Goodbye, Standardised Testing

(Image captured by Angelina Litvin on Unsplash)

Dear Standardised Testing,

I feel extremely anxious writing this, but anyway, here goes. I am writing this letter to tell you that our relationship doesn’t seem to be “working” anymore. Over the last couple of months, we’ve put in a lot of hard work into understanding each other. Yet, it doesn’t seem like either of us is happy, so I think parting ways is the best solution to this problem.

Since we first met, I always felt that we were a “match made in heaven”. I did know that understanding you would be time consuming and difficult.

And difficult it was. In fact, I had to buy a preparation book just to understand what you were expecting from me! I did eventually gain a better understanding of you.

The initial stages were difficult. I was afraid of not scoring well, and I was just getting the hang of our relationship. I realised that you demanded my time. I found it extremely difficult to leave my design projects and schoolwork to practice for our silly dates. Furthermore, you were quite pricey. I had to spend an additional $50 per date just because I was meeting you outside the United States. A hundred-plus dollars per date seemed unjustifiably exorbitant.

I also felt that you didn’t value my efforts enough. I purchased two boxes of pencils, two erasers, and two sharpeners — all worth $2 — for you and me. I spent 36+ hours with you in October, and nearly ten hours in December. Yet, the returns didn’t change much. I felt that you never fully reciprocated the loyalty that I offered you.

You continued to throw your curveballs at me, and I felt violated by the fact that you were just using me to sell me to other institutions. I was in half a mind to report you for human trafficking the last time you permitted student-seekers to contact me.

I thought this would end after December. Yet, in the run up to May, you demanded a whole week of my time. Sure, the short-term benefits were great. I was relieved after our date in May, for we were meeting after nearly four months! However, in retrospect, that happiness was only provisional. The guilt of leaving my design work and reading, all in the pursuit of you, hits me daily.

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I also feel that you failed to see the real me. As you must have realised, upon dating others, we’re all very different. To make us conform to working in a certain way disadvantages some of us. Some of us need more care. Some of us cannot grapple with the immense pressure of keeping you happy. Some of us don’t have the money. Some of us don’t have the time.

I cannot make too many compromises with my aims for life, and since you seem too adamant to change, I believe this is the right time to call it quits.

I am truly grateful to you, though. You made me more patient, and your pursuit for excellence will always make me proud. However, as I hope you can understand, we just don’t seem to get along with each other anymore.

I do not intend to afflict you with pain through this letter. If you do feel hurt, please forgive me for my candidness. Do remain in contact. I hope we can remain friends.

Amal