Kelly Chen / Hallie Wells MS ⮞ Poolesville HS (2020)

Math:    50
Reading:     51
Reasoning:    42
Writing:    3

My experiences with the magnet program began rather early, when I first took the test in third grade for a magnet elementary school. I did not make the selection, so I continued school at my current ES at the time. Even though I was rejected, not many feelings impacted me. I was neither happy nor sad, because at the time I did not know the significance and strong effects of the magnet program.

When I started preparing for the Roberto Clemente Magnet Program test, the real pressure suddenly revealed itself. I was surrounded with the stress of consistent packets, questions, and voices urging me to study more. When I received the results, I was recommended to the wait pool. At that point, I was devastated but felt like all was not lost. There was still a chance that I could be admitted. I wrote another letter to express my competent traits. However, throughout the whole year, no letter had been sent, and my hope slowly diminished. I entered Hallie Wells MS, and from 6th grade to now, I have worked hard, earned proficient grades, and participated in a variety of clubs and extracurricular activities.

I began to study for the magnet high school testing in the summer of 2019. My mom had given me practice packets of CogAT, which was a completely new topic for me. Looking over them, they seemed pretty easy and effortless. I completed the problems in a span of time, allowing me to understand what the test could be like. However, when I started taking Dr. Li’s classes in Fall, I found the questions entirely different from my practices. I constantly struggled with both Math and English. I couldn’t understand anything, especially Math. I foresaw the true battle I was going to fight through the next few months. In order for me to fully comprehend all the topics, I needed to innovate my thinking skills and motivate myself to work harder than ever. This would be the first major turning point in my life.

The workload felt intoxicating, as I spent almost all my time studying. From week to week, with all of the drills and exercises taught by Dr. Li and Mr. Li, I was able to grasp ahold of the information and use it effectively. Not to mention the help of Mock Exams, which provided everyone a version of the official test. I scored around 140-160 on all the Mock tests, but I strived to receive a better score for the real thing. Finally, on the day of the exam, I walked in with my sister and my friends, and we all finished the magnet test. To my surprise, it was easier than I expected it to be, which boosted my confidence a little. The time limit was a bit stressful but I was able to overcome it. Overall, I was feeling okay about my performance, but of course the nervousness and anxiety still flooded me. For the following months, I was able to relax and feel like myself once more, slightly forgetting about the soon-to-come results.

On a Saturday evening, the letters of the Magnet Program unexpectedly arrived. My friends had already received their letters and urged me to open mine. Eagerness and apprehension crowded my mind as I carefully slipped out the paper from Poolesville High School. To my disbelief, I spotted the words “Yes” next to the Humanities and Science, Math, and Computer Science programs! I could only stare dumbfounded with no words. Sudden excitement swept out the fear beforehand as I jumped around and hugged my parents.

I felt very thankful towards Dr. Li’s program. I know that without the help from both teachers, I would have not been admitted into Poolesville and would have no confidence at all. Thank you for giving me the strength to have been accepted.