December 3, 2005

I had an appointment to take the CBEST this morning. It's the minimum standards test California requires for all teachers. I have no plans to become a teacher, but when I registered for the exam, I did have thoughts about being a sub in this district. (My current job as a tutor is actually better for me.) So last night after cramming for 15 minutes and playing poker until 2 in the morning, I was ready for this exam.

From what I was told, this was not a hard test to pass. We have a total of 4 hours to finish. My personal goal was to be the first one to finish. There are 50 SAT style English questions, 50 math questions, and 2 essay questions. (I got a new wireless keyboard/mouse set. Q is back.)

I hate the English section only because there was so much reading. So after about 40 or so, I figured I had enough right to pass the section, I employed the magical ABA-CADABA method, and presto, I was done. (Of course, using this method in high school often made my A disappear as well.) This section took me 50 minutes, well ahead of the recommended pace.

I guess being in Mr. Lau's math class really paid off for me, as I flew through the math section in 40 minutes with at least 98% correct. There was one stat term they tossed in there where I had to make one of those 'educated guesses.' There is no penalty for guessing on this test, so it tells future teachers if you don't know what you are doing, take a shot at it anyways.

At this point, I was sure that I was ahead of everyone else, so I put it on cruise control for a bit. I considered taking a nap, but didn't want to risk drooling on my Scantron sheet. So I took time to plan out my essays to insure a good grade. I even took the unnecessary step of drawing out a storyboard for one of them. Before I knew it, 40 minutes had passed, putting my record setting pace in jeopardy. I cranked out the first essay with no problem, but my hand was starting to fatigue. Midway through the second essay, someone on the far side of the room had finished their exam. (I'm assuming they were there to take the full exam as I was, although some people do just take certain segments.) So slightly defeated and with the record now out of reach, I took my time to finish my second essay, which I wrote about poker.

If I ever do decide to become a sub or a teacher, the first required reading story will be about the tortoise and the hare.

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