Test taking - can you improve that?

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Freed Roger
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Re: Test taking - can you improve that?

Post by Freed Roger »

semi-related. my daughter is a senior now -1st took the ACT in 6th grade along with a few other kids in her class- annointed Gladwellians. They took the test with HS kids. Duke is behind this program, they hit us with lots info for summer school and potential tracking to ...Duke for college.

Was sort of glad she scored in mid teens then, raising some extraordinary gifted kid might be a PITA.

I think it helped her though, she doesn't have anxiety over these tests. Though with the amount of assessment testing they take over the years, they kind of get used to them. -seems like 2 times each year the school would send home note about one coming up- have kids rested and a good meal in them to test away.

Sigh, my daughter is a senior too, she took ACT over a year ago- had about 6 sessions with a test tutor. I think we paid about $100 per hour. She was hoping for 1 more point to get for more scholarship/tuition breaks at out-state schools. but once covid hit, ACT became secondary. i don't think she'd be primed to do better.

Fortunately, her grades taking AP classes and extracurriculars are helping. One advantage of going to a small HS is the kids can stack up an impressive resume of sports, activities etc.

Freed Roger
Seeking a Zubaz seamstress
Posts: 26107
Joined: September 4 07, 1:48 pm
Location: St. Louis

Re: Test taking - can you improve that?

Post by Freed Roger »

Also semi-related. Job searchers have to take gobs of tests and assessments in the filtering process, all online and from home. I've sat in numerous times with my wife and step-daughter (not sure if I actually help).

now my step-daughter works for a recruiting/placement contractor. her employer had their recruiters take the test multiple times to learn the wunderlich-type test, in order to help coach candidates.

She had me sit in on her test trials - they do have a lot of the same question - several question types that are gimmes once you ID -such as matching 3 similar words out of 5 options. matching opposite words. sequences. there are time constraints. A problem with folding six square faces mentally into a cube and which side touches x -I never thought it out how to do that one quickly. but could easily be learned.

AWvsCBsteeeerike3
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Re: Test taking - can you improve that?

Post by AWvsCBsteeeerike3 »

Popeye_Card wrote:
December 30 20, 7:54 am
AWvsCBsteeeerike3 wrote:
December 29 20, 11:58 pm

I remember taking the PE, which I did a piss poor job studying for, and afterwards just being like...well, if I passed, it is by a pretty thin margin so just went out and drank a few beers. Which in hindsight was a good idea. A couple guys I studied with wanted to sit around and analyze the problems and see how they did....I was like...no thanks. There's a bar across the street. Peace. They kept texting being like....what did you do for this, that, the other...and I was like...dude, I don't know if I did it right.
Going into the PE exam, I was certain I was going to fail it. I got slammed at work, which threw off my whole studying schedule so I ended up cramming in the last week. Working out all of the sample problems, I'd only get like 25% of them right. I took a sample exam and got a ~50%. Then I started reading up on the cut score. While it is normally set around 70, that usually equates to about a 50% after they throw questions out. I felt somewhat better after that, but still pretty certain I wasn't going to pass.

Then the day of the test, I just got in a zone and felt like I was nailing nearly every question. The only part I struggled with were some engineering economics questions that I felt should have been layups, but I skipped studying any economics in advance so I wasn't sure how to work them. I finished with 2+ hours to spare. When I walked over to turn it in, they told me I should sit back down and review any questions I might want to re-work. Nope - if I went back, I would only second-guess myself and probably change answers to the wrong ones. Like you, I went over to the bar and waited for my friend to finish his test so we cold head back.

They stopped telling you what your score was, and simply report pass/fail. I passed - that's all that matters.

I do think multiple choice tests help for math/engineering problems especially, since if you messed something up in your calculations your answer likely isn't available. Though they are pretty clever with coming up with wrong answers that you would arrive at if you used the wrong approach.
I'd agree they are pretty good at coming up with plausible wrong answers. Talking with the guy who started the company I'm at, he took it before it became multiple choice and it sounded infinitely better. Some of those plausible wrong answers are simple mis-steps in calculations. If you have 1/x when it should be x/1 for instance gets you zero credit. But, in reality, if you make a simple mistake like that but understood the intent of the question and successfully worked through it, there should at least be some partial credit.

When I was getting ready for the PE, there was a college that offered review courses. I think it was 6 saturdays in a row with 8 hour classes each taught by a respective professor in that discipline (road design, hydrology/hydraulics, etc). I ended up going just because a friend convinced me to, but I always thought the time would have been better spent going back through college notes and what not. Most of the classes consisted of a review of everything taught in a semester or two in the morning and then an afternoon of solving practice problems. In reality, these review courses were probably the reason I passed because while I had all the intention of studying for the exam, I just never did due entirely to my own faults.

When I did study outside those classes it was always with friends and they'd always want to do practice problems. And, I would always want to make up my own problems. Like, look at the equations and understand what they applied to. EG, take the energy equation and where a practice problem is calculating water surface elevations, certainly understand that but also recreate the problem to look at how velocity influences it. Figure out how velocity can be manipulated. Look at all the variables that can be adjusted and or require calculations to solve before even being plugged into the energy equation. Look at how pressure in pipes is influenced by area, and vice versa. It would piss everyone off to no end because I'd make up these problems and not have an answer.....but I was like guys, you're not going to have the answers on the test either. Regardless, we spent a lot of time bickering so I quit studying with them and instead barely studied at all. In theory, I spent 100+ hours preparing, but in reality only spent 20 hours of that productively.

But the morning of the test whereas everyone was all geeked out, I remember being relatively calm and had convinced myself I was prepared.

All of that is a long way of saying, each person has their own way of preparing and it takes some effort to find what works. Straying from that is probably not in anyones best interest even if a tutor or whatever thinks it is.

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