Monday, December 26, 2011

Taking Tests is Fun...

OK, so I'm a little odd that way. 
When I was in grade school one of my classmates taught me a lesson about test-taking that has stuck with me through the years. His name was Dean Boettcher and one day when we were going to take a test and I was worried that I would do badly, he said "It's just a game".  "What?" says I.  "Taking a test is like playing a game." Dean said.  "It's a game to see how much you know."

In that spirit, I try to teach my sons the same thing and I hope it is making an impression on them, too.

In preparing for the SAT and ACT tests... the all- important gatekeepers to a college education, I get a practice test question everyday in my email. The boys sometimes try them, but I have gotten to the point where I look forward to taking the quiz everyday. It automatically tells you if you are right or wrong and can even keep score for you over the days.

So, here is today's question of the day:

The following sentence contains either a single error or no error at all. If the sentence contains an error, select the one underlined part that must be changed to make the sentence correct. If the sentence contains no error, select choice E. 

The Bear Gulch Limestone Formation  in  Montana is
a sequence of bedded limestone layers  up to  90
feet thick  and  approximately 8 miles  across .  No 
  C   D   E  
A.  click to choose answer A   (A)
B.  click to choose answer B   (B)
C.  click to choose answer C   (C)
D.  click to choose answer D   (D)
E.  click to choose answer E   (E)
I don't think you will get the automatic answer, so I will give it to you....
The correct answer is E
That one was too easy for you writers out there.  But, how about the next one.

As we all know, my math skills could not get me a job at McDonald's and were it not for calculators on cell phones, I would still be using my fingers.
But, using the "game" theory on the following question... I got it RIGHT!
You try it and see how you do, then read on and I will tell you why I ace'd it.

Read the following SAT test question and then click on a button to select your answer. 

math image

The function y = function f of x, defined fornegative 1.5 less than x less than 1.5, is graphed above. For how many different values of x is function f of x = 0.2?
A.  click to choose answer A   None
B.  click to choose answer B   One
C.  click to choose answer C   Two
D.  click to choose answer D   Three
E.  click to choose answer E   Four
The correct answer is E, Four.

I got it right because I GUESSED. They tell you in test prep, to go with your first instinct and don't really give it too much thought.  So, I didn't.  I looked at the picture, saw 4 points where the wavy line crossed the horizontal like... figured that the 0 in the middle didn't count... and guessed.
TTaking tests are like playing a game... go with you gut, take a big swing and if you screw up, come back another day and play again while learning from your mistakes.

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