Amy Le / Roberto Clemente MS ⮞ Poolesville HS (2020)
For many 8th grade students in Montgomery County, December 7th was a date that evoked a sense of fear, apprehension, and anxiety during the months preceding it. So comfortably situated in our middle school lives, it was difficult to believe that this chapter in our academic careers would soon come to a close and that a single assessment would determine what the next four years, and the future beyond that, would entail. As I have long aspired to attend a magnet high school, I was fully aware that I would not be accepted by merely relying on straight A’s and sheer luck alone, and turned to the Dr. Li program to help me prepare for the impending exam.
I had anticipated being less knowledgeable and familiar with the CogAT material than my peers, having joined the program a few weeks later into the session. Yet, as I walked out of my first class, an overwhelming wave of despair and hopelessness flooded over me. As someone who had never really struggled academically, I fell under the illusion that I was “above-average” in my education and, as a result, did not grasp the necessity to become more intelligent. For this reason, I was shocked and had trouble accepting just how unprepared I was for a test that would have such a prodigious effect on my education. Although dispirited, the experience opened my eyes and allowed me to realize that I was not putting nearly as much effort into developing my academic capabilities as much as I should.
Furthermore, I was able to recognize that the change that I so desired would not happen unless I worked for it. Therefore, I turned my focus on comprehending each lesson taught in the test preparation program and spent hours studying during the next few months. By the time the date of the magnet test arrived, I felt much more prepared than I had prior to attending the Dr. Li classes.
Ultimately, I was accepted into all of the programs offered at Poolesville, and a few other programs that I applied to as well. Although this lengthy application and preparation process was not exactly the easiest to endure, I was not only able to expand my knowledge of CogAT, but a myriad of other invaluable material that will be useful for future reference as well, and was able attain the success that I sought out to achieve.