Monday, June 11, 2012


My 14yo has this thing with tests. She wants to do them. She somehow feels like she's not doing what she's supposed to or is not going to be capable of doing them in high school unless she gets a lot of practice.

It came up yesterday. I was reminded that I have been meaning to give her some of the year-end tests done in our province. We haven't done enough of the math yet, but I decided I could give her something from the English test. I found the reading comprehension test from a couple of years back and "surprised" her with it this morning. She's had no practice, no guidance on anything related to taking these kinds of tests. I was curious to see how she would do.

Well, she met the criteria for excellence. Her reaction to seeing how many she had wrong? "It can still be excellence if I have that many wrong?" In her mind, I think, 100%, or almost, is required.

This all goes back, I know, to an inner insecurity that fears that she's not learning as much as others, doesn't know as much, can't do as much. I'm not sure where this stems from. I don't know if she was with others her age and something popped up school related that she didn't know about or if it's just her ingrained perfectionist tendencies (she comes by them honestly!). In any case, having this outside assessment, where the standards of achievement are determined by the government, saying that she's doing just fine... I think it was a good thing. Although she seems a little unconvinced by their determination that her score was excellent. ;)

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