A.C.T. Test

Pencil and calculator in hand...

Pencil and calculator in hand…

I had ACT’s this morning, which those who had driven past Granny White this morning would know by the hundreds of cars in the parking lot which would be amiss any other Saturday in summer. As the hundreds of students funneled through the only entrance in the entire school that was “ACT kosher” we were directed down the long, dusty halls to our testing proctor who scrutinized our identification papers with more rigorous inspection than the Soviets guarding the Berlin Wall.

We were hustled down the long A hall and corralled into classroom by alphabetical order. The proctors rechecked our ID’s and testing tickets again, just in case one of us had magically teleported into the classroom, then sat us down in rows of desks.
“Please surrender electronic devices to the proctor,” The teacher in the front read curtly from the front of the room. “Any students found possessing any of the following devises: cell phones, pagers, stopwatches, timers, or will be dismissed from the testing area and their testing materials will be destroyed.”

A wave of students pulled out their dozens of cell phones and iPods and sat them on the teacher’s desk. I saw her eyes widen a bit at the sheer number of electronics before she directed the students to remove the batteries from their gadgets (because all of us apparently know how to remotely activate our cellphone spider robots to google answers for use then transmit information via Morse code…).
We all sat down and after half an hour more of hearing the numerous ways our behavior would have us excommunicated and our precious tests incinerated, we were given our testing booklet. I opened the book with trepidation, seeing the columns of tiny writing and questions purposely designed to trick feckless students. I prayed a bit, got out my lucky pencil, and began marking the bubbles. As I came close to the end of the Reading Comprehension, I made a horrifying discovery. I had accidentally skipped question 3 and all my bubbles were one wrong on my Scantron.
“Oh Sweet Strawberry Crêpes!” I whispered in horror as I saw the five minute mark rapidly slip towards me. I gazed in dismay at my test sheet as I frantically erased all my marks.
“You have five minutes left.” The proctor announced unhelpfully.
I gnashed my teeth and feverishly bubbled in haphazard smudgy dots, only glancing at the smeared marks I left in my wake.
“One minute left.” The proctor declared.
“Geuh!” I silently screamed, 20 questions left!
I scribbled in marks, almost blind to their placement in my frenzied terror. “Must finish test!!” My mind cried!
“10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4…” The proctor counted down.
My pencil flew to the last five question, marking desperately with graphite the final bubbles.
“TIME!” The teacher called, “Put down your pencils and close the test booklet!”
“YES!” I crowed in my mind, doing a small fist-pump. All 70 of the questions filled out and corrected. I breathed a sigh of relief and closed my eyes. So much drama and terror in a moment was physically and psychologically draining, but I had a victorious, abet somewhat exhausted grin on my face.
“I see you’ve all finished Test 1,” The proctor chirped cheerfully, “Only four more to go!”

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