Read the following passage, which contains some underlined or numbered words or phrases. Each of the answer choices contains alternatives for the underlines; choose the one that fits best grammatically or stylistically. If you think the original is the best answer, choose Choice ‘A’, or NO CHANGE.
Questions about specific parts of the passage or about the passage as a whole are identified by numbers only, not underlines. These will be associated with specific questions.
I woke up with a dry, hot pain in my throat and a runny, stuffed up nose. My parents suggested I stay home from school
and went to see the doctor instead. Every year, during the seasonal transition from summer to fall, I get sick; and every
year, I go to my doctor at least once with laryngitis or congestion.I hate going to the doctor’s office. Not only because
of having to sit in a room full of sick people, but yet because of that moment when I have to step on the scale and wait
for the doctor to announce my weight. Almost every time, he gives me same lecture about being “overweight” and
having to “watch my diet.”
I have been at war with my body all my life. Every time I stepped up on a scale, I feel as if I am stepping onto a battlefield
unarmed and defenseless, waiting for the numbers to jump out and attack. My weight seemed always to increased, yet
never decreased. Every pound gained was a bit of confidence lost. The battles became harder and harder. I became
weaker, unmotivated and ashamed. Many times, I wanted to raise that white flag, surrender.
Growing up in a typical middle-class Asian family in which consists of my mom, dad and younger sister, I am fortunate
enough to not to have any significant struggles. My daily life school, AP classes, homework and simple chores. If you
had just met me, first impressions might not tell you that I’m extremely uncomfortable about my body image. However,
if you were someone close to me, you would know that I’ve been struggling with weight and low-self esteem since
the fifth grade. During middle school, I was shy and meeting new people was one of the most nerve-wracking things ever.
I had trouble deciding what to wear every day because I didn’t like how I looked in the clothes I had. (11) I hated mirrors
because it only reminded me of my flaws. I was a very pessimistic person. I knew I had to change.
It during my ninth grade year when I decided to making some changes. Tired of my own pessimism and negativity, I set
up a weight loss goal, devised a plan, and did my best to follow through. Of course, it definitely wasn’t easy. I experienced
a lot of frustration, setbacks, and times when I felt I just couldn’t do it. However, I never gave up. I don’t mean to mimic
a weight-loss commercial, but I lost over thirty pounds over three years and I feel amazing. My days of sulking are long
What I learned from this long-term experience is that nothing about one’s life is unchangeable. Just because I’ve
struggled with one particular issue for so long, doesn’t mean that it’s permanent, and whether or not it changes, only
depends on me.
In the end, I won the war, after all: a long battle, but a worthy one.
Adapted with permission from a high school student essay by N. L., San Jose, CA, 2014.
Created for Albert.io. September 2014
(11) I hated mirrors because it only reminded me of my flaws.