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decadeOfSA 09-15-2008 08:39 PM

Just Bombed a Calculus 2 Test Due to Severe Test Anxiety....
 
Anyone else with this problem? Math test anxiety?

Couldn't even do one problem. It all looked like Greek to me and I was so tense that I couldn't think straight! I know they were easy problems that were from the homework though and if I was doing the test at home I would be fine. Actually part of the test was take home and I'm sure I did fine on it. Unfortunately, I can't take the whole test at home. I have to take most of it in a class with other people and I get so tense that the smallest noise startles the hell out of me. So, I'm going to have to retake the class and unless I get some kind of help, I'm going to have the same problem. I've had this problem for awhile and it's only on math tests. I get A's in any other subject and have no test anxiety. I can even do Public Speaking. It's getting worse too with every new math class and test. It started off mild, but has become severe lately. Any ideas on what I can do to alleviate this problem? I only have this one class left for a degree. It's not just being around people, it's some performance anxiety thing and it's only on math tests. The class is hard even without test anxiety and this was the first test and it gets much harder, so I need to find out a way to solve this problem.

thanks

decadeOfSA 09-15-2008 09:10 PM

Is there some kind of therapy for this? Something a therapist can do to help me overcome this?'

thanks

Helyna 09-15-2008 09:57 PM

Wow... only math tests. That's specific... weird. Think hard - have you had a bad experience or any trigger? Do you have any idea what upsets you? Do you like math or hate it?
The best thing I can think of is to convince a psychologist to get you permission to take the tests in a room alone, but I wouldn't want to face the you-must-be-kidding looks, and that won't actually fix anything.
If you knew what makes you anxious in class, I think you could overcome this...
If there's anything to do with being in public, try doing math homework in a busy, crowded place. And do a lot of practice problems so you can be more sure about your abilities. Set a goal for yourself (number of problems correct) and make it strict (you won't accept failure) so you have something to work for. Basically, practice with situations as close to the real thing as possible, I guess.
And you might want to find out what counseling you can get at your university. They should be used to test anxiety.
I hope something works.

decadeOfSA 09-15-2008 11:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Helyna
Wow... only math tests. That's specific... weird. Think hard - have you had a bad experience or any trigger? Do you have any idea what upsets you? Do you like math or hate it?
The best thing I can think of is to convince a psychologist to get you permission to take the tests in a room alone, but I wouldn't want to face the you-must-be-kidding looks, and that won't actually fix anything.
If you knew what makes you anxious in class, I think you could overcome this...
If there's anything to do with being in public, try doing math homework in a busy, crowded place. And do a lot of practice problems so you can be more sure about your abilities. Set a goal for yourself (number of problems correct) and make it strict (you won't accept failure) so you have something to work for. Basically, practice with situations as close to the real thing as possible, I guess.
And you might want to find out what counseling you can get at your university. They should be used to test anxiety.
I hope something works.

