Better Life- Testing

Life advice from someone who has a lot of life left to live.

As a senior, I thankfully do not have to take any more standardized tests, apart from my A.P. tests. It seems that the underclassmen have to take more and more tests every year. Gone are the days where we can take finals and go home at 11 o’clock. While I don’t think that testing students more is useful in any way, testing is something we unfortunately have to deal with as students.

  Testing can be so stressful. I haven’t ever had problems passing standardized tests, but I can’t help but get nervous every time I take one. I took the ACT four times, and I felt the same way about each one; my stomach churns, my palms get sweaty, and I desperately try to find my zen, but to no avail. I tried to stay hyper focused in order to get the test done faster. This was an ineffective strategy for me. The more I tried to concentrate, the more I concentrated on concentrating instead of focusing on the test itself. You have to be able to set aside your testing qualms for the duration of the test in order to focus and do your best.

  My testing advice is to just relax. Odds are, the test you’re taking is not all that difficult aside from managing your time well. Which leads me to my next piece of advice. The hardest thing about most standardized tests is that you have to be able to manage your time. You often encounter situations in which you have 60 minutes to answer 60 questions, or 100 minutes to write four short essays. No matter what your time constraint is, you can easily prepare yourself by taking the practice tests. Each time I took the ACT, for example, I got a little bit better at completing the test in a set amount of time. I was able to complete more of the test, thus improving my score. If I had taken more practice exams, however, I would have been able to manage time better without having to take the test four times.
  Yes, we get tested a lot, and yes the tests are generally not fun and arguably pointless. Tests are something that we have to do, though, so you may as well make the most of it so you don’t have to take tests multiple times. As Robert Collier once said, “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”

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