Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Standardized test questions roasting on an open fire

Because apparently I didn't have enough going on this week, I'm taking the CBEST in 4 hours. The california basic educational skills test, that is. The first of many hoops to jump through to get an adult ed cert. I'm taking the new computer based test, because it's offered more often, for which I get the pleasure of paying $64 extra and being on lock down for 5 hours. No food or water allowed. All personal items must be left in a locker outside the room. They photograph, fingerprint/palmprint you on arrival and verify this information if and when you plan your escape to the bathroom.

The extent of my studying? The practice exam I'm halfway through gave over a while ago to email snark about the writing prompts. And has clearly now degenerated to full on blogging.

Ernest Hemingway once commented, "As you get older, it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary." In an essay to be read by an audience of educated adults, state whether you agree or disagree with Hemingway's observation. Support your position with logical arguments and specific examples.

Alternate topics so far include why Hemingway is a terrible hero and why educated adults should not use "sort of" in their essays.


  1. It sounds more like coffee talk (for boring, lame people) than standardized testing. If you don't do well on this test, it's because you are not boring or lame. Good luck faking it! (I accidentally wrote something totally different, but sort of similar, to "faking" there at first. It's ok for me to write "sort of," because I'm commenting on a blog.)


  2. Yes, god, and the model answers are even more coffee talkesque. I won't subject you. I'm harboring a small hope that the proctors tell us to "talk amongst ourselves."

    And yes, this blog is by no means intended for an audience of educated adults. As you were.

  3. The real test is how you respond to the fingerprinting, etc and the stress of no water/food/bathroom for 5 hours. If you can survive that you're in. They probably don't even read your essay past the first paragraph. And yes, it is harder to have heroes for us adults. I recommend rock stars over politicians (current pres-elect excepted).