Breakneck Speed plus My Worst Testing Experience Ever

This past weekend was a crazy, crazy four days.  My life is either dead as a door nail or running at breakneck speed.  There is no happy medium.

Breakneck speed can be stressful at times, but I enjoy those parts.  My weekend started Thursday, when I took my AP Econ test and attended a friend’s graduation party.  On Friday my family and I traveled to the state capital, where I won second place in my speech competition Saturday morning.  From there we rushed home again.  I thought I was going to have to work a shift before prom that night, but thank goodness it rained and my shift was cancelled.  Normally I’m not happy about turning down money, but that cancelled shift freed up an hour and a half for me to wrestle with my hair and make it to the pre-prom party I thought I was going to have to miss.  Prom was amazingly fun, as usual.  I’m so glad I got to go.  Then Sunday morning I had to drag myself out of bed to sing in church.

Now it’s calmed down a bit, though not much.  This week I have been going to senior luncheons, hanging out with friends, working, teaching flute, and getting ready to graduate on Saturday!  I’m also attempting to decide on a smartphone, since my parents revealed that they will give me one for a graduation gift.  Graduating has a lot of perks, I’m finding.  :)

I’m going to skip the traditional Forpy post this week, as I pretty much already explained it above.  (The pits were being stressed, mostly about prom hair.)  However, in case you’re just really bummed about that (haha!), I also want to share my testing horror story in honor of my very last high school test (which is also my first and last AP test ever).

My Worst Testing Experience Ever

It was my second time taking the ACT.  The first time had gone very well; the only improvement to be made was my math score, and I had since my last test studied much more advanced math.  I was ready.  I was confident.

The English section passed uneventfully.  I filled out all the bubbles with time to spare and checked over my work.  So far, so good.

The next section was Reading, which, incidentally, has the exact same number of questions as the Science section.  I wasn’t worried about this section either — English is my best subject, and I love to read.  I read the little stories and answered the questions.  

As I was filling in one of the last bubbles, I glanced more closely at my answer sheet, and a huge shock ran through me.  I had accidentally filled in half my answers on the Science section!  With the number of questions the same, I had gotten so deep into answering them I had neglected to be vigilant about my answer sheet.

This was a disastrous mistake for several reasons.  First, the rules of the test stated that no marks were to be made to any section before or after time was called.  Second, I had less than two minutes left in the Reading section.

I had to make a quick decision.  Frantically I began copying my answers onto the correct section on my answer sheet.  I thought I had broken the rules by marking in my Science section, and I knew that breaking the rules could get your score disqualified.  But which was worse — risking detection by changing my answers, or risking the ruination of my Reading and Science scores by leaving them as they were?  I didn’t know what to do.  I copied answers until my heavy breathing got so audible that the room monitor looked up.  I put down my pencil.

I was so shaken by that episode that I could not concentrate for the Science or Math.  I left the building feeling like my whole body was made of jelly.  I burst into tears as soon as I shut the door of my mother’s car.

When I got my score, it was considerably lower than it would have been.  It wasn’t a complete failure, though, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected.  I signed up for the next ACT date and took the test again, this time checking and double-checking my answer sheet.  

Because of that experience, I am now paranoid about checking my answer sheet when I take tests.  But my blunder wasn’t as bad as I thought it was when I was in the midst of it.  So the moral of this story is, don’t sweat mistakes like that, because they’re easy to make.  The other moral is, quadruple check your answer sheet.  Trust me.

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