A lot of my friends know that today (by your time zone) or yesterday (by my time zone), I took some tests to get into a network administration college program. An “earn-while-you-learn” sort of deal. With an end result that’s fully recognized by Cisco. So, without further ado, here’s how that went:
The night before the tests (which were at 9:30am), I ended up being too stressed to sleep – I don’t always wake up to the alarm clock with less than 5 hours or so of sleep, so if I need to get up for something really important, I get too scared to pass out if I’ll be sleeping less than that. Because I know I might miss it. So I stayed up. And I played GTA: San Andreas on the PS2 Thomas gave us a couple days ago (thanks again bro!). I always wonder if that game would be more interesting if I thought I was black…
I’m too tired to segway into these pictures, but chronologically this is about where they go, so here:
Something about those two photos above makes me feel like I’ll fit in just fine here.
In any case, this morning, at 9:20 I walked in the doors, let them know I was there, then sat and waited. And waited. And waited. Finally a little after 10 someone came and got me to fill out my file. It was then that they bothered to let me know that this test was not eliminatory. In other words, it wasn’t a pass-or-fail sort of test. It’s a “let’s see what your level is” test. That wasn’t made clear at the last interview – even my wife, who was at that interview too (just in case she needed to be a translator) never heard them tell us that.
So I had studied. I read a book. I took (and passed) practice tests online (2 on French, 1 on network basics). I studied some more. All just to do some evaluations. Frustrating. Needless to say, I was a little more relaxed knowing that I wasn’t going to be kicked out the door if I screwed this up (not that I planned to).
I was shown to an empty room with several computer stations, a slight foul smell in the air, and a 24-port network switch with a faulty fan in the corner emitting a continuous and penetrating mosquito whine – the standardized environment for any testing. I was shown to a computer terminal and told to do my tests and get out (they would check the results later).
Section 1 was a French language test. I was ready to listen to radio casts and answer questions, respond to letters and documents – standard language test stuff. What I got was proverbs. Old musty French proverbs. Full of words I had never seen before. And I had to select from 4 options which best described the meaning or feeling of the proverb. I didn’t do as well as I would have with the standard stuff.
Section 2: Logic. Pretty straightforward 3X3 square of pictures that form logical patterns. One picture is missing. Pick the right picture out of 6. Only problem here is that these tests were all timed, but every time a new question loaded it took a full 1-4 seconds to load the pictures.
Section 3: Math Logic: Same as above, with numbers instead of pictures.
Section 4: Computer knowledge.
It seems that my wrong answers got counted against me, which they failed to mention would happen. In any case, I got:
Next step is to fill out more paperwork, after which I need to find someone to hire me to do this program (the school will help). This is turning out to be the true entrance exam. If you can get someone to pay you to work for them and do this program, you’re in. If not, too bad. It’s not going to be easy to find someone, but I’m reasonably confident that I can.
So at this point, that’s a tentative, qualified, and conditional “Woohoo! I’m going to college!”.