It’s been so long since I last did a diary post, but I personally like reading these so here comes another! I feel like they’re a good way to get to know a little more about my life, or just have a general nosey, so here’s what happened when I got kicked out of an exam!
A bit of background…
In the next academic year, (September 2019), I will be starting a teacher conversion course. As I did a degree in psychology, I need to commit to this course, with the outcome of a QTS qualification, before being able to start my teaching career. As with all courses, there are different requirements necessary to participate. For me, it was to pass a Professional Skills Test in both numeracy and literacy as well as receive a minimum of 2:2 in my degree.
Professional Skills Tests are tests that check whether you have the right level of maths and English to be able to teach. It is the same exam whether you want to teach KS1 or A-levels so I was very worried about it. I’m not in denial trust me, there’s no way I could do GCSE maths now.
On the 18th April, it was the day of my test. Amazingly, the nearest location (knowing neither Bournemouth nor Southampton are small places) was Southsea. Thankfully, my boyfriend had been there previously so he knew what to expect, but I definitely was not expecting it: a tiny, converted terraced house, in the middle of a residential street. I was ushered into a waiting room, where the beginning of my exam came and went…
People started coming out of the exam I was supposed to be in, so I was stressing out! The woman was still busy and I was still waiting. After a whole journey (including leaving the day before, major traffic due to roadworks and getting lost), it seemed like I would not be taking the test. Finally, the woman came out and told me that I would not be able to take part in my exam because they had been having issues with the server since Saturday – but it was then Thursday. I was absolutely fuming.
An accidental day trip
We’d travelled over 1.5 hours and paid £4.10 car parking. What to do when you have 3 hours left on a parking ticket and it’s a nice day? IMPROMPTU day trip! Personally, I’d never been around Southsea before so it was a lovely day to explore the seafront.
We walked for around two hours and played around in the arcades.
How cool is it that there’s also a mini bowling alley? Only cost £1!
Of course, we also had to try out the local chips and hot dog!
Next time, I want to go to the model village which we only discovered too late! Maybe also take a visit to the Isle of Wight too while there.
Edit: Take two
Following my uni exams (woop woop, finished forever), I went back on the 10th June. I arrived and was terribly dreading a deja vu situation. I was not seen until 20 minutes into the start of my exam, I then finally got into the exam room – which I had not seen on my previous visit- and it was tiny. I had to wait ten minutes to be sat down as there were no available computers and even then there seemed to be technical issues.
I started my literacy test 30 minutes late and got through it slowly. Two questions before the end, the test crashed. I completely panicked but looking around I saw everyone else look panicked and put their hands up too. We all had to switch our computers off and then wait to be logged in and then logged in to the test also. Thankfully it resumed where I was but I had to redo the question all over again. I rushed the last two questions in case of a repeat… something I later regretted.
Next came the maths test. I was meant to start that at 12, but by the time I ended literacy, it was already past that. Not wanting to leave my boyfriend waiting longer than I should, I started it right away without a break. The first 15 questions of the maths test involve mental arithmetic. It recites a question to you for one minute, and then you have a minute to calculate it. The catch, which I found extremely stressful, was that it did not write the question out. If you were lucky, you just got one or two main figures but if you missed a detail, you couldn’t calculate it in time. Unfortunately for me, there seemed to be a 20-second delay before they started reciting the question and then it started buffering. This meant that I had about 20 seconds to calculate a half-heard question, which often had two or more steps to complete. I notified them right away and was told to shut down the computer and move to another. Upon opening it, I then found that it had skipped two questions and would not allow me to go back. They said I was welcome to re-book (all whilst speaking to me the questions kept going) but I decided I’ll take the risk and just see what happens.
After over two hours of being in the centre for only 90 minutes worth of test, they asked for my help with filling out some reports on the questions that went wrong. I thought ok, they’re doing their best to save my skin when I fail because it wasn’t my fault…. Got into the office and the woman said “Oh Annelies, yes, we had a lot of issues with your tests today. Sorry about that.” I was dreading the results, especially as I had found the practice tests extremely hard and hadn’t passed any of them.
“Congratulations: you passed both!” Hallelujah!
Hope you enjoyed this different type of blog post. If so, let me know in the comments below.