Can one test really make such a big difference?
Acquittal. Mirth. Jocular. Just the sight of these words sends shivers down my spine. But, in the run up to my PSATs, I was forced to spend countless nights memorizing them.
Originally, I had planned to study these words during the summer, and I bought a thick stack of SAT preparation books. At first, I felt motivated and confident burying my head in them, but this momentum was somewhat lost after about a week.
Then, two weeks before the PSATs, I decided to take my books out again. It was only then that I realized I had been focusing so much on the vocabulary that I hadn’t even read the other half of the book. As I flipped through the grammar section, my eyes started to widen. Then opening to reading comprehension, my jaw dropped. A glance at the math section brought a sigh of relief, but when I got to the writing section, I shut the book in horror.
I tried not to panic but then found out that one of my classmates started preparing for the SATs when he was in Year 6. Year 6! I was just barely starting to speak English when I was in Year 6. Then, to top it off, I found out two people I knew read the dictionary for fun – they actually enjoyed memorizing words! This shocked me to my very soul. At this point, I had hit rock bottom, lost all hope. “I’m definitely failing it,” I found myself saying.
Fears about my future began whirling through my head. I knew I needed to get a good score on my SATs if I wanted to get into a good university, like my accomplished sister who is now at NYU studying film. Her SAT score was in the top five percent. But me? I was dead in the water.
Then, a reality check: After several practices in and out of English class, I started to regain my confidence. Sure, I was getting most of the questions wrong, but I also knew this was just the practice SATs, and I had plenty of time before the actual test. Hopefully, that time won’t pass too fast.