I came in last place in my 12-person, college buddy ESPN fantasy football league. Last place punishment was to take the SAT. Gulp. So, I went online and signed up for the test ($45). Yes, My wife thinks I’m an idiot. I woke up at 6:30, pounded some coffee and waited in line outside of Myers Park High School, my testing center. Testing began at 7:30.
Here are the 6 challenges I faced as a 30yr old test taker.
(1) Gearing up. When’s the last time you used a pencil or a TI-83 calculator? For me, it was 10 years ago. Oh, and not just a pencil, but a #2 pencil. My wife had a calculator in a box in her closet. Not sure why. Very stressful because I didn’t think of this until the night before the test.
(2) Introductions. After waiting in line in the crisp fall air for about 20mins, I handed the administrators my registration and they brought me to a classroom with about 25 students and a proctor. You could feel the nervousness in the air. It was intense. The proctor must have felt this as well because she said “okay, to calm everyone down, let’s go around the room and say our name and where you go to school.” Gulp. I’m an honest person, so I had to say “Hi my name is Ted and I work.” Yikes.
(3) No spell check. Old people may not realize this, but the SAT nowadays has a writing section. My SAT writing question was on whether or not money brings happiness. Fairly interesting topic. So, I went to write. Then I realized that other than 50 word thank you notes, I haven’t written without spell check in 10 yrs. I don’t know how to spell basic words. I received a writing score of 6 (scale is 2-12). I don’t write good.
(4) Height. I thought I’d be the big dawg at school since I was 10 years older than everybody. Not the case. At all. I’m 5’7″ and was one of the shortest people there. I was just trying not to get beat up.
(5) Math cliff. The first half of the math section was a layup. I cruised through it, gaining confidence. Then I hit a wall. Big time. What did the cliff look like? It looked like this: If f(x)=xsquared – 5 for all values x and f(y)=6, what is one possible value of y? Help. And, enough with the circle radius stuff. This is when I realized that I could be watching College Gameday instead of doing math. I wanted to cry.
(6) Mental decline. I’m 70 points dumber than I was 12 years ago.
Photo: Jeff Siner / Charlotte Observer