By: Luis “Luigi” Finston
Tis’ the season to be stressed. Finals are here and the moment to “show what you know” from the semester has arrived. With classes wrapping up, everyone is in a mindset of completing everything before it’s late.
Students run around trying to accumulate any last minute extra credit opportunities and seeing if their professors will allow any submissions of previous work. At this point grades stand where they are, but anything to raise a percentage is something that anybody would like to obtain.
Tests are the stuff of nightmares. The average student doesn’t go to class and loves taking a final. And let’s be honest. Tests are stressful. According to the NMSU Student Success Center, 20 percent of college students have moderate cases of test anxiety, enough to lower their GPA by one full point.
There are many symptoms of Test Anxiety. Some of these include worrying about the test a week in advance, having trouble concentrating on studying, panic attacks when being timed or under pressured, waiting until the last moment to complete something, and having a rapid heartbeat, nausea, or dizziness.
The cause of Test Anxiety varies depending on the person but a few causes may be having a fear of failure, an excessive need to please people, setting high-expectations for yourself, being an over-achiever, or having moments of self-doubt or low self-esteem.
Every student on campus is feeling some type of pressure or worry about finals week. There are strategies and ways to cope with Test Anxiety though. Ask yourself, “what’s the worst that could happen?”
For example, you can use the approach from the centering technique; say three things you see, say three things you hear, say three things you feel (physically). Breathing and stretching exercises such as deep breathing, bending, doing the windmill, and purifying breath are also encouraged.
The Center for Academic Success in Hardman and Jacobs, offers students a unique approach on tips for taking tests. According to the Undergraduate Learning Center there are multiple choice questions, matching questions, true/false question, sentence completion questions, and essay questions.
And there are ways to break up these types of tests into sections so it does not become too overwhelming. In the example of Multiple Choice Questions there is a four-way method of approaching the question:
-Do all the Questions that you know first, then go back to the ones that you don’t know.
– Use key words to help you determine the answer
– Read all possible answers before you answer
– Use the process of elimination
In the end, finals are something which should not be taken lightly. Finals affect grades dramatically. But it’s a strategy to not get overworked and upset about the outcome. The main focus is to try the best that you can with the knowledge that you have obtained and previously knew to knockout the exams.
For more information on the NMSU Student Success Center, Please Visit Room 128 at the Hardman and Jacobs Learning Center or visit ssc.nmsu.edu or call 575-646-3136