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My Test-Taking Anxiety

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My Test-Taking Anxiety

Manasvi Chandra, Staff Writer

Have you ever walked into your classroom on the day of a test, feeling great, and walked out at the end of the period feeling… not so great? Your answers to the homework assignments are correct, your scores on the practice tests are perfect, and Quizlet tells you that you’ve mastered 100% of the flashcards. Then why does your actual test score on PowerSchool not reflect any of these achievements?

As a frantic student who studies like crazy but gets nervous in a test-taking situation, I am so used to seeing my grades contradict one another, even when they’re regarding the same content. I always wish for the concept of testing to disappear, or at least for my nervousness to become more manageable.

It’s especially terrible (at least to me) to get the test back and seeing the correct answer so clearly once the pressure of the test-taking atmosphere has vanished. Moreover, you can’t even argue with your teacher that you had only missed the question because of the stressful setting or minute details within the question.

I know I’m not alone in this situation of stressful test-taking. “I guess sometimes I think that I understand something and I take the test. I’m super confident and happy and then I see the score and get super disappointed. But usually [the low score is] because I was so focused on doing the problem correctly that I didn’t read the directions, or I forgot small details,” says sophomore Ayushi Bhadra. Her lack of attention to detail is a common trait that many young test-takers have, including me.

Since we all know that tests and assessments will continue to haunt our entire academic careers, I’ve decided that I need to build up my immunity to the toxic stress that they bring about. My first idea is to stop listening to music while practicing and studying. When I listen to music, I do fairly well, or at least better than I do on the day of the test. Therefore, I need to practice without music to get used to working without it. Another important factor of tests that stresses me out is the time limit. To better simulate the test-taking environment, I will time myself in a way similar to the time limit in class. And obviously, I need to read instructions more carefully.

Overestimating your test-taking abilities is a common problem for students. Hopefully, these modifications will help my test-taking skills, and if they don’t, I guess I’ll just have to think of more ideas. Wish me luck!

Photo Courtesy of MATHNASIUM.COM

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My Test-Taking Anxiety