The stakes must be clear if you want the reader to care. Right now, explain the stakes of your novel by answering these questions:
What is at risk in the story?
What does your protagonist stand to lose or gain?
Why should it matter to your reader?
Too often, this last bit of the equation is overlooked. The reader has to care about what happens to the character. The reader must be invested. Is your main character about to take a test that will determine his future? If so, why should the reader care about whether he passes or fails? Have you given the reader sufficient reason to root for the protagonist?
Now, write a scene of 1600 words or more in which the stakes are clearly laid out.