Self Exhibit 1 test anxiety

For one of my Self-Designed Exhibits I chose to write on the topic of test anxiety. I chose this topic for a few reasons, but primarily because I struggle with test anxiety from time to time. I know I use a lot of examples from my Stat 2300 course, but I think I can justify that because it is the course that I struggle with the most, by a long shot. First, I want to describe my surroundings while I'm taking my stat tests. I am in an auditorium with about three hundred students, and in the auditorium there must be only three hundred total available seats. Therefore, this auditorium is packed to the gills with students so I hardly have my own space to work. I am constantly bumping elbows with the people on either side of me and often times our papers (test papers at that) are overlapping one another's because of the lack of desk space. I say this because I literally hardly have any room to myself to think. I am one of the most ADHD individuals you will ever meet and with that many people packed into a room to take a test, frequent distractions are inevitable. In turn, this drives my blood pressure through the roof and I get nervous because I cannot concentrate on taking my test. While we're taking our tests, the proctors, or teachers, are constantly walking around watching your every move. Which can also put me on edge because I'm watching them or they're watching over my shoulder and I just can't think. We also sit in rows of about twelve seats, so if someone in my row finishes before I do everyone in that row including myself has to stop working on their test, stand up, and let that person out of the row. Which totally breaks my concentration. With the clock ticking and all of the external distractions, I'm usually lucky to finish my test before the time runs out and I get very anxious because I'm running out of time and simply cannot concentrate. I know all of these things are out of my control, such as other people talking, moving around, finishing their test before me and things like that. So I began to think about what I can do to help myself focus and try to tune out the distractions and reduce my anxiety while taking my test. I came up with a few different conclusions that I could try, so I did try them on the next test I took. I started at square one and prepared myself for the exam to the very best of my ability, meaning I could take a practice test alone and score an A. I did that so I know for sure that I knew the material and at least I would not be anxious because I didn't know the answers to the questions. In addition to that, the better I understood the material, the faster I could finish my test to overcome the distractions of everyone in my row having to leave and breaking my concentration. That was my philosophy and thought process so I figured I would give it a shot. Part of the process in trying to prepare myself for the exam, I went to the library and tried to study in there, which I never do. I tried this attempting to somewhat simulate the same type of environment as our testing auditorium. I know the library and the test room are not really comparable in terms of distractions, but I wanted to try it anyhow to see if I could focus in there and try to adapt to studying or taking a test in a crowd of people. Needless to say, this did not work well for me at all. The number of distractions tripled compared to being in the testing auditorium, I ran into people I knew and they wanted to chat, and there's just too much going on in the library for me to be efficient in my studying. In addition to better preparing myself for the exam, I also put in ear plugs on the next test. That worked like a charm, I could still hear some muffled noises but with ear plugs in, I was able to get in my zone and stay in it for almost the duration of the test. As I said before in one of my previous Exhibits, on my first Stat test I made a sixty five, and on the second I scored an eighty three. To me, that meant that my preparation for the exam and the different things I tried in attempt to reduce my anxiety worked like a charm. To sum up, just preparing for the exam as best I could and wearing ear plugs I was able to finish my test, tune out audible distractions, and reduce my test stress and anxiety which resulted in a higher exam score.Those things may not work for everyone but it worked for me and next time you see me taking a Stat test, or any other test for that matter, I'll be zoned into my exam with my ear plugs in.


Created with images by Pok_Rie - "wave water ocean"

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