SBAC: A new kind of Test

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As I walked into the language lab for SBAC this morning, my expectation was for it to be an easy and short standardized test. What I found was a lengthy and challenging assessment unlike the review we had done in classes.

Prior to SBAC, I thought that teachers did a solid job of preparing us for the test. My teachers spent full class periods going over possible material with powerpoints and example questions. Given that there were so little materials offered to prepare us, I felt somewhat ready for what lay ahead of me. However, my particular test (students were given different tests with the same format but different subjects) entailed analyzing articles about specific poetry, rather than actual poetry. It was completely different from any preparation material we had received.

The test was also very lengthy. I was given four different questions: the first two were open-ended, the next was a multiple-choice-type-question and the last was a full essay. They were all based off of five comprehensive articles. Each response required the use of specific evidence from the articles. With five multi-page articles, thorough free response questions and a full essay, I found SBAC to be time-consuming, taking me over an hour.

Overall, SBAC was difficult but doable. Its comprehensive questions and articles definitely make it more challenging than tests like CAPT or CMT. However, it’s a test that, with proper preparation and time management, can be passed.

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