I give IQ tests, “Cognitive Tests” (aka IQ tests that are not banned in California), Auditory Processing Tests, Visual Processing Tests, Neuropsychological Tests, Executive Functioning Tests, Social-Emotional Tests, Behavioral Tests, Visual-Motor Tests, Memory Tests…and on and on. Every so often, there are some BAD items that I have to give as a part of the standardization of the tests. Some have dropped off in newer editions because they were dumb.*
Example: A jar of bees doubles every 30 minutes. How long will it take for a quarter-full jar to be full?
Every Child I Tested: Why the $%@& would you want a jar of bees to double? And is that even possible?
Me:I know, it’s dumb.
Example: What does “wicked” mean? (Correct Answer= Bad, evil)
Every Single Child I Tested: Like awesome or super good, like it’s “Wicked Awesome!”
I thought that they should be given credit for that because that’s how it’s used in their world. But no, I had to correct them and say, “Wicked means bad, or evil.”
Today, I tested a 13 year old African American girl who would not have any of my dumb items. In the end, she schooled me on how to talk. I present the item*
Dr. B: What does “fraudulent” mean?
Girl: I don’t know! Who talks like that?
Dr. B: Fraudulent means fake.
Girl: Like your fraudulent Coach purse?
Dr. B: Exactly.
Girl: Well that’s not fair, we don’t talk like that.
Dr. B: Sometimes we use words in academic work that we wouldn’t use with our friends. Maybe you can try using the word ‘fraudlent’ in a sentence today when you are doing your school work?
Girl: Hells No! I think you should use the word “Bootleg” with your friends today, because that’s a better word. Like, ‘That purse is bootleg’!
Dr. B: Can a person be bootleg or is it always an item?
Girl: No, a person can be bootleg. Like my teacher.
Dr. B: Ok. I get it now. Next item?
(Later, walking down the hall back to class)
Girl (to teacher): You’re fraudulent! (looks at me) There. I used it in a sentence.
I got served. Stupid test items.
*I am a rule follower. In the standardization manual it says that psychologists should take care to protect the integrity of the tests by not revealing questions. So I have included the ones that were taken off. I have changed another one. I’m not sure what would happen if I did publicize a test question. In my head, a PsychCorp SWAT team comes through the school’s back entrance saying, “Go! Go!” and busts down my janitor’s-closet-turned-office door and confiscate my school psychology credential. They might say, “M’am, put DOWN the WISC-IV kit and no one gets hurt.”