Saturday, July 7, 2012

Grade Point Average and Standardized Tests

A few years ago, I was reviewing my grade reports from elementary school and was surprised to find that I was not that good of a student, since by college I was getting a 4.00 consistently.

Well, today, I went back to those records and was actually surprised to see that I really wasn't as bad as I thought--and that I also wasn't that good. What kept me from the 4.00 consistently through high school was almost always physical education; in elementary, penmanship could be added to physical education as a bane to my grade level (though I got B's and C's in other classes as well, especially early on).

Neither penmanship nor physical education were things I had to worry about in college, so my grades improved accordingly, though there were a few classes I was almost certain I'd get a B in and somehow squeaked by with the A. C below equals college (I did 5.5 years, as I worked full time for most of my undergraduate years), G equals grad school.
Not surprisingly to me (as I knew this as well), my standardized test scores dropped throughout elementary, though there wasn't as much correlation between higher grades and lower standardized test scores as I thought. And apparently, in seventh, I was back to being high on those test scores (too bad that wouldn't stick through the SAT and GRE, where I did above average but nothing close to scholarship level).
Another interesting thing about those standardized tests. I did exceptionally well in the language portions of the tests early on but not as well at the math. I remember not quite understanding many math concepts when I was younger. By seventh, my scores reversed--math had become my strong suit, but language not as much. That said, where I largely faltered in language was with vocabulary, something that to this day I do not test well in, whereas I do very well with comprehension or grammar. Probably, the problem with vocabulary for me is that those tests often pose words out of context, and for me, context is key to my understanding.

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