So, yeah, I'm an idiot. And no one in my school knows anything.

We finished (hurray!) the lastest round of standardized testing today. HSPAs. Need to graduate from high school here in the wonderful state of NJ. Whee. Fifty minutes to complete a 12-question reading comprehension section.

Anyway, I’m a fast reader. As in, really fast. Don’t know how or why, but I am. So I finished the above-mentioned reading comp. section in about twenty minutes. Which left me half an hour to either sit and stare at the floor, or draw little cartoons inside the test booklet, which we are allowed to mark up however we want. Easy choice - I drew cartoons. Specifically, I drew a cartoon of Bush chanting “No Child Left Behind! Hurry up!” to a poor student weighed down by a gigantic backpack and a ball-and-chain. The ball-and-chain was, of course, labelled “Standardized testing”.

Then, sometime later that day, I realized that might not be a good idea if They Who Grade The Tests Which The Rest Of Our Lives Hinge Upon are going to be looking at my test booklet, not just the answer sheet. So I ask my history teacher if he knows if they see the test books. Doesn’t know. Neither do the four other teachers I ask during the day. Neither does my guidance counselor, who kind of inherited the title of “Coordinator of Anything with Letters in the Name”. He’s a very, very nice guy (especially compared to my previous counselor last year who didn’t know my name). Only…he didn’t know.

I’m not really worried about it, because I’m pretty sure that I got just about every question right (it’s basically a test of basic skills). But I just feel…stupid. And once again, irritated at the lack of knowledge in my school, but that’s come to be expected. :smack:

Hey, I’m from Virginia and we have to take the SOLs (Standards of Learning). As far as I can tell, they don’t look at the test booklets. I would think that that would be entirely too time consuming. Think of all the students in all the schools that have to take this. Now think of the time it would take to look through every student’s booklet. Besides, being “standarized” and all, I would doubt that they would look through some and not others.

I think they only look at the math ones, to see how you worked out the problems. At least, that’s what they told us when I took the SATs.


Not sure about the answer to your question, but this brings back memories! I graduated from a New Jersey high school two years ago, when they were still using the HSPT test. I remember they were doing test runs of variants of the HSPA, so we had to come in and take the sample tests that we knew would not count for anything. I did make some effort to answer the multiple choice questions, though I know a lot of kids used what was known, perhaps somewhat politically incorrectly, as the Pepe Lopez method (“C, C, C, C,” get it?) I did have a lot of fun on the essay section though; I wrote some sort of bizarre rambling Dave Barry-esque rant about nothing in particular.

I’d love to be the person who had to grade those sample tests; I bet they got some really unusual stuff. And on that note, I wouldn’t be surprised if the HSPA grader thinks your drawing is pretty funny, should they see it. If I had to sit in a room and grade the same basic answers hundreds of times, I think I’d be happy to get something funny.

-Andrew L

NinjaChick, speaking as a teacher here, I don’t think you have a thing to worry about. First of all, they wouldn’t be able to mark you down for this, as you could easily contest it. They may not agree with your cartoon (which, by the way, is funny as hell), but they have no legal grounds for penalizing you for it, especially since they said it was OK to mark in the booklet.

Also, if it is to be marked by a teacher, it will probably amuse them to no end, as educators also feel a bit weighed down by all the testing we have to work towards.

Don’t let it worry you, and congrats on doing well on the test!

Eh, either way, I wouldn’t worry about. They’d probably just assume that an editorial cartoonist from the Tampa Tribune snuck in and took some standardized tests.