Number 2 Pencil
July 21st, 2010
I’ve been having flashbacks to my high school days. I dream about Number 2 pencils and being late for tests. I suspect it has something to do with the fact that I am (once again) studying for the SAT.
You heard me right. At the ripe old age of 28, I will once again be taking that nightmare-inducing, college-prep necessity — the SAT.
No, I’m not planning to re-enter the halls of academia as a college freshman any time soon (thank goodness). It’s a more practical decision. Money’s going to be tight for us when Baby2 comes along — has anyone priced the cost of multiple children in day care lately? As a way of generating a bit of extra income, I am looking into getting certified as an SAT tutor through the Kaplan test prep people.
It’s a pretty rigorous process involving auditions, training, and…yup…re-taking the SAT. Not only do I have to take the test, I have to do really well. Understandably, they want their tutors to have themselves been successful on the test. So I have to score in the 90% percentile on all three sections: reading, writing, and (shudder) math.
High school math. Lord have mercy. I took a practice test the other night and have rarely felt so inept in all my life. And let me be clear — I was great at math. I was in accelerated programs my whole life and even Calculus couldn’t slow me down. But that was then. As in, more than a decade ago. And despite the claims of math teachers everywhere, you don’t actually continue to use much math out in “the real world.”
You need to know basic addition, subtraction, some fractions, and the occasional percentage. And honestly, that’s it. I can say with absolute certainty that I have yet to face a situation which called for speedy recollection of the quadratic equation or how to calculate the slope of a line.
So I’m hitting the books and hoping to revive enough brain cells to get through. Happily, the Writing and Critical Reading sections shouldn’t be a problem, if the practice test is an accurate predictor.