October 6

Testing….

We give a lot of tests at the college—GED, CLEP, PRAXIS, TOEFL and TABE to name a few.  Each one is a little different and each one requires a Test Center Administrator and different site codes and they all require set up.   Some provide scores to the test taker by email or the Internet and others allow the site to provide the scores.  I guess the big thing is that while they are similar in many ways, they are different in little ways that make a big difference in the test administration.

I am really thankful for Technical Support for all of these test sites as they are so helpful when something doesn’t work properly.  Just this morning I had a problem and it turned out that I needed a new Client Security Certificate.  Mine had run out.  It is amazing to me how many little nuances there are to these sites and the test administration.

Our IT guy visited from Valdez this week and he brought new computers, new screens and a new keyboard and mouse.  This keyboard is amazingly quiet.  I can now work while someone is testing in this room which is really nice.

It is interesting to observe the different test takers too.  Each one brings a different personality to the test station and it seems to affect their performance.  Some are hesitant and nervous and take all the allowed time.  Others are more laid back and use less time and appear less nervous. One thing they share in common is a desire to see the results as soon as possible.  Of course I always wanted my results as soon as possible too.

I am struck by  how differently students perceive their situation.  I went to see the math teacher because a student had come to me for tutoring.  Not only was she earning a C+ in that class, but her most recent exam was an 84%.  When I told her in the hallway, she couldn’t believe it.  She was glowing. Better to be surprised by joy rather than be disheartened by an unexpected result.

It seems to me that we should all encourage others to do their best and to help them understand that if they do, this is not only acceptable, but good.  Not everyone can shine with the perfect score or the perfect performance.  Some kids just can’t perform at that level.  And all kids have something they can do better than others and we should encourage that too.

I have often wished we could evaluate students without tests, but until that time we need to encourage them to do their best and to realize that their best is perfectly acceptable.

Father, help me to encourage students to do their best and also to understand that when they do, what they achieve is more than adequate.  Amen.

Ecclesiastes 9:10a; Galatians 6:9

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