Test Anxiety & How to Handle It
I appreciate the behavioral and cognitive illuminations against the emotional components that produce the physical symptoms of anxiety. Back in the 70’s, when I attended college, I was required to take Psychology 101 as a core course, necessary for graduation. I went to class, did my work, studied as much as I could, and also had a family with two young children. On the day of the final exam, I was a mess; I displayed 12 of the physical symptoms described at the beginning of the tutorial linked below. Neither could I understand why I was sweating, nor could I could breathe that day. All know is that I failed the test and received an F for the course.
The irony is that I now hold a BA degree in Psychology with a Combined Sciences minor. When I repeated the class again a few years later, I received an A for the final grade. What triggered the anxiety in the first case scenario? Fear. My intuition points to an inner belief I subscribed to; I couldn’t do good at it. I didn’t have enough time to prepare myself for the test. The anxiety presented itself weeks before in my dreams. The dream was set within the context of a performance. I had a deep sense of failure as I walked onto the stage and felt as if I was not prepared enough to perform. Well, at the time, I was neither a musician nor a singer so the dream itself seemed weird, but it possessed a grain of truth.
This failure caused me to reassess my strategies. I started thinking that I can do it. I prepared myself thoroughly beforehand in order to keep up with the assignments. I forged new study habits. I got an A the second time around and developed a habit of learning that transferred over into my practicing habits for piano, singing, acting, and dance.
How does this apply to me now? I participated in an online Masters Degree program and graduated. I am self-motivated and organized. There is one drawback: I am a kinesthetic learner and I learn by doing, not from just reading a book. I am also a dancer and after I read something if I danced then the information would process. How can I ever learn to write a script for a film like this? Somehow I transferred the movement I need into acting rather than dance. If act out the characters and become them, then I perform it as I write it.
Another important fact and the piece of advice that I do not follow is the notion to rest. It’s a dream for me to sleep. This is a twofold problem. It connects with the procrastination issue. I intentionally procrastinate until the very last minute that I can wait too, in order to create a challenge. For some reason, I need that added stress in order to focus and do well. This coupled with the intense pace and voluminous amounts of required work for completion of assignments leaves me awake most of the time. I am exhausted right now; it’s bee a heavy year. I gain weight because I can’t afford the time to relax, exercise, and sleep some days. All this because I need to feel like I am on the edge in order to focus. It doesn’t make any sense but this is what I do. Take the test and view the tutorial.