Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Tests?

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Big bad tests at school.

Question: Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Bests at school?
Answer: Nearly everyone who has their head, sand.
Students are afraid they won’t pass, and will be held at will be held back, perhaps not graduate. They sometimes fear that stumbling on the Big BadTest will damage their or daughters self-esteem.

I believe there is one, overarching danger, more important than any of these. It is that students, after 12 years in school, will not have the skills necessary to succeed in the next 70 or 100 years of their life.

The BigBadTest cannot provide assurance of success, but it is rather like a physical examination by a physician. It is a measure of , “educational health”. Poor BigBadTest performance means that change is needed. It’s like high blood pressure, or high cholesterol,. It means that action must be taken if a student is to succeed in the real world.

When you come home from a physical with news of health trouble, you are upset. You may suffer some setbacks at work or play. You may feel cheated by nature. If your have your wits about you, you will do what is necessary to restore and maintain your health. Are you really sorry you went to the doctor?

There is much controversy about the big bad tests. There is controversy about testing in general. There is continuing controversy about medicine, too. We must begin somewhere, or we will fail. While waiting for the test to go away, or the “perfect test” to be created.

Test preparation can help you pass tests without learning any more. It is a poor substitute for mastering the essentials for a rewarding life.. The role of test preparation is to help students understand the mechanics of the test and problem solving strategies useful in answering test questions. Beyond that, what we need to do is refocus on learning itself and suplement it with test preparation.

School is the middle stage of learning, early childhood is the beginning. Life itself is the final phase. The Big Bad Tests, like a physical examination are diagnostic guides to our the health or preparation for the real thing; the rest of our lives.

Viewing the Big Bad Tests as an unfair hurdle in the race of life is a mindset. Viewing tests as a safeguard that makes sure we enter the longest phase of our lives fully prepared to succeed, is another. Which do you think is the “Better Mindset?”


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