What Is?


So what is this unofficial news that made me so exceptionally happy this morning? Well…it is because I have unofficially passed the required state exam for entrance to my college’s education program. 

Hooray!!!

Now, sure, it was only the General Knowledge Exam but let me tell you that with only two days notice that I was going to be taking this four hour exam even general knowledge is enough to strike fear into my heart. At first I was wondering, “What kind of “general knowledge” are they talking about?”

Do I have know all of my state capitals?

Do I need to know every country in Africa? South America?

Do I need to remember if Polar Bears live in the Arctic or Antarctic?

Do I need to remember the names of every ocean?

What is the largest ocean?

At what wind speed does a Hurricane change categories?

When is Hurricane Season?

What is a genome?

What was the War of 1812? World War I? World War II? Who was the President of the United States in 1891?  1903?  1946?

What is my name?

Ahhh! I stressed. I panicked. My anxiety was through the roof and I was flipping out. I found out on Thursday that I needed to take the exam ASAP. The earliest date was today so I registered, paid my fee, and browsed the web for information on the test. All I could find were forums where previous test takers were talking about how they bought the study manual, studied for a month, and still struggled but were able to pass. The study manual is $140. I was not about to pay $140 for a study manual for a general knowledge exam. I was sure I could find some kind of study guide online. The web browsing search was pretty useless except for informing me that the test was in four parts: Essay Writing, Language Skills, Reading Comprehension, and Mathematics.  I breathed slightly easier knowing that I am awesome at writing, language and reading so I focused on mathematics. I’m good at mathematics and I’ve studied through calculus but it’s been a while so I wanted to re-focus and study before the test. I found two websites that helped study math skills and since the forum’s said that the General Knowledge Test (GKT) only went through pre-algebra I only studied through pre-algebra. Imagine my surprise when I was taking the test today and found geometry (which, when I was in school, came after algebra!) and trigonometry (which, when I was in school, came after geometry!). I panicked again.

Oh crap! Oh crap! Oh crap!!! Angles. Triangles. Pythagorean theorem. How do I find the circumference of a circle if I only know the radius? SOHCAHTOA to find the cosign of a triangle. Ahhhhhh!!!

Calm down, I kept saying to myself. Just calm down. You know this stuff, you can remember, it’s in there somewhere. Breathe. Focus. Breathe. Focus. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Now solve.

When I walked out of the testing room after completely my exam the exam proctor was there to meet me with 4 papers in his hands.  They were my test results that printed as I completed each section of the test.

He said to me, “Have you ever heard of sweeping the board?”

I replied, “Yes.” but somehow wasn’t comprehending what he was implying and I could feel the blank expression on my face.

He handed me the papers. I still didn’t understand.

“Look at them” he instructed me.  I looked down.

“Pass” the first one said, then the second, then the third, then OMG…I passed!!!!!!!!

HOORAY!!! 🙂

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