|[Me preparing for TOEFL © Sarah Angelina Kim]|
The words spurted out by my mother still hung around my head. She got some information about a EPGY Stanford writing camp and asked me if I wanted to try to enter there. This is 8th grade, a part of me said, I wouldn’t want to go unprepared to High school. However another part of me holds me back, Dude, 3 weeks away from my parents? No way. When my mom told me this news, I simply said “I’ll think about it” but, to be honest, my mind was at war. However, after all that mental arguing, I decided that I would be brave for once. When I told my mom that I was willing to try, she informed me that I needed to take a TOEFL, An IBT TOEFL.
|[The four TOEFL practice books © Sarah Angelina Kim]|
Apparently, I couldn’t retake the test since then the due date for turning in the application will be over. Besides, my mother had already signed me up to take the TOEFL test, so there was no turning back. My official TOEFL day was in the morning of February 10th. I had exactly 2 weeks left to prepare for the test. I solved some parts of 4 thick TOEFL preparation textbooks and took the practice tests. First I took only 3 of the practice tests. On Friday, I took all of the practice tests. Friday passed uneasily; I was trying to sleep early, but my heart kept me awake all night, thumping. On the test day, I felt a heavy burden fall upon me. I listened to some of my favorite songs. However, even the soft-cheerful rhythms of the songs couldn’t extinguish my anxiety. When I entered the place, I started to sweat. The environment was serious. I’ve never been in a place with this much quiet tension swimming in a suffocating room for test taking. I made sure that I understood all the instructions. For the first 30 minutes, I still felt the anxiety tying in my heart, but as the time passed, I was slowly drained into answering the questions of the test and grew quite confident. The anxiety which occupied the emotional void faded and 4 hours passed by quickly. When I was done with the test, I felt a leap accomplishment. I felt proud of myself for actually being able to even try it. It was, perhaps, one of the most joyful moments in my life.
Other than taking TOEFL, I needed to fill out some other areas required in the application. Since I was trying to fill out an application for a creative writing EPGY, there was a section where they asked me to upload my creative writing samples. Since creative writing is my passion, I was able to swiftly write a short story without a feeling of dread fall upon me. I also enjoyed answering the first question to the questionnaire since I could narrate my life. When all the writing sections of the application were filled out, I was waiting for my TOEFL score to come out. I again felt my stomach tying. However, when my result came out, my heart went back to its place. The application was submitted. Stanford won’t reveal if I got in or not till April 4th; it’s not too far away. I realized that I don’t know if I would be picked or dismissed, but either ways, what truly matters is the experience.
Sarah Angelina Kim
Seoul Foreign School
Sarah Angelina Kim email@example.com
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