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Time's A Tickin'

“Do not open the test booklets until time begins.” Tenth repetition of the same instructions. “You may begin.” Ten minutes. That’s all I have left. I can do this. Looks like I’m skipping this one, don’t know this one and this one too. Tick, tick, tick. Each second ticks and with only nine minutes left, the room’s bipolar temperature has mellowed out for the final section of the test.
The second time taking this, is worse than when I took it the first time. It’s imperative that I do well. Test taking has never been one of my strengths, even from the time I was in elementary school. Unfortunately, this was the worst time to be weak. This is the exam that determines who I am going to be. A number two pencil stands between me and the real world. Why am I so stressed? Why are my hands shaking? Why are my palms sweating? Seven minutes.
It’s not fair that this test says how smart the entire teenage population is. Although school grades are taken into account when applying for the future, this one’s the big kahuna. The hype around it doesn’t help when I’m trying to muster up every single math equation I’ve ever learned and when to use “effect” or “affect” is a lot to think about with only four minutes left. My brain is on overload trying to read this, so-called, short article as fast as I can, and to answer the fifteen questions following it, with accuracy and before time runs out.
Tick, tick, tick. “Pencils down please, time is up.”



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