Too soon old – too late smart – The Tests

June 9, 2014 at 12:43 pm 2 comments


It all started with an IQ test in Canada – I was about 14, happily running about third in my class- behind two boys- Fred and Mike ( Fred was the top of the class in all respects, Mike- 2nd in all things, which was frustrating to him) and then there was me. I was content – I never studied – only did written homework and honestly didn’t care where I stood in my class rankings . I hated school!

Then came the results of the IQ test ( I hadn’t cared about taking that test whereas others were panicked) . Unfortunately, I , along with another “girl” Debbie scored in the “160 to 179 – Exceptionally gifted and in some classifications 145-164 – Genius. This came as a great shock to the males in question as well as family and teachers!

You would think I would have been pleased- far from it- my academic life became hell. Teacher’s conferences –

Loraine is not living up to her potential – Loraine needs to knuckle down- Loraine is wasting her gift!


Fred , the pressure of trying to live up to family’s and self-imposed academic “high bar” committed suicide a couple of years later. I don’t know what happened to Mike and Debbie- the last I heard- was running her own business and happy.


I, on the other hand, still kept and keep plodding along – wasting my gifts and my brain apparently – since hardly anyone ever listens to what I so succinctly try to point out – I have, for the most part, given up trying to change the world. ,

My observations do eventually see the light of day , usually about three years later, and I smile with a little self patting on the back with a quiet ( told you so). Of course by then the damage is done. Now, I only jump into the pan or the fire when the situations affect me and mine.

I did, for a bit of laugh, take one of the online IQ tests . No longer am I exceptionally gifted just moderately so .

I have to admit I am surprised at the results , with the state my brain is in after “grief” has made it its own domain, I am amazed I function at all, but apparently I do .

IQ tests, standardized tests ,
ACT, SAT’s O levels – A levels you need a higher IQ than mine was or now is to make sense of the “testing”. I just remember Freddie and what tests meant to him


I know that my mum, who left school ( as it was back then


Children whose parents are unable or unwilling to pay grammar school fees and who do not pass the scholarship examination go to local authority Central Schools, where they stay until the age of fourteen. These are a relatively new innovation and some rural districts still do not have them, the children staying at elementary school until they reach the school-leaving age. The central schools provide a less academic education than the grammar schools.

especially for a female) on her 14th birthday ( 81 years ago), could read, write, ( both cursive and printing), with a better understanding of grammar than I obviously acquired 😉 , still holds her own when it comes to math, percentages fractions division and multiplication and a smattering of algebra, the old “times table” used and still used extensively. My mum left school knowing her country’s history , geography , literature ( the greats) which has given her a voracious appetite for the written word. and world affairs.


All this and more – being a “girl” -she had home economics classes – cooking, laundering, sewing and general housekeeping. All this by the age of 14. My mother and her brother both won scholarships from the local authority ( school) to the
grammar school- (

1. ( Brit ) secondary modern school Compare comprehensive school (esp formerly) a state-maintained secondary school providing an education with an academic bias for children who are selected by the eleven-plus examination, teachers’ reports, or other means)

However their parents , although the school fees were paid for under the scholarship, could not afford the accoutrements, uniforms, sports equipment etc that would be a requirement.

nurse charlotte 001

My grandmother, my mum’s mother, left school at 11 – she became a midwife and a nurse before bringing 6 children of her own into the world.

In my dotage, I perceive what is happening to educational system and the majority of the dumbing down of our youth ( not only in this country) as the “tests” are revised, made mandatory, argued over curriculum changed for the tests rather than the student.

I wonder, if we have not gone back to what was considered the uneducated masses – at least by the standards of my mum’s generation?

OECD education report: subject results in full

New survey ranks U.S. students 36th in the world – How do we improve? by Megan Coleman


Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, Brit take, education. Tags: , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Loraine Ritchey  |  June 9, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    as an aside my mother said there were 60 in her class

  • 2. Liz  |  June 9, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Great commentary on education Loraine.

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