Some problems unschoolers have had with testing

Sandra Dodd, in response to someone (indirectly) having asked "When they must take their written driver's test, will they know how to? What about getting their GED?"
Just for the record, Holly did have trouble with this one:
-=- When they must take their written driver's test, will they know how to? -=-
She was unaware, somehow, that dashing answers in there was fine. She was writing complete sentences.

She was inexperienced in the idea of doing the 80% or whatever was required to pass and then relaxing. She was working hard for 100%, and ended up being the last one there, and in tears. I was waiting outside, there were glass windows, and I saw the teacher talk to her a couple of times, being encouraging, and her kinda waving him off like she just needed to finish it. She was upset (beyond necessity) at being confused about the kinds of insurance.

Those schoolkids with more test-taking experience chucked in some answers and went home, but Holly kept working on it in an emotional state.

So she hadn't learned not to care, or to slack. (Those things would've helped that night, though in general it seems good not to have them so internatlized.)

Pam Sorooshian wrote:
David King - always unschooled 18 yo friend - took the college placement test this semester. It is multiple choice - punctuation, grammar, word usage. He is a REALLY good writer and he spells, punctuates, etc., very very well.

The test decides whether the student can take college English or has to take a remedial class first.

He correctly answered all questions he answered, but he didn't finish and ended up one question short of getting into college-level English. He'd never taken a test - much less a timed test.

We've appealed to the counselors to let him take the college english class anyway, but they won't budge. So he has to go for 18 weeks to a remedial English class that he doesn't need at all.

He's already taken some other college courses and gotten A's in them.

All three of my kids had a little trouble with multiple choice tests - they had to learn to read them the way the writer intended them to be read. The worst example that came up:

"A school has 400 students and 10 classes. How many students are in each class?"

The right answer was "40."

But - my daughter said that was ridiculous. If the "classes" were different grade levels, like in an elementary school, then there wouldn't be exactly 40 students in each grade level. If the "classes" were different subjects, then there wouldn't be exactly 40 students taking each subject. So, she answered, "none of the above" - which was one of the options.

So - in this case, this is a really bad question. But, my kids had some trouble even with better questions - they didn't automatically think of what the teacher was fishing for, they really thought about the question, instead. So they had all kinds of complications in their heads and it took them longer to take the test. They're over that, now, but they had to learn some test-taking skills.


More on teens, and on testing in general