Write an essay where you tell us what test preparation practices work best for you and why.

My aspiration to have a traditional education failed when I was diagnosed with severe dyslexia in second grade. My efforts to advance with reading and writing had not materialized. This meant I was pulled out of my classes and given individualized instruction. Although my math skills were above average, all the attention was focused on improving my reading and writing. Instead of making me feel confident, the focus on my disability made me feel embarrassed and not as smart compared to my peers.

Eventually, to help overcome my dyslexia, I was sent to a tiny school to help me where everything was planned out for us. Every year from sixth to tenth grade, I had classes with the same 30 students. With so few students, options to take advanced classes were limited. While the slower pace helped me feel more confident, the trade-off was that I took several classes that did not count towards high school, and I developed a growing frustration that I could not take more challenging courses.

In order to overcome my growing resentment that I was not allowed to choose my future, I advocated for myself by asking for more difficult assignments. Eventually, I was allowed to take two science classes and a more advanced math class separate from most of my peers. Yet, for five years, I never had to think; I did as instructed until I decided to attend the public high school. I was ready to be challenged and to embrace the opportunity to make my own academic decisions.

In high school, no one watches me and no one tells me what to do. In other words, I have freedom. Every day, I make decisions about whether to do my school work and how to prepare for the future after high school. This freedom motivates me to remain focused and not allow my dyslexia to hold me back, and it has given me more confidence. Instead of being told how to approach studying and preparing for class, I make the decision to strive for better results by attending tutorials with my teachers, asking how to improve,

Mason from Texas
High School Senior
Memorial Senior high school