When my boy grew up in the Montessori environment, he never had to take tests in the true sense. Because of this, I was told that he would always struggle with them if he moved to a different school environment.
Turned out he LOVES taking tests. He is one of those that never has to study. He figures if he doesn't know the material by the time there is a test, he isn't going to learn it in one night.
Alrighty, can't argue with that. Especially since he rarely gets too many wrong. I kind of stay out of his studying habits. I figure the test scores will prove a natural consequence on whether or not he studies. But to date, he amazes me every time.
Could he try harder? Sure! Am I going to fuss if he doesn't? Nope!
Even the standardized tests that most people dread, well he just doesn't mind them so much either. Sometimes I want to send those grades to the people who said he would never do well. But that wouldn't be nice and frankly he has nothing to prove to anyone but himself.
His first few ended up 99th percentile nationally. While the last one got him eligible to take the ACT's at age TWELVE!!
Kids all over the country have been eligible as well so it isn't that he is special, but I love that he was excited about it and couldn't wait to do the practice questions especially when he got them all right.
Dang kid didn't have to study for that either.
While he may not "love" tests anymore, he has consistently done well when needed and for that I'm grateful.
As for the ACT, I told him there was no pressure. If he does good by some crazy chance, he can use that score later and not have to take the test again. But if he doesn't do well, he can use it as a learning experience for the next time he takes it, which will be an advantage. A win/win!!
When the day of the ACT came, his testing facility was at a community college with 100's of people double his size. Some of them didn't look so friendly and boy did he get some looks too.
With my guy in his own little world, he had no clue that he was being eyeballed by these giants. I eagerly watched from the hallway as he set in the front row and lined up all his pencils just so. I planned to leave until I saw another 12 yr old from down the hall run out crying and call his mom. Since Veg didn't have a phone, I thought it best to be a paranoid parent and stay.
There were three of them his age that day and when the break happened I heard the other boy say that he didn't recognize anything and only finished 10 or so questions. The high schoolers were freaking out and made similar comments.
Then out comes my guy:
"Mom, how do they expect you to do 75 questions in 45 minutes?"
So I asked how many he finished.
"About 60 was his reply"
Dang! That was more than the high school kids said.
I told him on the next set just to start marking dots toward the end and guess when needed. Gave him a no fret pep talk and off he went.
The lighting gave him a headache and he couldn't wait to get out of there when it was over. 4.5hrs is a long time to expect a 12yr old to sit still and stare at a paper but he did it and I was so proud of him.
His final comments: "I will Never do that again"
Until we got home and then he said:
"You know what, I'm going to need a really good score to get in to the college I want, so if I have to take it again, it won't be the worst thing"
Ha, that kid! I still wonder where he came from and just love him to bits. Even we he drives me absolutely nutty!
Now we wait for the scores!! I'm not sure who is more anxious to see them, him or me. No matter what they say though, he did great, with his head held high, and a celebration of completion is certainly worthy.
For anyone out there that thinks a child won't be able to do something, I say, sit back and wait. They may just surprise you!! I hope my guy continues to surprise people in a positive way. He is unique, quirky, challenging, has a teenagers attitude, and is incredibly strong willed but when I saw him walk in to that college class room with confidence, I knew he was going to be Okay. He surprises me every day!
Ps... Can't believe I'm posting to this blog about ACT's, college and a soon to be teenager. Funny that when I started Vegmom he was three!! Woah talk about a surprise! Time flies!