The FCAT today was a fairly enjoyable experience. And yes, you and I are thinking of the same “FCAT”: Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (but now that we all know what we are talking about, I think I will stick with “FCAT” for short).
As a sophomore, I had to take the reading portion of the FCAT today. Tomorrow is the math portion. The reason I liked the FCAT was that it was so nostalgic. This is the last time I will ever have to take the reading and math FCAT (unless I failed them . . . ;)). It was amazing how many memories of FCAT have built up in my mind over the years.
The test book itself was wonderfully familiar. While FCAT has signified boredom and annoyance, it has also meant relaxation, quiet, and (most importantly) nap-time. The familiar fonts, the session symbols, the little “read, think, explain” boxes . . . those have been more constant in my life than a lot of things. That sounds really silly, but it is true.
One of the best parts is the script the teachers are supposed to read. Back in elementary and middle school, the teacher would switch from “regular speaking” mode to “script” mode–once they started reading, the teacehrs had to continue verbatim. The words rarely changed from year to year. At PHS, since the school is so large and teachers are lacking, they use the closed circuit TV to broadcast a pre-taped reading of the instructions. It makes the experience even more conducive to reminiscing–the same woman reads the instructions for all the FCAT, and this is the second year I have heard it.
It is kind of weird, because this is the last time I will ever take reading and math FCAT. No matter how many times I say it, I just cannot get used to it. It makes me realize how much time has passed. In two years, I will be almost done with high school. Being done with FCAT is a huge milestone! Some highlights follow:
I remember in fourth grade, when all our teachers put on a performance the day before FCAT. It was all about not getting stressed out by the FCAT. Someone dressed up as the Cat in the Hat, and some of the teachers did some cheer-leading for us.
Another time in fourth grade, a toilet was broken just before testing started. The toiled would not stop flushing, meaning we sat through the entire thing with the oh, so calming rushing toilet water sounds.
In sixth grade, I was out of town (at MathCounts and sick) for the entire FCAT week, so I had to do retakes for every one. It was the only time I had done retakes, and it was great because I could work on my own time (ie, I did not have to wait around for thirty minutes until time was called).
A recurring situation for me is when I finish my test super-early (as usual because the FCAT is insanely easy) and put my head down, the proctor always comes up and taps me on the shoulder. “Are you done?” ” . . . Yes.” “Have you checked your answers?” “Yep.” “Oh.” It is sort of a tradition, now. It happened to me today, as it has for just about every FCAT that I can remember.
It is really weird, but I think I will miss FCAT. :(