Some tests are more important than others.


My grandson just surprised us all by getting top marks in his SATs (an 11 year old UK placement test). He has a good mind but has trouble retaining concentration. None of us were expecting he’d do more than scrape by. But it is not of this I wish to speak.
He unexpectedly scored high in another kind of test yesterday. I asked if after school he’d help me get to my allotment and haul the water for me (it’s quite wild and hard to negotiate wearing a surgical boot). We are in the middle of a heat wave and though my allotment friends would water my plot in the circumstances I was not sure how many knew of my accident.
I didn’t know how he’d react. My daughter has a “high flying” job with apple money but little time so tends to pay her kids to do everything. I decided to put him to the test and offer nothing. To my surprise reimbursement was never mentioned, instead he acted the perfect gentlemen lending his arm for the dodgy bits and using his new forming muscle to haul the two big watering cans six times down to the river and back (a 50 yards of windy paths). This whole was exacted without a complaint (that water’s heavy) and total concern encouraging me to rest on the chair during his trips back and forth. Both sweating as we headed for ice-creams (it was over 30 deg. remember) I told him I hadn’t been sure he’d decide to help me. He looked shyly over and said, “of course I’d help you – you’re hurt. You won’t take advantage of that will you?” I assured him I wouldn’t think of it, but I was very happy he’d helped and now the plants wouldn’t die.
He’d passed another kind of test, to my mind an even more important one. I could see, not only was he able to apply his mind when needed, but more importantly he was growing into a caring and compassionate man.
Sometimes in this modern world we can put so much emphasis on IQ and natural abilities, but this kind of test any child can pass and it is, I think, even more important for our planet than SAT scores.

5 thoughts on “Some tests are more important than others.

  1. I have an 11 year old grandson who is also compassionate and willing to help. I am impressed in the UK that he did take an SAT since over here we don’t do this until in high school! So wonderful he excelled in both ‘tests’ and I am glad you were able to notice this and I am sure he was happy to receive verbal praise without money. . . by the way, my youngest brother was thought to be slow processing, but in his high school ACT and SAT tests he did well, he went on to get permission in college to record his professor’s lectures since he couldn’t write notes as quickly as he should have. He went on to get his Master’s, taught learning disabled students for 20 years in an inner city area, and now has his PhD for special needs and teaches teachers! 🙂 I hope this may encourage you to tell your grandson to keep on going and hope he finds his special expertise, too! 🙂

  2. I did not by the way, mean that your grandson was “slow processing” but that his lack of attention is possibly a part of his character but his great testing ability means he has great potential. Not sure if my mentioning my brother and how he applied himself really will make sense. I just was surprised because he was always given lower grades than my other brother and I, yet achieved so much more! 🙂

    • Don’t worry I got it.
      I suffered from dyslexia as a child failed my SAT equivalent and left school at 14, yet I was the only one in my poor working class area back then to eventually get an honors degree. That means I truly appreciate you sharing your brother’s story – sadly for each such story so many more don’t pursue their dreams.

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