“What did I get myself into?” – That question repeated itself in my head, over and over again, as I sat down to practice writing essays for the SAT.
If you’ve been following my blog for some time, you’ll know that I’m interested in doing my under graduation at MIT. Well, I’ve to write the SAT for that. I always thought that it would be a piece of cake for me. I guess I both under estimated the level of the test and over estimated my ability. I had thought that a score of 2400 would come with minimal work, after getting a 1930 on my first try (in my favor, it was a casual try. Did it as fast as I could without rechecking my work. Also, I didn’t use a pen for the Math section.) I realized I couldn’t be more wrong about the test or my ability. I gained some respect for the SAT then.
While I write a lot on this blog, most of this is just casual writing. Over the years, I’ve come to realize, bit by bit, that essays don’t come naturally to me like these posts come. This was confirmed during the practice SAT where I struggled to gather my thoughts and write them in a limited time frame. I got a score of 4 out of 6 from a single reader (software). That isn’t what I was aiming at. A full six was what I was aiming at and instead, I got a full two points less. Ah, that sure did wake me up then but I soon fell back asleep. Until today.
Yesterday, I was asked to write around 10 essays and ‘show’ them to someone(on Tuesday) (err…Sir/Counsellor-ish?) at college who knows a bit about the SATs and the nitty-gritties of applying to US universities.
I sat down in the morning today to write the first of those ten essays and… It turned out to be terrible. I wrote the worst essay that I could have. If I were the reader, I’d give it a maximum score of 2. While it was not grammatically incorrect and contained no spelling errors or anything of the sort, it showed a pathetic level of critical thinking. I totally misunderstood the topic and the essay wasn’t very cohesive. Ah, I fell into a mild state of ‘shock’(?) as I read the essays that others had written for the very same question.
That was when the question ‘What did I get myself into?’ popped up in my mind. I wasn’t expecting this. Most things come easy to me, this was of a different breed. Damn.
However, reading the sample answers did give me some idea of how I was supposed to write the essay.The next essay that I wrote again in a few hours more was - I’m glad to say – a lot better, at leat in my opinion. It gave me some hope that it could be done. All was not gone. (Not that I thought it was.)
It’ll be interesting to see how I’ll learn and improve my essay writing skills from the ground-up over the next few days.
That’s not just it. I also have to complete math assignments that I’d left for a rainy day over the past month. Sigh, all the procrastination is weighing me down but, isn’t that how one gets accustomed to carrying heavier weights?
Until next time,