Monday, June 8, 2009

Testing 123

I love when that happens. Oh, I guess I should probably explain. Yesterday at church our pastor spoke on the very same topic I’d been planning to blog about today – Testing!

Remember that feeling of dread that zinged through you whenever your teacher swished through the aisles slapping a test down on your desk face up? If I was in any kind of math or chemistry class, I was quick to flip my test over so no one could see all the red marks and the screaming D or F on the front. If I was in English class however and the teacher was handing back an essay test, then I’d check out my A or B+, and hold it up against the light so I could get a good look. Okay, I never was so obnoxious to do the latter, but you get my point.

Tests I liked = essay and oddly enough plane geometry
Tests I loathed = multiple choice, fill in the blank, SAT’s, GRE’s, anything that took analytical smarts

Back to church: yesterday our pastor explained that we all go through testing in life; that God tests us. Trials can be tests. Temptations can be tests. But here’s the deal, here’s what I took away from the message. Basically, no matter what, we are bound to get that red mark on the top of our paper. Many of us are just inclined to flip it over and pretend that no one will see or that it’s just one little test and it doesn’t mean much. One way to understand what Jesus did/does is to look at it this way. He takes the test for us (actually, he took the greatest test of all on the cross.) On our papers, Jesus writes in all the answers. He gets an A for us. You may want to call that cheating. You could call it that. Or you could be grateful that He did the work that needed to be done so that God can hand you an A.

Logic tells me we should respond to someone who does something like that for us. Our response plays out in how we take every other test in life. Are we studying? Are we blowing off life and acquired wisdom? Could we do what Abraham did, with faith that God would raise his son after he made the sacrifice? Do we live in gratitude and respect for the One who took the test for us, the One who gave the right answers?

Testing 123.

What kind of tests did you like or dislike in school? Multiple choice? Essay? What was it about them that you liked or didn’t like?

Come stop by here to see what I had to write about our colorful world.

*photos by flickr
**This blog is not condoning cheating. If for some reason you got that message, you missed the point. Go back and read it again.


  1. When I was young, I thought being grown up meant you didn't have tests--the God given ones or the school kind. Boy, how wrong I was! I think I'm more aware that I'm being tested now, I can hear the clear voice saying "are you going to do the right thing?"

    And, you'll hate me, I loved math and science in school! But physical education, piano lessons, and handwriting just about killed me!

  2. Such a great post! I've never heard anyone put Jesus' sacrifice like that before. But it's so true. He filled in the answers for us - if we accept his gift, God will give us an A. How amazing!

    Oddly enough, I liked multiple choice and wasn't a huge fan of essay. Weird, huh? Consiering I'm a writer. I think it's because I could take multiple choice tests super fast (I was a good test taker). Essay questions involved a lot more thought. I didn't have the patience to think. Why should I have to think in school, anyway? :)

  3. Hi Wendy! So glad to "find" you and your blog! I could never wrap my head around multiple choice tests. I could always find an exception in my mind to the choices being offered. In college I was so frustrated with one test that I wrote out the correct answers around the test and then took my best guess at the circle to fill in. Had a good discussion afterward with the professor about whether I was being tested on the information from the class or on my ability to take a test. Thanks for your thoughtful post. looking forward to more.

  4. I love your new website! It's great you are doing it!
    As for tests, I like multiple choice best as I can usually pick out the answer--but HATED essays as they are so subjective!

  5. Believe it or not I liked essays, probably because I could smooze my way through things I didn't know one hundred percent and make it sound like I did really know the info. (Or write tons and tons so that they wouldn't want to read it all!) Whereas with other kinds of tests you either know it or you don't! No seriously, I guess I've always loved being able to express my thoughts in writing, even on essays.

  6. I always liked math tests, but I hated multiple choice.

  7. I didn't like the multiple choice questions, I always felt like they were trying to trick us somehow. Essays worked well for me, allowing more independent thought to be put in the answer.

