What if Academic Tests Were Video Games?

Published 08/07/2014 by Dani B.


It’s been so long since I sat through a standardized test, I’ve forgotten most of the rigmarole. I blame “selective stupefaction,” my made-up-psychology term for when your brain decides some feat you had to perform long ago is too mind-numbing to remember.

What memories remain are of humming florescent overheads, cathedral-sized collegiate halls (with none of a cathedral’s architectural charm), scores of students hunched over fold-down slabs of laminate, scattershot coughs or harrumphs, the smell of must and cologne and perturbation, and — who could forget — the instructor pacing the rows like a bipedal security camera.

I was okay at, but slightly terrified of, standardized tests, one of those kids who’d glance up at the ticking clock and freeze like an animal in someone’s headlamps. But I’m pretty good at video games, and over the last decade-plus, I’ve come to prefer the sort (rare, still, granted) whereby the experience…

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