Exams Are Coming. I am Going to Die!
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No. You are not.
Of course, the alien invasion could happen, and that might change my assessment; however, barring any such strange event, I believe you will live!
The pain comes from fear. Often, the fear comes from poor preparation. This is why you should be preparing for your exams from the first day of class. If you are reading this blog now, high school exams are around the corner.
"Over-preparation" is key.
I'm not sure there is such a thing as over-preparation, but plenty of preparation is essential. Practise, practise, practise.
For example, if you want to memorize someone's phone number, would you simply think of it once?
You would "rehearse" it. You might say it over and over to yourself, or you might simply use the number often enough that it becomes second nature. Strangely, many people are better at telling you their friend's phone number or their parents' phone number rather than their own because who phones themselves?
We remember by "doing" something.
Note: Start today. Do not wait until a month, a week, or a day before the test.
Simply repeating something works for a name, a phone number, possibly learning the multiplication tables - but not for everything!
Rehearse with engagement. Make sure you build that network of knowledge. When you read your notes....
Yes, he said it NOTES! (Is this a scary Halloween blog?)
When you read and re-read your notes, make sure your brain is fully engaged. Stop occasionally and ask yourself if you have understood the concepts, themes, mechanics, etc. It is important to know facts (memorization) but also what to do with this information (connections - networking).
Learn from past tests and experiences.
When you have material returned to you, don't just throw it in your binder, in the trash, or under Freddie the budgie! Do some proactive learning. Even if you scored 90%, what happened to the other 10%? (Congratulations on the 90, by the way!)
Are there comments that can help you next time?
Are you now able to complete these same questions without looking? (To really know, you have to really do it. Try answering the questions and go back to the answers later.)
You might need to talk to the teacher.
You were just starting to feel better, and Ron had to say that!
Don't panic. Most teachers don't eat children (or adults), although some professors might look like they do. Teachers come in all shapes, sizes, and temperaments; however, most teachers are very impressed when a student truly cares about his or her learning.
If there are no comments or other indications on your test, and your score is lower than you would like, see if the teacher can help you find the problems.
Being proactive can take you from being an average student to being an excellent student. (Of course, becoming proactive can take you from a weak student to an average student. You can then move up from there.)
Being proactive gives you the power.
Knowing this will help you feel more confident, and confidence will reduce the fear.
Fear is good!
It's true. You want a little fear, or at least stress, so that you are motivated to do what you need to do. You don't, however, want too much stress or fear because this will hamper your ability to recall information and to focus on all those amazing insights and connections you made earlier - or to spell you name. Yikes!
Recognizing that some fear or stress is normal will make you feel better, too. It is usually when we feel that something is "out of the norm" that we begin to panic and feel powerless.
Don't let yourself fall into that trap.
Don't listen to anyone who says, "I'm not nervous at all." He or she is either in denial or simply does not care much about the exam. Neither is good.
Be yourself and be comfortable with that.
- You will not die.
- Be proactive.
- Prepare, rehearse, and engage.
- Network your knowledge.
- Learn from past tests and assignments.
- Teachers do not eat people. Talk to them.
- Fear is good (limited dosages).
- You have the power!
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Look for further tips on this blog site or on my YouTube channel.
This week's video: Studying for an Exam