Tuesday, June 26, 2007

More school-related angst

Quick: What's the difference between an assessment test and a placement test?

Other than when in the registration process one takes it, and how much they cost - nothing. At least as far as I can tell. When I applied to go back to school earlier this year, I spoke with the head of the Business school, and she told me I would get a notice telling me to go for math and english tests, and I could ignore it. It did, and I did. Now, months later, I get my registration info pack, and inside, along with a complicated multi-step registration/course selection process, there is a note that says I need to book a test for math and english. Initially, I ignore this, as I have confirmation that I don't need to take any tests. But then, I get a nagging feeling, and read everything over again, and scour the internets, and my anxiety pays off. I really do need to take this test, as this is a placement test, not the assessment test I was exempted from. This one is shorter than the assessment tests, and won't cost money, but I have to do it before signing up for classes, which means I have to do it this week.

Forget for a minute how stupid I am to not have triple checked this earlier. There will be time enough for all the 'Mabel is a freaking moron' talk later. Now I have to brush up more quickly than desired on my math skills. I'm pretty confident about the english - though reading over the requirements I did see that they will be testing to see if sentence fragments and run-on sentences can be avoided. I know, I know, reading this you'd think they're all I use! - but the math is causing some panic.

I never did all that well in math in high school. Oh, I could do the homework fine, but in test situations, I always messed up. This is part of the reason my career in the financial industry was so amusing to my parents. But I figured that I could probably scrape through. I was going over the practice tests, and it seems that I'm a giant moron. I got 71% on one of them.

My good friend Roxxy tried to make me feel better, saying that everyone panics around math, and that if I got placed in the "foundations" class, I'd just look even smarter than usual. That's why I love her. While I know having to take a "foundations" math class first term wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, it does make me ill. I'm supposed to be smart. I always did well, usually without trying. And I guess I kinda figured that math wasn't important to me in high school, so that was why I didn't excel. And now, it looks like I'm having to face the fact that math is never going to be my strength. That is bad enough, but the mere thought of having to take esentially a remedial class makes me want to vomit. I'm not necessarily good at facing adversity when I didn't expect to. I can deal with challenges if I expect it to be a challenge, but if I think I can handle something and then it turns out I can't, I'm not really good at dealing with that. And I think of myself as a good student.

Oh well, I guess this will be another opportunity to better myself. At this rate, I'll be evolving into a beam of light any day now.

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