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Opinion Editorial:Testing Blues KiEricka Hart

Opinion Editorial: Testing Blues
By: KiEricka Hart

Midterms are coming up and for some this is the most stressful time of year. You’ve done the studying, but you’re so nervous during the test, all you can focus on is “OMG I’m going to fail!” However, I realize the less I stress about it, the better I do.
I’m not perfect at it yet. I had to learn the hard way not to wait until the last minute to study. Cramming before a test rarely comes with good results because you can’t fully absorb the information into your brain. At the same time, you don’t necessarily want to study too early and then forget everything. Or get fed up and get overconfident so that you start to confuse information with another class. Instead, find a happy medium: once the test date is assigned, set a timetable for reviewing material, even if at first it’s only for 20 minutes a night.
As the big day nears, spend more time on the parts that confuse you. Pacing yourself allows you to take your time, relax, learn the material, and most importantly, ask the teacher ahead of time if something isn’t completely clear to you. If you set a steady pace for studying, you’ll be sure to retain more information and do better on your exam.
Now that you’ve studied, it’s time to calm down. Get all that excess energy out when you’re nervous! You can’t spend every waking minute working your brain, or you’ll burn out. So why not exercise your body for a while. Doctor Oz says that exercising your body or doing something active helps take your mind off of everything you have to do. Like your body, your mind needs a rest, too.
After you have given your mind and body a break, it’s time to get prepared for the big day. Don’t go into a test when you’re not ready. The night before, pack extra pencils, pens, scantron, bluebook, whatever is needed, and make sure the textbook or calculator that relates to the material is zipped in your backpack. You don’t want the added stress of realizing you forgot something crucial right before the test.
Meditation can also be a great way to clear your mind. I usually meditate to start my day. It doesn’t matter if you have no idea how to do it. Simply take a break for about 20 minutes and sit somewhere comfortable. Close your eyes and let your mind wander. My math teacher last semester used to make us stand up before the test and breathe in and out. She used to say, “Think about your friends, your favorite television show, what you want to do over the weekend, anything that makes you happy, or even nothing at all.” I still use her method to this day and I thank her every day for that helpful tip. A quick meditation will leave you refreshed and more confident about your studying. Get to class a few minutes early on the test day, so you can review your notes. If you’ve been pacing yourself, everything should be familiar.
The stress doesn’t automatically disappear once you hand in your exam. You may want to know how you did, what you got right, what you got wrong. How can you be calm until you get your grade back? Take a deep breath in, and let it out. You’ve survived the test, and it probably wasn’t even that bad. Be sure to acknowledge that you did it, it’s over, and now you have the freedom to concentrate on other things.
Always think positively– after all, you won’t know otherwise until your teacher hands back the test. So sit back and keep telling yourself that you worked hard, you know the material, and you were well-prepared. With that combination, the results should be just fine. And what to do if you know you did your best to prepare, but the grade doesn’t reflect your hard work? Think of that test as a way to see what you need more help with rather than a judgment on how not smart you are. Maybe you need to look at the way you’re studying, or ask for help in certain areas. Keep everything in perspective: one bad grade is not the end of the world.

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