Nichols Essay “Proficiency”

405 Words2 Pages
“Proficiency” communicates an experience that Nichols had when failing an English proficiency test, not once, but twice. Nichols was a very good student, “I was a strong student, always on the honor roll. I never had a GPA below 3.0.” She “loved writing just as much as [she] loved was one of [her] strengths.” On Nichols first attempt at the proficiency test, she passed all parts of the test except writing. “I was sure I passed every part…seeing my test results brought tears to my eyes.” After completing an honors English class, Nichols failed the English portion of the proficiency test for a second time. Nichols “felt like a failure. [She] had disappointed [her] family and seriously let [herself] down.” Nichols became frustrated, and began to “hate” writing. Nichols self image of being a good writer strongly conflicts with her test scores, “I was smart and I knew it.” Nichols makes use of vivid details when stating, “After months of preparation and anxiety, the pressure was on.” She took this test seriously, studied hard, was concerned, and felt nervous. Nichols goes on to describe her feelings after failing the test for a second time, “That time I did cry, and even went to my English teacher, Mrs. Brown, and asked, “How can I get A’s in all my English classes but fail the writing part of the proficiency test twice? She couldn’t answer my question. Even my friends and classmates were confused.” After failing the English portion of the proficiency test twice, Nichols moves onto her senior year in high school. She “barely passed the twelfth-grade proficiency test, and was placed in developmental writing in college.” I can relate to this story because there were times in my life where I felt that my skill levels were very high, and some obscure calculated measurement contradicted my beliefs. In Nichols case, she was still bothered by this
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