Thursday, November 10, 2016

Test Pattern

School is back in full swing and with it, tests must be given and taken. I love test days but the days following are not as much fun. The following, from April 28, 2006, looks into the testing process.

Bible classes at Westbury Christian School have two designated test days. Our policy allows me to give tests on Wednesdays and Fridays only. Each department has test days assigned to them. The purpose is to keep students from potentially having five or six tests on the same day. This past Wednesday, all five of my Bible classes took tests. I love giving tests. There are only two problems associated with tests:
1. writing them 2. grading them
Test days are perfect. I review the kids and let them show what they have learned since the previous exam. The grading is the killer. Since I give tests in both eighth and tenth grades the same date, I have approximately one hundred papers to correct. I pride myself on having the tests ready to return the following day so I have to allow several hours to make that happen. Many teachers use the scan-tron system in which tests are electronically scored. Answer sheets are filled out with pencil marks and run through a machine which spits out the number of correct/incorrect responses. Scan-tron is terrific but I can't put memory verses on them. I also like interaction provided by paper and pen exams, where students can phrase answers in their own way and voice concerns/prayer requests. Habits are sometimes permanent; I don't see myself converting to a system where I can't give partial credit or write an encouraging note next to a child's name.

I don't like being tested myself. In spiritual matters, we routinely see it as a time of trial and potential heartache. Sometimes, I believe Christians consider testing as punishment. David did not see it in that light. In fact, he asked the Lord something I would never dare.
"Test me, oh Lord, and try me; examine my heart and my mind." (Psalm 26:2)
I'll be honest- I want the Lord to leave me alone UNLESS he wants to send me a big blessing. If there is a test, there can be a failure. But without the test, how can we know if we are fit for service in the kingdom? One of my favorite Biblical characters is a man we know nothing about. He is mentioned just once in the Scriptures and that in passing. His brush with fame comes in Romans 16:10 where Paul is concluding his letter to the church in Rome. In the midst of greetings to brothers and sisters in Christ, Paul sends this shout-out to this otherwise anonymous servant of the Lord: "Greet Apelles, tested and approved in Christ." The man was approved in Jesus and there was only one way that was accomplished: he was tested. We don't know how or why, where or when, but we know this: he passed. Sometimes students want high marks but want to skip the steps that accompany excellence. Sometimes, Christians do, too. Unlike David, we are more likely to ask God to remove the tests. He never promises freedom from seasons of testing. But he does promise us the strength, as he did Apelles, to graduate Magna Cum Laude from the school of life and every examination it throws into our path. And those never quite follow designated test days.

Applicable quote of the day:
"It has become clear to me that life gives the same tests over and over and over again until we demonstrate that we have learned the lesson by passing the test." 

Clyde Dennis

God bless,
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at

1 comment:

Jon said...

I didnt know there was a policy