Friday, January 3, 2014

Test Day

The big day is finally here.

We entered a very crowded and sweaty auditorium at IIT 20 minutes before our scheduled time.   Parents were nervous.  Kids were not.  I surveyed the room and spotted a few parents practicing cutting edge parenting techniques on their little kids, and other parents handing over an iPad so that their kids could play video games while they waited.

My biggest challenge was getting the shy little guy to go into the test.  Apparently my Lord of the Rings motivational speech did the trick, and he marched in ready for his last charge.

I felt like a parent of an Olympic figure skater watching their child compete in the finals, hoping that he doesn't slip on the ice and wipe out.

Afterward, I quizzed him on the results.  Last year (the "practice" test), he came out and told me all of the questions that he got wrong.   Occasionally a word will come up in conversation or a book and he'll inform me that he didn't know it on last year's test.    This year, he told me that the test was a lot easier than the "math" work that I've been having him do.  I'll talk more about that in the coming year, so stay tuned.

After the test, the testers gave the kids a scented sticker to wear and show the parents.   The testers are part of the IIT psychology department, and they know what they are doing.  The unusual sticker wipes their memories clean.  Like last year, this will eventually wear off and I'll get a better sense of the test.

For the next three months, I'll be concerned with the big question.  Was the test easy because he was over prepared, or was the test easy because didn't identify the the subtleties of the question.  We'll find out in 3 months.

I heard from a 3rd grader taking the test for forth grade.   Apparently, the test is different at that level.  I'll have to do a bit more research to confirm.

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