  8. Wow, I have never looked at testing quit like that. It is something I will be pondering all day. As for school, I always preferred the essay, it was so much easier to answer and explain and answer. I was uncomfortable with multiple choice, I was alwasy worried it was a trick question, even when I was sure I knew the answer.

  9. I like your analogy! I always preferred essay tests, which makes sense now.

  10. I hated all kinds of tests. But essay test in English were the best because I usually never even had to read the book in order to write a nice sounding answer. Ironically, I did TERRIBLE on the English section of my ACT's. I think it was one of my lowest scores.

  11. Multiple choice has always been my forte. T/F I loathe. And essays are okay.

  12. Hmmmmm.... I liked the ones where they took you in one by one and showed you pictures of ink blots and you had to tell the nice man what you thought it looked like. But now that I think of it.... none of you are mentioning that type of test.... perhaps it was just me ;)

  13. Loved multiple choice and essay. Loathed fill-in-the-blank. Math, I hated, but anything else was okay. :D

    It's fun to see everybody's answers. :D

  14. Wendy, your disclaimer at the bottom of this post just cracks me up!
    I loved school and if I had more time in my day, I would go back to college and audit every class I could AND do the tests just for the fun of it.
    I think I am the odd ball because I was home schooled for all but 2 years of my formal schooling. -no one to see good or bad test scores and no adrenaline rush that goes along with it all. - When I graduated at 16 I started college and just fell in love with the whole shebang.
    But with that said, the tests from daily life are the most difficult for me and I would gladly forego them. I am SO glad that Christ is the one taking the tests for me. I know for sure that I would FLUNK each one without him.

  15. Jill, I don't think it is even possible to hate you. I used to think the same thing about being grown up, but now I think God uses those times of testing to draw me closer to Him.

    Katie, I love that--why should you have to think in school, anyway?!!! Multiple choice were buggers for me. I'd decide, change my mind, decide...etc. I like how you added the accepting of Jesus' gift.

    Amy, good for you about writing the answers around that test and for the discussion with the prof. I often felt I knew the right answers, but was "talked" out of them (by sad is that?) I'm going to hop over to spend some time at your blog here soon!

    Terri, thanks for the compliment. You and I sound like opposite test takers.

    Jody, my thoughts exactly!

    Eileen, I admire your brain!

    Joanne, I'm with you. I say we protest! :D

    Amy, isn't that weird with multiple choice, you can be sure you know it and then...not so sure! Ugh! Bad memories resurfacing. Glad you were thinking test thoughts today.

    Luisa, it does make sense doesn't it. Taking an essay test often felt like getting cozy in a nice big sofa chair.

    Cindy, my GRE, SAT, whatever scores always came out even. Back then we didn't have essays so I suffered. If my English results were pulled down to math, well then we know it had to be something wrong with the type of test. :D

    Ronnica, I was working on a T/F question with my FIVE-YEAR-OLD the other day and got it wrong for her. I am such a second-guesser and "try to figure out what they are really asking" type of person.

    Suzanne, excellent. My favorite kind!

    Danyelle, ah ha...fill in the blank, certainly not a favorite!

    It's my prayer as we are hit left and right by the testing winds that we are turning to the one with the answers - God.

    If you think of it, throw a prayer up for my folks. Their dog died today. I'm sad for them.

    Sleep well and if you have a pet, go give them a hug!
    ~ Wendy

  16. Andrea, I'm still here so I wanted to comment...I fell in love with the whole shebang too (love that word!)

    I would be in school for the rest of my life too, but the way I see it I am in the school of life, baby. Okay, clearly I need to stop writing...I'm getting too goofy.

  17. Great post!
    LOL I was like you. A's on writing stuff, low grades on math stuff. Bleck.

  18. I love how you put this into perspective and how we are tested daily in our lives. You always amaze me with your insite.

    As for school I have always loved test that I could write out the answer more than multiple choice as I would always over think the question and figure out that two answers were corect depending on how you thought... and at that I still do that to many questions. Maybe that's why I write so much when you ask a question. LOL


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