Jonathan Z, River Hill, 2400, Oct15'
First Name: Jonathan Z.
School: River Hill HS
800 Critical Reading
10 (out of 12) Essay
Beeeepp beeeepp! It was the sound of my alarm clock startling me awake at 6:30 AM on the cold Thursday morning of October 22. I quickly ran downstairs and turned on my computer. My hands shaking nervously, I logged onto College Board website and hesitantly pressed “View Scores”. Suddenly time seemed to freeze; mere seconds seemed like a lifetime. A flood of emotions rushed into my brain like a cascading avalanche: fear, hope, nervousness, and curiosity. Finally, the three numbers appeared in the middle of my screen. It struck me as odd that they were all the same: 800. I had earned a perfect score.
However, after the shock of a 2400 had finally settled, I realized that this tremendous success was a direct result of Dr. Li and his SAT Prep Class. This is my story and my thanks to the people that changed my life forever. Before I get any further, I want to tell you that before Dr. Li’s, I had taken numerous other SAT prep courses, all of which produced negligible results to my improvement on this arduous journey. In every single previous course, I would just be handed practice test after practice test for three to four gruesome hours, and then once done, the teacher would proceed to rattle off cursory explanations for each answer I had gotten wrong, leaving me heavily confused and frustrated after each lesson.
If we reverse time to about three months ago, it was in the middle of my summer vacation, marking the start of my two week session at Dr. Li’s SAT Prep Class. As I stepped out of the bus, I took one last deep breath, and entered the great, red, rumored building. The first day went by quite quickly - vocab and reading in the morning, writing in the afternoon, and math to finish off the day. But day by day, I was slowly able to understand more and more; everything had a purpose. Thanks to Dr. Thompson’s crazy anecdotes and dynamic commentaries ranging from origins of language to root words, I was able to effectively memorize and retain vocab that had previously been mere jargon to me. Thanks to Dr. Li’s reciprocated critical reading and writing problems, I was able to identify their counterparts on the actual examination with ease. Thanks to Dr. Thompson’s constructive criticism on essays, I was able to insightfully analyze my errors and improve upon them for the future. And thanks to Dr. Li’s frequent critical thinking math quizzes, I was exposed to new and efficient solutions that allowed me to solve problems that would normally take five times as long. By the last day of the two week-session, I was truly a new student. Through their unconventionality when teaching vocabulary, their rigorous, yet structured, critical reading and writing packets, and their challenging, yet beneficial, math conundrums, Dr. Li and Dr. Thompson had provided me with the necessary foundations to score high. I knew every critical reading question structure, every requirement needed for success on the essay, and every grammar rule and math concept ever tested; no stone was left unturned.
However, more importantly, not only did Dr. Li help hone my SAT critical reading skills, grammar usage, and problem solving to near-perfect levels, but he also hammered into me the importance of work ethic, perseverance, and determination. Numerous times, I would take SAT practice tests and receive frustrating scores of 2200-2250. Numerous times, I would be up at 1 A.M in the morning, trying to understand that last critical reading problem. Numerous times, I would wistfully turn down video game invites on Friday nights from urging friends to memorize countless, but necessary, vocabulary words. Yet Dr. Li’s strict tutelage stuck with me, never failing to guide me in the right direction, regardless of what my premature mind told me. And in the end, my endless hours of practice had paid off. Dr. Li was truly right: “If it is to be, it is up to me”. Thank you.