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Since AP tests are coming up next week for us high-schoolers and my test scores have been on the decline lately, the topic of test-taking skills has been on my mind a lot.

I've never been a stellar test-taker. I didn't realize it before, but I tend to freak out and quietly panic inside when I take tests. Even if I've studied, I'll open up the test booklet, stare at the questions, and suddenly I'm so blinded by panic and all the worst possible outcomes (flunking, bubbling in the wrong answer choice on the wrong question) that I can't remember the actual material and end up doing poorly.

I am awful in stressful situations, and test-taking has become one of these stressful situations for me. I'm wondering if this is just me or if it's an ISFJ thing...and also, how would you go about fixing the problem? Thanks! :)
 

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Taking tests may not be one of your strengths, and that's fine, but do try to work on what I call "trusting yourself." The trick is to prepare as best as you know how and then to concede that you've done all you can. Once you sit down to take the test, trust yourself to remember what you studied and you'll probably make less careless mistakes.

Also, try taking deep breaths (my special method: 4 second inhale, 7 second hold it, 8 second exhale with a audible sound haha) and internally reassuring yourself that you won't fail.

I wish you good luck, efficient breathing, and great memory recall!
 

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I am an excellent test taker - and I am a better test taker than studier! Does this mean I know everything? Hell no! I just know how to do these standardized tests.

For multiple choice tests:

1) realize your stress will cause you to fail. Therefore, do what you need to so you are calmer going in. Have some cheesecake, or a drink, or whatever. Just know that being calm is the main key to passing.

2) when you look at a question, look for answers you know you can rule out. If you guess out of 5 answers, you have a 20% chance of being right. Out of 4, you have a 25% chance. Out of 3, a 33% chance. Out of two, a 50% chance. Each answer you can cross off makes it easier to get it right.

3) if you find yourself getting stuck on one question, simply guess and move on. The worst thing you can do is fight to get one question right and then not answer a bunch at the end.

Get a sample for the kind of test you are taking and try these techniques. If they make it better, great! If not, no hard feelings then.

Good luck!!!
 

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I took a lot of AP exams back in my day, most of which were in technical subjects. I did well on them, but for many of them (like AP calculus), I had to do lots and lots of practice problems or else I would have flunked. I did 72 free-response problems for AP calculus (using problems on the website of the college board), and I did multiple choice tests from previous editions of AP tests to get ready. I also did well in subjects like history (which were based on a lot of

For technical subjects, a lot of success can be made based on preparation. I had more trouble with some of the essays because my success on those was based on how much of an opinion I have about the topic.
 

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If you're a freshman in high school and you're already taking AP classes, I think you'll be just fine. :wink: I think you just over-worry about stuff. You should be fine. :happy:
 
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Discussion Starter #6
I took a lot of AP exams back in my day, most of which were in technical subjects. I did well on them, but for many of them (like AP calculus), I had to do lots and lots of practice problems or else I would have flunked.
For technical subjects, a lot of success can be made based on preparation. I had more trouble with some of the essays because my success on those was based on how much of an opinion I have about the topic.
Hehe thank you! I'll be sure to take your advice on that and do a lot of practice. Hopefully that does the trick!
 

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I always study really hard and then panic right as I start the test, thus making myself forget most of it. For some reason, I've found that I like to take the text from the back to front. I always feel like the worst is at the end of the test, so if I start there it can only get better. It tends to calm me. I guess I'm just weird, haha.
 

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My lack of assertiveness leads to not studying nearly enough, which leads to near-unattainable amounts of stress, as is deserved. When it comes to topics in school like English and Literature, I can do fine without studying since I have little trouble reading between the lines and establishing arguments that can be backed up with evidence, but in topics like Calculus and more advanced maths, I'm hopeless. I over think things to levels that would cause one to question my sanity, and that is my greatest flaw, especially when it is compounded by stress.

For example, I encounter a problem on a Calculus exam, that seems vaguely familiar. I'm not positive about what the correct formula for solving the problem is, but I think I have an idea of what it is. However, not being 100% positive, I begin to doubt. Doubt causes me to reconsider, thereby considering other formulas, and hence, creating at least a 50/50 scenario on which formula I will actually use (that's if there is only one other formula I consider, and even then, I'm still not sure if either will be correct), which contributes to more stress... and the vicious cycle continues. Over thinking and stress go hand-in-hand, and I possess an overabundance of both.
 

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Just like @teddy564339 already said, if you're taking AP classes freshman year of high school you're probably doing pretty well to begin with, lol.

I'm a master when it comes to situations that require focusing and staying calm. I do sense stress in me when I'm performing or taking tests but I keep in mind that it's only a good thing, because it means that whatever I'm doing means something to me. I'm almost certain that you'll get adjusted to that pressure over time, so don't worry about it.

I'd maybe suggest analyzing your thoughts and feelings next time you get that feeling while taking a test. It might help to think about why you might be feeling the pressure that you are right then, and then rationalizing those thoughts. It might help turn things around in your mind.

Also, keep in mind what your strengths are and what your weaknesses are. I think that by just knowing those you can get more of a feeling of reassurance because you know what you're capable of, and you're aware of some things you could maybe pay a bit more attention to.
 

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I tend to freak out more and more the closer the test date gets, and that I need to study, but I never rarely look back at my notes because I convince myself I'm not going to do well anyways and I might as well enjoy the last few hours of freedom via the internet. Actually, I don't think I've studied for a math test until this year. I've always been very good at standardized tests, though, especially math since it seems to make sense to me. I can never get the hang of literature, though.
 

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I would practice the problems the teacher does in class and assign as homework as much as possible. That's usually what gives me my confidence.
 

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Ive never really panicked on a test, but I usually do better if I dont keep going over what I know to be sure of what I know and instead learn to trust my instincts a bit more.
 

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If I'm motivated enough and get the time I need to prepare myself, then I'm usually fine with taking tests. It also helps if I can predict how the test will be (what sort of questions, pay attention to what the teachers finds important, ...). Sometimes I even enjoy taking tests :)
 
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