“Are you ready for today’s test?” Lauren asked with a wide grin.
Avery raised an eyebrow at her friend. She seemed to be a little too excited for this test. Avery knew Lauren since they were very young, they went to kindergarten together and had been best friends ever since. That’s how Avery knew when Lauren was being serious or not. She could see right through her friend.
Right now, Lauren was not being sarcastic. For some reason, she was actually excited for this test. Who would be excited for a test? Maybe Lauren woke up on the wrong side of the bed or something.
“You don’t look excited.” Lauren frowned.
“Why would I be? It’s a test.” Avery replied. She stepped in front of Lauren and took the lead as they headed toward the front doors of the testing building.
“Yeah, but this is going to be a cool test.” Lauren replied. She began to skip beside Avery.
“This test is going to decide our future.” Avery said nervously.
Lauren sighed. “No, Avery, it’s not. It’s just going to show us where we place and it’ll be easier for us to choose our college, that’s all.”
“Right, exactly. I’m not going to be able to go to college when this thing is done.”
Lauren stopped walking and grabbed Avery’s arm forcing her to stop. She pulled her friend to the side of the walkway so other people could pass.
“What are you talking about?” she asked. “You’re an A-and-B student. I’ve never seen you get lower than a B-plus.”
Avery sighed. “That’s all thanks to homework, class work, and extra credit. But the tests? I fail those.”
Lauren titled her head to the side like a confused puppy. “You do?”
“I don’t test well.”
“Oh. Why didn’t you say something? I would have studied with you.”
“It doesn’t matter how much I study. I know the material in and out. But I panic when I take tests. I freeze up and I just want to get the test done and over with as quickly as possible. People think I do so well because I have great grades and I finish the tests so quickly, but it’s actually just because I end up putting down random answers. I’ll know them, but I just zip right through them and it hurts my grade.” Avery explained. She stared at the ground somberly.
“Well, you would never know that your grades suffer from the tests.” Lauren chuckled trying to lighten things up a bit, but Avery didn’t crack a smile.
Lauren sighed. “Maybe you can talk to one of the proctors about it. Maybe you can go in a separate room and take the test alone? Maybe you won’t feel as overwhelmed.”
“I’ve tried that at school before. It just made me feel singled out.” Avery replied.
“Ah, true.” Lauren nodded.
“The doors will be closing in two minutes! Last warning! Two minutes!” a woman shouted by the front door. Students who were lingering about began to run toward the door.
Lauren grabbed Avery’s hand. “We have to go.” They broke into a run. “I know it’s hard, but try not to read too deep into it. We have three hours for the test, just take it one question at a time. Pretend the test is only the one question as you go through it all.”
Avery nodded but she didn’t know how any of this advice was going to help her.
They made it to the front doors. Due to the alphabetical order of their last names, they were going to have to part ways. Lauren squeezed Avery’s hand. “In fact, don’t even think at all. Be confident. You ace the homework and class work. A test is no different. Good luck!”
Avery was reluctant to let go of Lauren’s hand, but Lauren forced it as she went in a different direction. She waved even though Lauren was far away.
“Good luck.” Avery muttered to herself. Though she knew Lauren was going to be fine. She was smart and confident, while Avery only had half of that.
Avery knew she over thought things, but she couldn’t help it. This test was going to decide where she could be placed in college. Sure, she could go to an advisor and show them her real grades. Still, it wouldn’t help her when she had to take a test in her college classes. High school was easier in that since on account they weren’t preparing you for your career.
“Excuse me, are you registered yet?” a woman asked Avery.
She was snapped out of her thoughts and realized the lobby was just about empty.
“The tests are going to start in about five minutes.”
Avery swallowed a lump in her throat. “Yes, I’m sorry. I got lost in thought.”
The woman smiled and placed a reassuring hand on Avery’s shoulder. “You’ll be fine. Between you and me, these kinds of tests are so easy it’s pretty difficult to fail.”
Avery cracked a small smile. She wasn’t sure if that would help her at all, but she appreciated it. She took a deep breath and entered the classroom.