Why Your Test Score Just Isn’t That Important
As an AP teacher and now tutor, I spend every spring in the trenches with my students, reviewing content, creating study plans, and going over test strategies.
And come July, it is all about the test results. What did my kids earn? How much college credit will they get? What’s my pass rate as a teacher? Believe me, there’s a lot of math that happens in July. 😉
I think that’s why when I saw this quote recently, it really resonated with me.
“Slow your roll, Louisa,” I heard. “It’s not all about the test.”
Get Over that Test Score
I clearly remember reviewing AP U.S. Government scores one summer. (I was the department chair and reviewed all student test scored.) Though I was not their AP Government teacher, I had taught many of the students 2 years prior. I was familiar with the students and their potential. And I was devastated by their results. So many of them received 1s and 2s on the exam, essentially a failing grade. They were capable of so much more.
And that’s when I knew. That test score didn’t represent those kids. They were smart, hard-working, and funny as hell. How many of them were crushed to receive this score? How many decided that Social Studies just “wasn’t for them” because of their score? Were their parents disappointed and let them know?
Keep it Real
As educators, parents, and students we ALL get focused on the score – on the unit test, the SAT, the AP, or an evaluation. So much of our effort is poured into preparing for the test, whatever it is, that we tie our self-worth and self-confidence to that score.
But it’s really just a number. It shows how you performed on one test on one day. It doesn’t really tell us much about you, your strengths and weaknesses, your hopes and dreams, or your killer sense of style.
Yes, that score can have a big impact, like passing a class, getting into college, or keeping your teaching job. But it’s still just a number. It’s not you.
I urge all of us – students, parents, and teachers – to remember that we are all more than a test score. Say it as a mantra in your head or post it somewhere you will see it. Share it with your kids, too! We all deserve to be treated as the complex and amazing humans that we are.