Fearless test-taking

In the second semester of my junior year of high school, my precalculus class began to get more rigorous, and I found myself struggling to keep up with the material. In response, I devoted more time to studying. I watched online tutorials and color-coded my notes so I could get a firmer grasp on the unit. By the time the test came around, I felt proud of the extra work I had done and definitely prepared for the questions.

The test went just as I had expected, and my confidence rose with every problem I answered successfully. It wasn’t until I’d gotten through about half of the questions that I checked the clock for the first time. I was shocked to see that I had only about five minutes left! I tried to stay calm and focused on the test, but time seemed to accelerate and I was able to complete only a couple more questions. 

As my math teacher slid the test out from under me, she remarked that I would have finished if I “had known the material.” Startled and hurt, I spent the remainder of the period trying to conceal my tears from my classmates. For the rest of the school week, I pretended that the test had never even happened and that I couldn’t care less if I got a bad grade on it.

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