Gautom D (Takoma Park → Blair)

14 percent. That is the probability of being accepted into the magnet. Being in Takoma Park Middle School Magnet Program already, I was aware of the completion around me. I did not want to take a change of not getting into the magnet and wondered how I could increase my likelihood of getting in. Luckily, one day I was informed by my parents that instead of relaxing each week on Saturday, I would have to go to an intensive GT Prep Session. The Saturday of that week, I had to take the mock placement test and was almost certain that I was going to do well on it in all sections. However, the following week we were handed by our mock placement exam scores and I saw that in some sections I was not the best. I did really well in math and logic but I needed to improvement in English. I decided that I would study hard and review all the materials he gave to us in order to improve and fill-in the gaps in my knowledge.

At the beginning of our first class an instructor came in and the first thing he told us was not his name but gave us a speech. One student accidently came late and he lectured us for 20 minutes on how being late for something as simple as class is dreadful. This helped me see the value of being disciplined. He finally announced his name, Dr. Thompson. After that we were told to write our essay. I decided to do my absolute best on this essay because it represents the real exam prompt. Once the allocated time was over, I was confident that I had done well and wrote only 4 paragraphs. We then moved on to the English part where Dr. Thompson handed us a massive packet. I was always convinced that my English was up to par, though when starting the word choice, I realized that I didn’t understand some of the words given in the packet and I needed to improve my vocabulary. Though, before we begun the reading comprehension part, he gave another speech: this time it was on how to properly complete a reading comprehension problem. I realized that there was much more to reading comprehension than I knew and I eagerly took notes to learn the techniques. He lastly handed us a thick and thorough Vocabulary packet which I was pleased about because I realized that my vocabulary was weak and this would be a chance to improve.

The last part of class, we were handed back our essays which we completed at the beginning of class. I was handed back my essay and my mind went blank. I stared at it and to my very bewilderment, the essay that I tried my very best on, amounted to a 0. However, it seemed that almost every single person in the room had also received a 0. Everyone was in shock and awe; I even remember that someone was crying. Once again, Dr. Thompson came back out again and gave another speech. He simply told us that we needed at least 5 paragraphs and we needed to mention a book. If we didn’t do that we had failed. By the following week I understood what he meant and was able to score a mediocre score of 8 out of 12, yet I strived for an 11 out of 12. Over the following weeks the classes still followed the same routines and I was quickly improving both my English and Essay skills. I continued to review the vocab and complete all of the packets given to us as homework. Slowly through practice and perseverance, my English scores improved. Finally, on our last GT prep class I scored a perfect 25 on the math quiz and an 11 on the essay. I was extremely pleased with my improvement: I went from one of the lowest scores to one of the highest. It was finally a week before the test and Dr. Li made sure that I was prepared by not just giving us 1 practice test, not 2 practice tests, not even 3 practice tests, but 4 real practice tests. By the time we had finished the third test I realized that my overall score was one of the highest ones out of the whole class. I knew without a doubt that with the help of Dr. Li I had increased my chances of being accepted.

Finally, it was time for Magnet test. The week leading up to it I was doing nothing but review all of the packets and review guides that I had been given. I was prepared to the best of my ability and went into the ready. When we started the test I followed all of the techniques and advice that Dr. Li and Dr. Thompson taught us. By the time the test ended I was felt pretty well: I had completed all the questions, and wrote a proper five paragraph essay. Then after a month of waiting, it was the day that magnet results would arrive. I remember that the bus ride home. That day was one of the most stressful days in my life. Though it all became all better the second I opened my mailbox and found my Blair Acceptance letter. It was one of the happiest moments in my life though I know that I wouldn’t have been able to get in without the help of GT Prep. In conclusion, with the help from Dr. Thompson and Dr. Li, I was able to not only improve my English enough to help me get into the Magnet program, but also improve my grades in school. To this day I am never late to things because of the speech Dr. Thompson once gave. Thus, Dr. Li’s GT Prep was an amazing experience, where you are guaranteed to learn, grow and improve.

I would lastly want to thank Dr. Li and Dr. Thompson for all of their guidance and expertise. I know that without his help I would not have been able to get into the Magnet program and have such a positive future ahead of me. The whole experience has taught me that there is no substitute for hard work and no matter how good you are, there is always room to become better.