Stages of test taking

With finals around the corner, here’s every thought you have during that damn exam.

Finals suck. We knew that already, though. Here are the ultimate stages of test taking, so here’s what to expect for this upcoming hell of a week.

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Optimism

You go into the exam, favorite pen eagerly squeezed in your not-yet sweaty hand. You sit down, thinking to yourself, yes, I am a smart and capable person, and I will kill this test in the face and then eat a healthy snack. When the professor hands out the exam you neatly write your name and section number and consider jotting down some information you think will be on the exam so you don’t forget it later. No, you tell yourself, I am the queen of remembering things, I’ll be fine.

 Surprise

Your hands are sweaty now. The teacher definitely never went over this in class, but perhaps number one is a dummy question to psych you out. You glance at number 2. It is just as difficult. Maybe writing my name is worth points, you hope. You should have written down those five factors that you have now forgotten. You know you will not be eating a healthy snack after this exam, rather, you will stuff yourself full of cookies and lie in bed wondering why you were so confident. How is everyone else writing so much? You quickly scribble down a few words you think might be related to the short answer answers and hope they’re right before re-consulting the multiple-choice


Denial

I will not need this is real life, you tell yourself defiantly. When has anyone ever used personal finance in their daily lives? You quickly shut down this line of thinking because yes, personal finance is a legitimate thing people need in life. You peruse each question, crossing off impossible answers one by one and hoping that miraculously your guessing skills have gotten drastically better since the SATs. Everything will be fine. You begin adding up the points of the questions you’ve answered to calculate your possible grade. If it’s 20% of my grade, then if I get above 90% on the next few assignments and I fail this test I can probably still get a B in the class. Once again you look around the classroom and see that other people seem to know the things on this exam. Nerds. Try hards. At least I have a social life. You quickly flash back to the night before when you were laying in your bed watching cat videos and eating peanut butter without pants on. Well maybe I don’t have a “social life.”

Distraction

You consider starting the test from back. That’s what she said, you giggle to yourself. Justin the Triple Major from across the room looks up at you and glares, be quiet you overachiever, I could overachieve if I wanted to. You wonder what, possibly, you could overachieve at. I could always be a stripper. A classy, high achieving stripper, yes, that’s it! You have heard that strippers can make quite a bit of money and feel momentarily pleased with this plan before remembering that you would never in a million years be able to  tell your parents about this career change.

Acceptance

You finally decide to stop procrastinating and focus on the test. Looking at more of the questions you realize you may have overreacted and may know more than you had previously thought. Feeling tentatively more positive you go to work … only to realize that you have less than 10 minutes left. This is how I flunk out of college, you think.

Just know that finals week is only a week- no matter how brutal it may be. We promise, you WILL get through these stages and you’ll kill it.

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Syracuse University