October 10, 8 am: scantrons, dreams, and standardized tests

I’ve read through Barron’s prep books, and I’ve read through Princeton Review’s prep books, and I’ve taken AP classes, and I’ve taken college classes, and my mom bought me a new eraser and a big jar of almonds with a green screw-on cap and 14 sharpened pencils, just in case. I’m ready.

The proctor slogs (I encourage you to use that word in everyday speech.) through the instructions—no he doesn’t want an almond—and we start the SAT Subject tests.

The rest is a blur, except a flashback halfway through the chemistry test of some episode of Smallville I saw six years ago. Oh, and the scantrons—they’re double-sided, and with multiple pages. Does someone have to stand there feeding the scantron machine? Does it read both sides and all the pages at once? Did they have to make a special one, just for the SAT Subject Tests? Is there a factory somewhere that makes SAT Subject Test scantron machines?

I’m not sure how I did, and I don’t want to jinx anything, but I’m guessing that deep scantron-related mysteries and the fact that the first four letters of my first name and my middle initial spell my first name didn’t help. At all.

I had a dream the night before that the test was on the third floor. I woke up on time, ate a good breakfast, and got to the testing center 15 minutes early. When I walked through the one door left unlocked after the bomb threats, the room numbers indicated that I was on the 99th floor—and the third-floor testing room was 96 floors underground (because standardized tests are always in mine shafts). That’s okay; that’s what showing up early is for. I ate an almond and crossed the hall to the elevator. Closed for maintenance. The stairs, also, were locked. That’s okay; that’s what showing up early is for. I did what any other rational person would do when the elevator is closed and the stairs are locked: I ran, clockwise, in circles.

Teachers walked past me. The room numbers didn’t change. People looked at me weird. I got tired. But I ran, clockwise, in circle after circle after circle, because I was determined. I never made it, and my dad says I’m a lunatic and to go do something productive.

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~ by science cow on October 14, 2009.

5 Responses to “October 10, 8 am: scantrons, dreams, and standardized tests”

  1. My dreams are never this relevant. Two nights ago I dreamed I was in a rock opera and woke up disappointed.

  2. that’s absolutely splendid

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