Why standardized tests are a lot like being single

Seems like a stretch, I know. Bear with me, my brain is a little mushy from all those special triangles:

  • Arbitrary assessment of your human capacity/worth as a human being
  • You can study as much as you want, but you’re pretty much always going to perform the same way
  • People say the scores don’t matter, but schools require that you take them. It’s like when your married/coupled friends say they wish you could hang out more…but they only ever hang out with couples. So you better get on that if you want to see them again. (No pressure.)
  • Shocker! Race matters. Black people don’t do so great on these tests.
  • The test doesn’t test your ability to reason verbally or quantitatively as much as it measures your ability to take a test.

I took the GRE last week.  I got called an hour and a half early, answered the call, and went to the center clutching sharpened Number 2 pencils and my driver’s license like I was ready for the world.

I wore my favorite t-shirt. It bears the first names of black women writers. The first thing the guy at the desk said to me: “Zora, Toni, Alice & Octavia…” I nodded.

“Your kids?”

“Writers,” I responded, frowning.

Anyway. Three and a half hours later, I was done. Went and got a mani/pedi and a cheeseburger. Fell asleep at 9 p.m.

Like a boss.

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