Not me, but Vikas!
Vikas is going to High School starting this Fall! One of the mandatory courses is Computer Literacy. He had the option to test out of it. I saw the curriculum – Word, Excel, PowerPoint and MS Access. The content was fairly complex. In Access, he had to understand Access objects, table relationships, write queries, know what are aggregate functions, derived fields, etc. The whole big kahuna in Access. When he was identifying the courses he wants to take, we had discussed he will prepare for the test. He had to pass the test to opt out of the course. Passing was 70% overall, and at least 60 each in all the four. The test was to be Friday, June 13th – sounds ominous, right?
We didn’t prepare almost until his school was over for 8th grade. That was last Wednesday. We started on Access the last Sunday and he started working at Kumon this Monday on. We went over Access first and I helped him understand what the topics were covering. He created a databases, created sample tables, relationships, queries, etc.
I got extremely busy with Citi work and the long hours was taking toll. After the weekend, I couldn’t find much time. Somehow, he managed to visit all the topics. He said he was very confident about PowerPoint. Work and Excel – he was okay. Excel was tough one for a 8th grader just starting on it. Financial formulas and Date/time computation, et al.
This Friday he managed to cover PowerPoint with help from his mom. He went for the test. Given the prep and the contents, I did not feel he would pass the test. It was like taking a 2 hour course in MS Office and trying to pass a test! I even told him that he can just walk out of the test and call us early, if he felt like. At no time we wanted him to feel a failing to be something very affecting.
Rama went to pick him up after the test. I was working for the release by end of day. When he came back, he had a long face. Rama said that Word and Excel he got 63, setting the tone for the outcome. Then she said, lighting up, he got 90 in both Access and PowerPoint. At this point, Vikas also exclaimed that he had passed!
I believe, the teacher said no body had gotten a 90 in Access and getting such high score was an exception. Though he had got to Ds (60s score), she said she will pass him.
It was nice to know he made it through. He was very grateful that I helped him with it. It was a great feeling after a trying week of greatly mismanaged project work! I was amazed how Vikas had retained pretty complex information with just one pass of teaching him.