Breakin Ankles

Thursday, July 28, 2005

A little bit of the bubbly, and standardized testing

I took the Illinois Bar Exam this week and survived with my sanity, luckily. The proctors made it abundantly clear that we were not allowed to have any sort of device emitting any sort of noise, inluding cell phones, watches, beeping machines etc.

So I left my EKG machine at home and wandered, innocently, into the murky world of standardized testing. Note: One unlucky sap's cell phone went off during the exam. No one would claim the bag in which the cell phone was ringing, so the proctor went through the bag until she found some identifying papers. The kid had to leave the exam and automatically fails as well. No joke.

Filling out bubbles, how exciting. I don't know why, but apparently I'm quite slow at filling in the bubbles with my trust ole' #2. I'd still be filling in my name while the people all around me were seemingly finished. Maybe the lead in my penci was too thin or something?? Oh snap, get ur mindz out the gutter people. To help poor saps like me, who take forever to fill in the bubbles, I must take the time now to humbly offer a suggestion. While not revolutionary, it will revolutionize standardized testing as we know it. Hey, I guess that it is revolutionary after all. Instead of having us fill in bubbles slowly and meticulously, how bout just provide us with some sort of pencil stamp. The stamp would obviously be the size of a bubble, and we could just press it down on whatever answer we wanted. Think about all the extra time people would have on exams. It boggles the mind. Or, should I say, it bubbles the mind? Please take the next 10 seconds to think 'Wow, that was a really lame joke, this blog really is a waste of time'.

Welcome back. Maybe I'm alone here, but I've never been able to effectively erase out a filled-in bubble on a standardized exam. I always happen to have a defective eraser, or perhaps standardized testing paper isn't conducive to erasing, in general. Either way, in my attempts to erase a bubble, I always mange to smudge the job, and spend the next 30 seconds wondering if the testing machine will be able to decipher what my true answer is. The worst is when you unknowingly have an eraser with pencil smudges already on it, and every sweep of the pencil just spreads the smudgines around like an STD.

During the bar exam, I am proud to say that I filled in what can only be described as the "perfect bubble". The bubble was filled to the brim with #2 lead, yet no marks went outside the bubble itself. Furthermore, the density of the pencil markings inside the bubble were uniform. No parts of the bubble were darker than the other. In fact, may I be so bold as to say that the bubble was so perfectly filled out, that one might even assume that it was done with a pencil stamp(tm).

Back in High School, there was a mini-scandal because apparently you could score perfect on a scantron by simply putting chapstick over all the bubbles. Supposedly, this would make it impossible for the machine to deduce what bubble was filled out, and it would therefore spit out a scantron with a "perfect score". I assure you, though, that my 1600 on the SAT is completely legit, and that my impressive portfolio of chapstick stock is purely coincidental.


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