Remember Scantron Bubble Sheets from High School?
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Remember Scantron Bubble Sheets from High School?

Nov 20, 2023

If you were in high school in the 80s or 90s, you may be triggered by this. Do you remember taking tests on these?

That, my friends, is a Scantron "bubble sheet." Now, there's a slim possibility that you have never seen one these before. If that's the case, I have to say that I am little jealous. I think all friends from the Daviess County High School Class of '89 and I are traumatized and haunted by those things. To this day, I freaking hate bubble sheets. In fact, the mere site or mention of them give me "bubble guts."

In case you've never had the pleasure of arming yourself with a #2 lead pencil and staring at one of these for an hour while you take a test, let me help.

WATCH THIS! Consider this either your introduction to Scantron or yet another step in your desensitization therapy.

I honestly don't remember the exact time in my high school career that a teacher first whipped out a package of Scantron sheets. Honestly, I have tried to block those memories out of my mind. But, after some research, I did learn that Scantron the company was founded way back in 1972. I know my first introduction, as harrowing and world-rocking as it was, came at least a decade after that.

Now, that said, I didn't mind taking the tests. It wasn't that at all. I was a really smart kid and good student, so the tests themselves didn't drive me crazy. Scantron drove me crazy.

Look! If you ever sat at a desk and stared at one of those abominations, you can relate to the immense amounts of pressure your teachers and you put on yourself because of it. Because a machine scored the test, you had to make sure that you didn't accidentally mark the wrong box. It's the same anxiety I feel today when I walk into a polling precinct and cast my vote on the paper ballot. I concentrate like I am having a bowel movement and say to myself, "Don't accidentally vote for an election denier or whackadoodle."

If you used Scantron, you likely experienced that same debilitating inner dialogue. Remember??!!! The stress instantly worsened if you indeed marked the wrong answer because you knew you had to get an eraser and erase the holy crap out of that sheet so the machine wouldn't think you had checked the wrong box. There could be ZERO sign of that #2 lead pencil in the box you accidentally marked. We were routinely threatened with the warning that the machine would either mark that answer wrong or just revolt against you and spit your paper out of the machine.

I know our school had one of these demonic devices! I saw it- face to face one time in the faculty lounge.

Now according to Wikipedia, Scantron is still operational in 98% of the school districts in the United States and in 56 countries. I have been out of high school for thirty years and the company's apparently been terrorizing students ever since.

Okay, clearly I am exaggerating a bit here. But I certainly remember Scantron sheets. I spent much time in my formative and educational career staring at them. Do YOU remember the "bubble sheets" as fondly as I do?