1st Language Test=Flashbacks to the Bar Exam

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t quite that bad.  I didn’t have a 5 minute panic attack in the middle of the test, and it was only 1 hour instead of 12.  But still, that was hard, and I really have no idea how well I did.

Part of the reason I’ve avoided taking language assessment tests is that I’m afraid I’ll become incredibly discouraged if I didn’t pass at the level where I think I should be.  Surprisingly, I’m okay right now, and I don’t feel that discouraged.  I’m still annoyed that I ran out of time and essentially had to guess at an answer.  I can say that it was my first language test, it wasn’t something I really was able to “prepare” for, I understood what all of the passages said, and what opinions and positions the author took.

still, there are inherent weaknesses in tests and assessments.  It’s not exactly natural to read 8 or 9 passages and answer several multiple choice questions within a time period.  How many times even in our native languages have we heard people say they “just don’t test well.”  The multiple choice was one of the worst parts of the Bar exam for me, mostly because of the time limit.  I just have never been a good speed reader.  For the Multi-State it took me the whole two months of preparation time before I could read through all of those questions quickly and accurately.  When I have to do something like that quickly, I tend to skip critical words, so I need to go back and re-read the question, which of course takes of valuable time!

Now, this is not to say that there is no value to tests.  They can be a great way of assessing your strengths and weaknesses, can help you use even reading and listening skills in a very active way, and really, even the preparation helps you improve.  But a test that you go into with no knowledge or way to prepare?  That requires a different set of skills that you don’t typically need to use in everyday use.

So, with that in mind, I don’t think I did too poorly considering it was the first time I’ve ever taken a language proficiency test.  But please do wish me luck that I passed and did well!


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