If you really want to feel dumb, take a standardized test

Feeling a little overconfident these days? Maybe finding work and success coming just a little too easy for you?

Well, do I have the solution for you.

If you’re feeling the need to feel just a little bit dumber today than you have recently, then HURRY and take a standardized test!pencil and paper

I had the (hmmmmm, what’s the word I’m looking for here – enjoyment, privilege, bamboo-under-the-fingernail-type experience – pleasure of taking the GMAT this past weekend. And just when I thought I had done pretty well . . . well, let’s just say I didn’t do so well.

In case you’re wondering, the GMAT is the test you have to take to go to business graduate schools. You might think that a test like this would consist of – oh, I don’t know – some questions actually about business. But you would be wrong.

I basically had to consent to giving up my left leg and my first born grandchild if I revealed anything about questions on the test. But I think I’m safe in telling you that the test is basically divided into a verbal section, a writing section, and a math section. I did really well on one section and really bad on another section. I won’t tell you which I did the worst on, but just know that the more questions you miss, the easier the questions get. And one of my final math questions was 2+2. I think I might have gotten that one.

The highest score you can make is 800. I’m not sure what the lowest score is, but I wasn’t far from finding out. I scored somewhere between “Faint heartbeat” and “Average IQ of a cat.”

Ok, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t what I had hoped for either.

In case you haven’t taken a standardized test in a while, you might be surprised at the extremes you have to go through. It’s much like being put in isolation on Family Feud, or perhaps going under the Cone of Silence on the old Get Smart series. They take your picture, scan both of your palms, and make you put all your possessions except your underwear in a locker (well, I may be exaggerating a little. They made me leave my underwear behind too!)

Then you wear these headphones so that you’re not distracted by the noise of other test takers or by your ears being reasonably cool and comfortable. Then for about the next three and a half hours you work on the test.

I’ve decided to go ahead and try it again in about a month. I doubt I get genius level. Instead, I’ll be shooting for the something in the neighborhood of Resurrected Zombie IQ.

2 thoughts on “If you really want to feel dumb, take a standardized test

    1. Mark Post author

      Yeah, you know, the weird part was, I thought I was doing pretty well. Not great, but pretty well. And like you said, BOOM! And that boom was followed by a sinking feeling in my stomach. I thought the first number must have been wrong, but no matter how long I stared at it, it didn’t go up any!

      Reply

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