Friday, October 14, 2016

Not too bright, though.

finished filling in the last Scantron bubble. Looked around the room. Went back over the test, making sure all the bubbles were filled in. Looked around again. All the other 25+ job applicants were still bent over their test sheets. Must have missed something. I turned the sheet over -- blank. I knew I'd missed two answers on the timed section of the test because I hadn't paced myself properly, so what was going on?

There didn't seem to be any more questions to answer. Well, if I was done, I was done. I turned to the proctor behind me and whispered, "What should I do if I've finished?"

"Bring the test materials to me," she whispered back.

I got up quietly and brought her the test booklet and Scantron sheet. "Should I stay until the test time is over?" I asked.

"No, you're free to go," she said.

"OK, thank you."

She gave me a broad smile. I smiled back at her, but it faded quickly as I realized my decision to sit in the back of the testing room meant I'd have to walk past all the other applicants to leave. So I moved swiftly toward the door, feeling too many eyes on my back, and let myself out. I went alone up the stairs, alone through the corridors of the cubicle maze, alone out the double front doors of the City Hall building, with awkward memories of standardized high school testing flitting through my head.

I'm a good test-taker. I do well on multiple-choice tests because I can often get the right answer through the process of elimination. But clearly I still haven't learned much about human nature. If I had, it would have occurred to me to wait. I could have avoided that awkward moment by sitting there quietly for another 10 or 15 minutes until several other people had finished the test, then turning in my test and leaving. But no, I did the oblivious thing instead.

From what I know of the Dunning-Kruger effect, simply being the first to finish a skills test doesn't guarantee that one did particularly well on said test. And just because I felt strong in some areas doesn't mean I didn't commit an epic fail in the math skills section. However, because I was the first person out of the room, I feel pretty safe saying there were people in that room who actively wished I were dead. That wasn't very smart.

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