Larson Ozbun / Roberto Clemente MS ⮞ Poolesville HS

I am thankful for Dr. Li’s 2019 Fall GT Prep class. At the beginning of eighth grade, the magnet exam was lingering in the back of my head. I was in the last year of middle school and December seventh felt like the grand finale that everything was leading up to. Ever since sixth grade, I was captivated by engineering, especially the aerospace field. I participated in the rubber band powered model plane event at the Maryland Science Olympiad. I knew the Poolesville SMCS program would be perfect for me with its numerous STEM classes. With a goal set firmly in mind, it was time to start working.

The first prep class made me nervous. It was harder than I expected it to be, especially the vocabulary. While I knew some of the words, there were many words I had never seen! However, my teacher, Mr. Li, patiently went over each new word with the class. I also learned valuable test taking strategies in both parts of math and English. Slowly but surely I started to become more comfortable with the new vocabulary and more confident about the test. As the test date came closer, I practiced mock exams. On my first test, I scored a 153. My scores kept increasing, and I even got perfect scores on the math section. On the day of the test, I felt oddly calm. The test felt exactly like the mock tests. Some parts were even easier! All the practice and strategies I learned from Dr. Li’s class was paying off. After the test was over, I felt like a giant rock was lifted off my back. I did it! I no longer had to worry about the magnet test.

At school no one wanted to talk about the test anymore. It was almost as if nothing ever happened. But during the last week of January I got an all too familiar feeling of anxiety. This was it. Hours of practice, studying, and commitment all came down to one letter. On the last day of January, word came out that the results were arriving. I sat by the door, waiting for the mail truck to come. When I saw the mail being put into the mailbox, I ran to it as quickly as I could. I felt excited, anxious, jubilant, and relieved all at the same time. As I opened and read the letter, my worry vanished. I made it into the Poolesville SMCS program!

Dr. Li’s magnet prep class was a valuable tool that greatly helped me achieve my goal of getting into the SMCS program. I hope to pursue my dream of becoming an aerospace engineer. As eighth grade comes to an end, I can rest assured knowing that I will be entering high school on a high note.