My ACT mix-up
- What happens if someone coughs? I keep my head focused and I don’t pay attention.
- What happens if you see how much time is left over and you start to panic? I keep my head down and I keep focused.
- What happens if you get a hard reading passage? I go through quickly but I don’t spend too much time on it and move onto the next.
We went over every contingency the night before. Armed with number two pencils, a printed map to the location and a calm, focused approach to test taking, my daughter was prepared to take her ACTs. She’d been studying and practicing for the past six months and was ready.
The only problem, I screwed up. She had taken them once before at a high school in Edison, so when I saw Edison as her testing location again, I assumed it was the same high school. I was wrong. I dropped her off at the high school in question, and as I pulled away a sense of dread came over me. I didn’t know why. Within two minutes the phone rang; I answered it to my daughter sobbing and panicked on the other end because there was no testing at that location. A kind man in the building told her it must be the other high school in Edison. I quickly turned the car around and picked her up. We entered the address into my iPhone: 14 minutes away. She panicked, tears forming at the corners of her eyes.
They won’t let me in; I’ll be too late. I am so sorry; I totally screwed up. Let’s just focus on getting there on time.
We made it with one minute to spare.
The takeaway from this situation is that as much as we try to control our environments, much of life and the college admissions process are out of our control. (Okay, this could have been avoided if we had read the address on the entry ticket!) However, how you manage the unexpected is often the key to how you will succeed in life.