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Do you get stressed or anxious when you have to take tests? How do you deal with it?

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Test Stress: From the Mentors

From Lauren
I used to get incredibly stressed about calculus tests. Math isn't my strongest subject, and I was always scared I was going to forget everything. The best way to reduce anxiety about a test is to make sure you're prepared. Have your parents or friends (that you won't end up wasting time with) quiz you on the information. For calculus, I spent a lot of time with my teacher going over the things I didn't understand. Teachers are there to help you, and usually you just have to ask. Try not to cram right before the test. You won't learn anything, and you'll get even more nervous.

Topics on Test Stress:
A Fact of Life
Why Have Tests,
    Anyway?
Types of Tests
Under Pressure!
Get Prepped
Know What's Coming
Keep a Healthy Body
    and Mind
Get Help
Conquer "Test Day
    Panic"
Ten Terrific
    Test-TakingTips
From the Mentors
During a test, make sure you're comfortable and have a pencil and other test materials. For calculus, I found that it was helpful to make sure I had my calculator in my backpack before I left for school just in case. If your heart is racing and you're sweating, take a few deep breaths and realize that even if you don't do well, it's definitely not the end of the world.

From Stormie
Of course, everyone gets stressed over school stuff; you just need to know how to handle it. The most important thing to do is realize that a teacher is never going to make something impossible to pass. If you really listen in class you should know the stuff pretty well. If you don't have a really good grasp on the subject, then you should ask your teacher for extra help outside of class; I can't tell you how much that helped me on my last French final. The thing is that it's totally regular to be nervous over a test, but you need to think of everything in perspective and work before the day of the test to reduce stress. One test in middle school is not going to determine the rest of your life (if that was true, I would be in big trouble!). The other thing is that there's usually always ways to better your grade if you do totally mess up, which happens to everyone sometimes. The morning of a test I'm usually really worried, but I've found ways to avoid that. For one, don't ever ask friends who have already taken it anything about the test. If they say it was easy, you walk in with low expectations and don't tend to be as thoughtful. If they say it's hard. you can mess yourself up by being overly nervous. Eat a good breakfast and try to wake up a little earlier than usual, it tends to help your body be more alert. During a test, I totally get in my own zone. I never look at anyone else because it throws me off to see someone turning a page that I'm not even half way done with. Don't think of it as a test, think of it as a basic homework assignment and just do your best, that's all you can do. When you're done. NEVER EVER EVER turn it in without checking it over, even if the answer came really easy to you. PLEASE TRUST ME ON THIS! You have no idea how many points I've missed because of this. It's sooo not worth it.

From Joel
I get very stressed before and during tests, and the more I try to relax and stay calm-the more stressed and nervous I get. I've learned though that the most important thing to do if you're stressed before a test is to eat. It gives energy to your brain that it needs to function and also takes your mind off the test. The night before the test it is very important to try not to cram because cramming shoves knowledge in your brain which frustrates the mind and blocks old information that you studied earlier. If you're completely prepared and know that you understand the material, just trust yourself and you will do your best. When you're sitting at your desk and it is about to begin, make sure to breath in and out calmly as so to relax yourself and try to think of a happy place that you love to be. It might seem corny, but it works. During the test, try to stay very focused and keep your mind only on the test and you will forget how nervous and stressed out you are. By focusing so much on the test, you will then realize how quickly the test goes by and sooner then later it will be all over. Hopefully this helped any of you who are just like me and get stressed out over tests. Just know that every person gets stressed over tests and it is not just you!

From Vanessa
I hate tests. It's not like that matters because wherever you go to school, whatever career you choose, or if you want to be a citizen, tests are unavoidable. With that in mind, I would figure they wouldn't be nerve wracking. Ha! Yeah, right. I find tests very stressful. I've tried yoga and meditation. I've tried not eating, eating, ginko and flash cards. I find the best way to relieve severe, crippling stress is to prepare. When I have a final or midterm coming up I give myself a good two to four weeks time to prepare. The only information I'm given is the chapters so I spread them evenly across my time constraint. Having more than enough time relieves a "cramming" work load and sets my brain in test gear. When it comes time for the test, I either freeze or breathe a sigh of relief. The first question sets the tone for the test. If I get it, then I'm good. I have to battle don't-know-first-question freeze mode, teachers like curve balls, by clearing my head and purging Armageddon thoughts. Test stress is normal and easier to handle if you realize it's not the end of the world.

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Do your parents pressure you to do well on tests?
Absolutely --
        they expect
        high grades
Yes, but they
        don't go
        overboard
No, they're pretty
        mellow about it

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