[M.A.P.L.E. IV-21] Test. Test. Test.

I’ll start with a real #Throwback Thursday memory, though I can’t reproduce it exactly, as you’ll read why shortly.

Dad pops an audio cassette into the boombox (or the ’89 Chevy’s tape player, or the Dodge Caravan’s tape player). This would have been at least 18-20 years ago.

The cassette’s playback starts with Dad’s voice, “Test. Test. Test.”

Then, this song plays:

But, I’d be BEST to QUEST for “TEST” for the REST of this NEST of words. MESSED up any?

In scholastic endeavors, it is necessary to evaluate the students’ progress on how well they are learning. This is frequently accomplished through homework, projects, quizzes, and larger-scale quizzes.

I call the latter “larger-scale quizzes” because the name of them have changed as I have continued through my academic life.

In primary and secondary school, these  “larger-scale quizzes” were always called “tests.” This includes tests that were standardized (e.g., American College Test, formerly-known-as-the-Scholastic Aptitude Test), as well as those prepared by teachers in-school.

Well, there were two exceptions to calling them “tests.” In my band class, any written assessment was the long-winded “Opportunity To Show What You Know In Written Form For A Grade.” At least once, I wrote in my planner, “OTSWYKIWFFAG” as the topic when we had one of these. ‘Course now I realize that’s a dangerous abbreviation due to the substring at its end!

And in AP Psychology, Mr. Mac had us come up with an alternative name for the tests that we would take. I don’t think I submitted a suggestion, but among the list of suggestions, the winner was “Learning Festival.” I never brought in any festive foods or items to these, but I really should have.  Ha!

(How interesting that both of these teachers were on my Thank A Teacher post. This is definitely not coincidental!)

Once I started taking college courses in my senior year at Southeast, the college courses that I took at UNL no longer called the “long quizzes” as tests, but rather as exams. I didn’t really take any implications of this name change, as I continued to notate exams with a red “T” circled in my planner. Not to be confused with Boston’s Red Line!

However, I did not call final exams  as such: I rather rebranded them as the N.C.A.E. (Noah’s Collegiate Academic Endeavors)  Tournament! I had a post about this during Finals Week last year.  I might as well post another picture that I have from it: my bracket for Fall 2008!


NCAE Tournament, Fall 2008. (There is a typo: Noah’s first-round opponent was Physics 452, not 462.) The remaining results: 460B beat 460A, 462 defeated Bowl and Omaha conquered Analysis. In the Final Four, Noah got past 460B and 462 slipped by Omaha. Noah won the championship by downing 462.

And now that I am at Northwestern, the names of the tests/exams have changed to “midterms.” Which is a big misnomer, because at Northwestern, exams are possible in any week of the ten-week quarter. So a Week-2 or Week-9 exam is still called a midterm in the Northwestern vernacular.

The reason I wanted to write this post today? My students in Vector Calculus have their second Midterm today! Crush it!


Today is the twenty-first day of the fourth round of M.A.P.L.E. That makes three weeks.

היום שבעה וארבעים יום–שהם שישה שבועות וחמישה ימים לעומר

Countdown to “D-Day” is 11 days.

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3 thoughts on “[M.A.P.L.E. IV-21] Test. Test. Test.

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