Thursday, October 6, 2011


Tuesday and Wednesday I helped proctor the CAHSEE. (That's the California High School Exit Exam.) The October administration is for those juniors and seniors who haven't passed the thing yet. This was the first retake opportunity for the juniors who took it for the first time in February (when they were sophomores).

I was impressed that we had a group of less than 50 taking the test. That means that most of the students passed it on the first try.

Some of the students were committed to passing this time. Some of them milked the testing session just to get out of class.

On day one, one boy caught my attention. He was looking around and not making reasonable progress on the test. When I informed him that he didn't get to go to lunch until he finished, he suddenly got half the test done rather quickly. (They get a break in between the two halves of the test, but they can't leave during each half.)

Yesterday as I was walking the room, the boy caught my attention again. He was flicking his pencil with his finger. The pencil then rolled back towards him, and he repeated the procedure.

I stopped and stood. I watched. The boy seated next to him looked up at me with fear in his eyes. He saw where I was looking. He glanced over, saw what his neighbor was doing, looked back at me, and shook his head.

I wasn't the only one.

Most of the room cleared out. This boy was one of five left. He was "checking his answers". I was sure he was milking it for all it was worth. Then he raised his hand.

The boy showed me a question. He wasn't sure what to do with it. I told him to figure it out the best he could. I explained that I wasn't allowed to help, so he had to figure it out on his own.

I felt bad after that. Had I completely misjudged him? Oh well. If he really needed the time, at least he got it.


  1. This is a totally sad story if he's really in need, but not if he was "milking it" as you put it...hmmm...don't you wish you could see his answer booklet?

  2. Hmmm. I bet you were spot-on. Even if he was confused about that one question, why all the pencil-flipping?


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