31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes: Test


I’m not a fan of tests.

The very word makes my gut clench. A test?

What if I don’t know the answers? What if I didn’t study the right material? What if I fail?

I’m pretty sure it all started when my third grade self encountered the SRA tests with those miles of blasted bubbles on the answer sheets accompanied by a dire warning NOT TO MAKE A SINGLE MARK OUTSIDE THE CIRCLES.

What if I make a mark outside the circle? Will my whole answer sheet be thrown out? Will I have to (gasp!) re-live this standardized testing nightmare and do a retake?

As you can see, I’m still not over it. I was a decent student throughout my school career, but testing never went well. Thank goodness my college acceptance hinged on something more than my SAT and ACT scores.

Have I mentioned I retook a portion of my certification exam for Athletic Training three times?

“I’m just not a good test taker” is the mantra that took root, apparently long ago.

In fiction writing, we talk a lot about saddling the main characters with a lie based on past experiences–hard, painful experiences. This not only makes for a flawed character, but also creates an opportunity for the character to undergo transformation as he/she slowly learns that lie isn’t true. By the end of the novel, the author must find a way to heal the wound that lie created and reveal to the audience that the character has been transformed. He or she has kicked that lie to the curb.

The longer I’m an adult, I’m learning to ‘unbelieve’ the lie about my inability to test well. It’s a lie I need to kick to the curb, because I serve a sovereign God who has demonstrated His faithfulness to me again and again. His attendance record for showing up and carrying me through tests and trials is 100% accurate.

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him will I trust.” -Psalm 91:1-2

This post is day 7 of the Write 31 Days challenge as well as a Five Minute Friday post, where we write for five minutes unscripted on the word of the day. If you have a post you’d like to share with the Five Minute Friday Community, please link here


  1. Carrie:

    I’ve always had test anxiety as well. I could write papers for school and ace them. However, if I was tested on knowledge I knew, the multiple choices played with my mind. I can totally relate to your post. I am so glad you can now look past the lie that you can’t do well on tests and know that you are more than a score on a paper. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


    • Heidi:

      Hi, Carrie. Glad my post speaks to you. So grateful for the love of our Savior who continually teaches me that I am more than a score on a paper. A lesson I hope to pass on to my children, too. Thank you for stopping by.


  2. Jeanne Takenaka:

    Great post, Heidi. I remember the SRA tests. And I didn’t like all those bubbles either. And the SAT and ACT? Yeah, let’s not even go there. 😉

    I love your attitude about kicking those lies to the curb and asking God to reveal truth. I need to do that too. About standardized tests and life tests. 🙂

    Thanks for the smile and the reminder.


    • Heidi:

      Thank you, Jeanne! Yep, who knew those stinky tests were a training ground for the real life stuff? God is so clever like that. Blessings.


  3. Somer:

    I like the information here. Kind of like a core lie ? Yes. We all have them and it seems like a few follow us around for ages until we can finally break the hold and live


    • Heidi:

      Very true, Somer. Here’s to breaking free! Thanks for visiting my blog.


  4. Bev:

    As a teacher, I tried to make tests as stressfree as possible – even had some do it verbally or with an EA if that would help. Great post.


    • Heidi:

      Thank you for stopping by, Bev. I’m sure your students (and their parents) appreciated that you made the tests as stress-free as possible. Blessings!


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