I tried a practice prompt. On the advice of my loyal entry reader, Stephanie, I chose one related to English Language Learners. Those are the trickiest, she warns.

The trial run, below, was based on a transcription and writing sample from a (probably Hispanic) student who had read Tom Sawyer. Instead of composing in word, I used an online simulation set up by Patrick Ledesma, an FCPS National Board coach, who's set up a tri-pane display with a timer on the bottom to give you a feel for the real thing.

I found that jumping from box to box and scrolling took more time than I thought. In fact, I didn't finish. Below is what I managed in exactly thirty minutes. And boy was it fun. For your best marble and a horny toad, I'll even let you take a turn. Candidates like me should go to Pat's site for practice. Already NBCT's are invited to comment with words of wisdom for us wannabes before we take the test for real.