What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Now You've Done It

Came home after a long day to find my scores for the NET/HOBET test had arrived. The new phone books are here, the new phone books are here!

And I'm pissed.

Very pissed.

See, I bought the test prep book and worked through the book. I even found two errors on the math section (one answer wasn't available, the other answer they though was correct was wrong). There were other issues with the reading section, but that's more subjective. Basically, I found that if I shaved about 30 points off my IQ I'd select the correct answer. Good test prep. Also, sent ERI an email explaining what they got wrong and were and that after spending $30+ for the test prep book (small book, cheaply produced), I was quite upset to find those errors.

Haven't heard back from them.

So I took the test, fairly confident that I would score above the 50% for Nursing and the 63% for Radiologic Tech. A brief side-note here, the Nursing program requires the NET test, Radiologic Tech the HOBET. They're the same damn test. Exactly the same test. Never did get a call back from the schools about it (the test is $40, I damn cheap, I want it to work for both). When I went to the test I worked with the proctor to mark the test accordingly to get the scores back for both schools.

And took the test.

There's a math, reading, writing, and basic science section that the majority of your score is based on. Plus, as a bonus, there's a Stress Level Profile section, a Learning Style Profile section, and a Test Taking Skills section. These last three, IMHO, are complete and utter bullshit. The very last one especially. We'll get back to that.

Now I have my scores. How did I do? Pretty well. On the Math Section I have a 100% (also, obviously, a 100% on all the sub-subjects). We'll also get back to that in a sec. Science Reading Comprehension, I scored a 286 words per minute, which was an 85%, but a 76th percentile at an "Independent Level." Okay, I'm not the world's fastest reader. Fair cop, already knew that. My individual scores (the actual part of the test) were Inferential Reading 86%, Main Idea of Passage 93% (this is the section I had problems with on the pretest, and where I knew I had to shave points off my intelligence to get the answer they were looking for, I guess my strategy worked), and Predicting of (sic) Outcomes at 73%. Okay, first WTF moment. But, okay, highly subjective, still good scores. Written Expression Score was 96% (I got two questions wrong here, one in "Recognizing Correct Sentence Structure", my guess it was the used of the colon or semi-colon as that is changing but they may not have gotten the memo, and the other in Spelling Demons, fair cop, I'm not the best speller, have you noticed?). Basic Science score (of which there were questions I had never been exposed to the material before) 80% (2 wrong on Biology, 1 wrong on Cellular Biology).

Then we're into the stress scores which I won't bore you with, basically I'm stressed about Money/Time first (70%), and Family next (at 50%). Everything else was 40%. I'm stressed. Have you noticed?

Next was the Learning Profiles which told me that I'm primarily a visual and solitary learner. Quel suprise. Also high score on Oral Dependent. But lowest index was at 50%.

Now was the test taking skills. Most. Bogus. Questions. Evar. Seriously. The ones that stand out in memory were along the lines of "If a T/F question is long/short/definitive/specific is it most likely a) True, b) False, c) indeterminate" and the one question I love (after two other questions like it), "On multiple choice questions, most often the correct answer is a) A, b) B, c) C, d) D." Seriously. That was the question. So, my score? I was at 37%, which is the "Instructional Level." Lower than even my Stress Scores.

To ERI, I fart in your general direction.

Why? My overall score was 93% which put me in the 99th percentile. Could I have knocked you over with a feather? Actually I think that's low, but I've always scored in that percentile (even for my Officer Candidacy Test - guess why the military really, really, really wanted me so badly). My ERI standard score was 941 (I haven't found a chart to let me know just what that means, yet, must be one of those internal metrics which really doesn't mean anything outside of the company that made the test, which, if you were paying attention, was ERI). So, I don't have good test taking skills, but I aced your damn test? Me thinks something is wrong here.

But wait, it gets better. On the back of the test sheet is the infamous "Needed Areas of Remediation" - which, you know, I only scored 6 out of 7 for the Correct Sentence Structure, but I think you want to say, "Areas of Suggested Remediation," but that's just me. (Yes, I'm being snarky, you'll understand why in a few sentences).

Guess what areas they think I need remediation on? Can you guess? Did you guess, "Essential Math Skills"? Because that's the only thing they say I need remediation on.

Essential Math Skills.

You know, the part of the test I scored 100%, which I'm thinking also puts me in the 99th Percentile (although they don't have a percentile ranking for this individually, just over all and the Science Reading Comprehension). And yes, higher is better (I thought of that) on these scores.

Essential Math Skills? I just aced your god-damned test. I passed Calc 2/Integral Calculus (okay, F first time - I was a screwup back then - but then an A for the summer retake, got an A in Calc 1 and scored an extra 3 bypass credits for Precalc - because I got an A in Calc 1) and was in Calc 3/Vector Calculus when I switched majors. I do math in my head to calm down (don't believe me, Dan and I went over some statistics today), and your testing program thinks I need a little remedial help with that?

Dear ERI, I'm saluting you, but with only 20% of my manus digits, or, if you like, the median one. I'll let your math wizards, the ones who got two questions wrong in the prep book, tell you what that means. Oh, and the horse you rode in on, too.


Elizabeth said...

I'm sorry, Steve, your math skills are too good and you need to fix them!

And they test test-taking skills on the test? Can't they, you know, look at your score and figure you must have pretty decent test-taking skills? Or would that be too easy?

Steve Buchheit said...

Elizabeth, you know, you might be right. I do have too many math skills. I need to cut back.

And yeah, while taking the test I was thinking, "WTF? Test Taking Skills?"

sheila, who is not lurking today... said...

"Also high score on Oral Dependent"

Does that mean that you need to chew on a pencil in order to cogitate?


Steve Buchheit said...

Sheila, yes. I believe that is the advice a guidance counselor would give.