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The Three-Letter Word This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   S-A-T. No, I am not talking about the past tense of "sit." Instead, these three letters are an acronym for the Scholastic Aptitude Test.

What does this test make you think of? Just a few years ago, you pictured the SAT as a test you would take in the future, when you would be much older and more confident. Instead, its looming presence is staring you right in the face! Walking into a testing center early on a Saturday morning is not something that anyone eagerly looks forward to.

You hear the hum of the required Number 2 pencils, the scratch of an eraser frantically scraping away at the tiny bubbles and the girl next to you sniffling incessantly, causing you to lose your concentration. Your mind spins in seventeen different directions. How much more time? Did I put this answer in the wrong space? I never learned this! I have so much more to go! Your palms start to sweat as all the questions jumble together into one big muddle. You scan the page, but cannot find one that you are able to answer. The more you tell yourself to concentrate, the more you realize you are not concentrating at all. The ticking of the clock becomes louder and louder, until it is one with your racing heartbeat. You cannot sit still. The proctor sits at the head of the room, looking out at the test takers. He taps his pen on the metal desk. "STOP IT!" you want to shout. But you cannot, or your test will be taken away. Deep breaths, you tell yourself, as you try to collect your senses and focus your runaway attention on number 13. Slowly your mind works itself into the right mode, and you begin to fill in your answers.

"Time's up!" You put your pencil down and cradle your head in your arms on the desktop. Only six more sections to go. f


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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