Keystone Testing: Questions that Matter

Today in class, we are going to commit a standardized test. When you fill in your answers, make sure not to leave any stray marks outside of the bubbles. If any stray marks do escape from your bubble, you should capture them and neuter them before they can reproduce – this school already has a big enough stray-marks problem as it is.

This is a standardized test that assesses how well you will perform on standardized tests. You are permitted to have a ruler with you on this test, but you are not allowed to use it. You are permitted to use a calculator on this test, but you are not permitted to have one with you.

You may begin… now. You have a while (until the sun expands and swallows the earth in an apocalyptic supernova that will destroy all mankind) to finish the following test.

1. When you get the test, you should __________________.

a. Start filling in every bubble, because then you are guaranteed to fill in all the right ones

b. Panic

c. Sit quietly and wonder what the meaning of life is and whether it has anything to do with using a painted stick to fill in miniature circles with graphite for hours on end

d. Did I mention the panic option?

2. Anyone caught using a number 3 pencil will be ________________.

a. Exiled to a country where they are not wealthy enough to have the number 3

b. Expelled and forbidden to ever write again, forced to forage for spare adverbs and loose prepositions in the quad during the day and hide in the black box theater at night

c. Given a detention during which they will do nothing but hear fingernails scrape against a blackboard for three hours straight

d. Let off with no consequences because current bubble-reading technology can easily read marks made by different kinds of pencils and pens

3. No essay is complete unless you include a _______________ to add credibility.

a. Hamster

b. Drop of blood

c. Quote from Pulp Fiction

d. Live eel

4. The best word to describe standardized testing is ________________.

a. Futile

b. Feudal

c. A brilliant and flawless program written by enormously talented and intelligent people who have fantastic smiles and are really good at writing tests that are not biased

d. Evil incarnate

5. When you get to a tricky question you should ________________.

a. Despair

b. Ponder

c. Put the pond in ponder and go to your local lake to reason it out aqua-style

d. Invoke the ancient right of trial by combat.

Please read the passage below, which applies to question 6. Analyze for a very shallow meaning.

“We’ve all been through it before and wondered, ‘Why?’ Keystones, PSSAs, DRPs… While I’m not saying that it is a waste of money to use $1.1 billion to administer tests that have been easily cheated on and shown to be unreliable, biased, time-consuming, and unpopular, I’m just saying that you could buy a whole lot of ice cream with $1.1 billion. Ice cream is actually a whole lot like standardized testing; They each cause screaming, freeze kids’ brains, are given out at school, have to be closely protected before they are used, and occasionally have pieces of chocolate in them. Despite any jokes made at its expense, Keystone testing is a time-honored, two-year-old tradition that means a lot to Harriton students. For juniors and seniors specifically, it means sleeping in another two hours. “

6. This passage is best described as _______________.

a. Accurate

b. Persuasive

c. A pack of lies that degrades everything the hardworking test writers strive for

d. Clearly biased

7. Stop – ________________.

a. Hammer time

b. Drop, and roll


d. You’re breaking my heart

8. I used to be an adventurer like you, but then I ________________.

a. Settled down, had a few kids, and started my own LOLcat factory

b. Took an arrow to the kidney

c. Was fired for leaving trash in the LGI

d. Stopped playing Skyrim

9. If you like it and you love it, then you ________________.

a. Put a ring on it

b. Send it a Facebook message asking if it would want to hang out one day, or something

c. Quote Beyonce to it

d. Sit quietly and write love poems on your standardized test response sheet

10. If you add 1024 to 1024, you get _______________.

a. A sense of accomplishment

b. Something to brag about to your friends

c. How should I know? You did not allow me to use a calculator on this test.

d. In trouble for playing 2048 in class

11. Why is the writer of this test reverting to pop culture references instead of challenging questions that test your reasoning ability?

a. Low attention span
b. Not getting paid enough to care
c. Has sympathy for the test-takers
d. All of the above

12. What should the writer of this test do now that he has quit his test-writing job?

a. Embark on an epic journey that will test his charisma, wit, and swordsmanship before teaching him the meaning of life itself.
b. Eat a hot pocket and fall asleep on the couch.
c. Become a professional turtle thief.
d. Write an article for the Harriton Banner satirizing the concept of standardized testing.

Answer key: C, A, D, C, D, C, A, C, D, D, D, B. No room for variation.