Friday, June 7, 2013

Emily - The Super Genius

Before she left for Hawaii I took Emily to the local community college to take a college placement test so she can take a couple of classes in the fall for dual enrollment credit. She had to take the Compass Exam which is done on the computer. It's given on a walk-in basis, no appointment needed. It was in a huge room of computer stations and there were lots of other people walking in to take it as well.

After getting her checked in, I waited in the lobby. They tell you the test should take an average of two hours so I was prepared with a book - "The Wednesday Wars" which Emily told me I had to read and she was right, it's a great book!

After a while though, I started getting tired of sitting and started people watching. I noticed two different people come out of the test who had gone in after Emily. I became concerned that she was really struggling with the test. Maybe we did this too soon. Maybe she wasn't ready for a college test.

I went to the window of the room to peek at her and saw her diligently still working at her computer. I hoped it wasn't freaking her out.

When she was done, they handed her the score sheet immediately. She had scored a 99 on Reading, a 97 on Writing, and a 70 in Math. While very pleased with her language arts scores, she was very unhappy with the 70 in Math. "I've never made a 70 in my life!"

We were unable to meet with a guidance counselor on the same day so we went back early the next morning. On the way to the college Emily told me, "I've thought about it all night, and I'm accepting the 70 now. I don't like it but I'm okay with it."

When we met with the counselor, Emily handed her the test score sheet. The counselor looked at the scores and said, "Wow! You did really well."

Emily responded, "Well, I'm not happy with that 70 in Math. I usually don't score that low."

"Oh no, honey," the counselor said. "This isn't a 70 on a scale of 100." She pulled out a sheet to show us how the test is scored. "The test is scored in levels which show where you are strong and and where you need improvement. You scored well enough to go straight into College Algebra. This just shows that you wouldn't need Basic Math or Pre-Algebra; you can skip those."

Emily and I grinned at each other.

The counselor went on, "And for your Reading and Writing scores, you placed high enough to skip ENG 101 and go right into ENG 102. As a matter of fact," she said, pointing to the 99 in Reading, "There's only one score high enough to let you do that and you got it."

Emily and I grinned at each other again.

The counselor went on to ask me questions about how and why we homeschooled. She also mentioned that the homeschoolers who come in to take classes usually do very well on the placement test and tend to be some of their best students.

She also told us that the test just keeps going until the student misses five questions in a row, then it ends. Oh. That's why some of the students who went in after Emily came out sooner. They missed more questions!

We got her signed up for two classes in the fall and then we grinned at each other all the way home.

"And you're only in tenth grade!" I kept telling her, "Imagine if you had finished high school before you took that test! You would have blown their doors off!"

And then we grinned some more.

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