly only thought about it because I made source quotas (another long story) and I really don't want to talk to me (extremely asshole-y) Algebra teacher.


I don't see how we are relevant enough to your school to justify using our words in an opinion piece for your paper. It would probably be best to use us as a jumping off point. Priming the intellectual pump, as it were. You should focus much more on student and teacher opinions, I think, and maybe some concerns we've mentioned could help direct your inquiries.