Don't let test scores determine your future.
In the short version, I spent half my junior and senior year taking tests that now only provide a good laugh from time to time. For a year I went to SAT/ACT tutors, I practiced all the Kaplan-approved books over and over, and feared the Saturdays I was spending trying to improve my score.
Hours upon hours were spent rewriting essays using their prompts, doing math problems as I timed myself to see if I was being efficient enough with each problem to finish the test with enough time to review my answers. Every time I took an ACT/SAT test, I would hate the day I wasted with these tests. I would see all my friends take it once, maybe twice, without studying, and even receive scholarship money for the impressive scores they received on their tests.
Since I was homeschooled, I felt like I was behind everyone else from the start.
I know, I know - "Wait a second! Aren't homeschoolers supposed to be annoyingly smart and make public schoolers look dumb?" Maybe one or two here or there, but this kind of testing wasn't something I was prepared for in the way others were.
I never found out if it was the general stress of the test or the different testing atmosphere that caused me to fall short of everyone else. All I knew is I wasn't having success with the tests as a whole.
I got pushed through being accepted by using the athletic card. I also took an ENG102 at a community college the summer before freshman year and remedial ENG once I got to Towson.
Because of all these testing issues, I went into college with the fear that I was horrible at testing in general. I struggled to find my place as far as major-selection goes. After my first rocky year, I returned after the summer break with a new major and ready to tackle my second year.
With some more practice and a couple of stumbles, I finally found the major I'm in now and have never been happier.
Now, I am a proud mass communications major with a minor in business and a cumulative GPA of 3.0, while being a full-time student-athlete and working an internship. This is where I worked for the last two and a half years to be.
If I wouldn't have had such a horrible anxiety of testing, things might have been different for me going into college.
However, one thing I am confident about is that my SAT/ACT scores have not held any relevance since I walked through the doors of college almost four years ago, and I'm certain that will not change.
In college, everyone bombs tests. Some people do well on some tests and others are somewhere in the middle, but I can guarantee you wouldn't be able to correlate their standardized testing scores with the grades they receive today.
I wish that I could have told myself four years ago that these tests wouldn't matter the second I got into a school, that they would have absolutely no correlation with the person I would become. Maybe then I wouldn't have been so hard on myself for trying to beat a test that would hold no power on my future academic career.