Yeah it's weird that it's specific. In the past I "really" hated math. It wasn't that I was bad at it, I just hated it and never did the homework in high school. I made it as far as trig my junior year in H.S., though barely made it through most math classes, due to my lack of doing the homework. Then I went to college for the first time and that's when my SA got severe and I had to quit and started a business and did well working from home for many years. Things changed though and now I'm back in school after being out for awhile(around 9 years and like 14 years without any math - I didn't take any math the first time in college). I have to take xanax XR to be able to go to school, but it generally works pretty well. I had to basically re-learn all the math I learned in H.S. I did a lot of this on my own, just with math workbooks. Then I started out with College Algebra(Precalculus) and I did terrible(F's or D's most of the time) and I was used to getting all A's in everything else. Getting bad grades really bothers me. I'm a Computer Science major and I've had some long tests(some 4 hours long and they took the full 4 hours to complete for everyone) that required a lot of steps and logical and analytical thinking, like math, but I get no anxiety on those or tests in any other subject. So I think the fact that I put a lot of time in to doing the homework and then doing bad must have triggered it. I re-took College Algebra and the second time around, that's when the anxiety started, but it wasn't nearly as bad as it is now. I got a high C out of it. Missed a quiz or I would have got a B and there was one test that everyone bombed and we only had a hour to do a test that took 2 hours. If I had taken the 2 hour section I would have likely got an A. Then I took Trig and barely got a C out of it. The anxiety got worse then. On one quiz, I got so tense that I couldn't even give the test to my professor and just left it on the desk. Then I went on to Calc 1 and I did pretty bad. I had some anxiety, but it was not as bad as it was in trig. I ended up with an F, because I just stopped going when it really got hard and I currently had a C. So, I re-took Calc 1 and had some test anxiety on the first 3 exams and still got low to mid A's. Then we got to hard stuff(where I quit the first time). When we took the test for that chapter is when my anxiety got to point where it was severely disabling. I came into the test dead tired from being up all night studying. As soon as I got the test though, adrenaline started to pump and I really woke up and I was extremely tense. I spent forever on the first page and I couldn't think straight and double and triple checked my work on very simple problems. I didn't come close to finishing the test. I told my professor that I had this anxiety problem and he made us turn in the homework and graded it and I participated in class so he knew that I knew the stuff and so he gave me a B, even though I bombed the last two tests due to anxiety. I knew the material well enough to get an A though, but I couldn't demonstrate my knowledge on exams due to the anxiety. Actually, I overheard another student telling our professor that he had a problem with anxiety and tests and he ended up dropping, so I'm not the only one. Actually, doing a google search on math test anxiety brings up a bunch of links saying that it is fairly common. Now I'm in Calc 2 and we had our first exam today and I did all the homework problems several times over. I was up all night and went into the test "dead tired". I soon as I got the test, I woke right up and got tensed up and everything looked Greek. So. I just told my professor about my problem and said I wanted to change to an audit(basically that means I keep coming and do the homework, but I don't have to take the test and I don't get any credit out of the class). I figured this would be a good idea because of my anxiety problem and the fact that the majority of Calc 2 students have to re-take the class anyway. I may attempt to do the tests and my professor said I could try future tests in a quiet room if I wanted to. I think that may help somewhat, but I still think I'll have a problem. I have to do something about it though or I'll fail the second time around too.

thanks

chris87 09-16-2008 04:26 AM

I usually get horrible test anxiety if I'm underprepared. I'll think that I have an okay knowledge of the information, but as soon as I get the test, I'll panic. That's why I try to prepare as much as possible, but I have so many problems just trying to concentrate that it's difficult to study.

sabbath92003 09-16-2008 08:24 AM

Maybe you can sit in the back of the classroom, behind everyone else.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Suzanne Vega
If you want me
You can find me
Left of center
Off of the strip

In the outskirts
In the fringes
In the corner
Out of the grip

When they ask me
"What are you looking at?"
I always answer
"Nothing much" (not much)
I think they know that
I'm looking at them
I think they think
I must be out of touch

But I'm only
In the outskirts
And in the fringes
On the edge
And off the avenue
And if you want me
You can find me
Left of center
Wondering about you

I think that somehow
Somewhere inside of us
We must be similar
If not the same
So I continue
To be wanting you
Left of center
Against the grain

If you want me
You can find me
Left of center
Off of the strip
In the outskirts
In the fringes
In the corner
Out of the grip

When they ask me
"What are you looking at?"
I always answer
"Nothing much" (not much)
I think they know that
I'm looking at them
I think they think
I must be out of touch

But I'm only
In the outskirts
And in the fringes
On the edge
And off the avenue
And if you want me
You can find me
Left of center
Wondering about you
Wondering about you


chris11 04-02-2009 01:51 AM

Re: Just Bombed a Calculus 2 Test Due to Severe Test Anxiety....
 
Hey, I often experiance test anxiety myself; however, I've figured out a way that I can manage it. Before going to write the test, I will listen to music for one hour straight, because music affects me quite a bit. When I go to write the test, I'll be substancialy calmer than I would be if I had not listened to music, and, as a result, I would get higher marks; and, that's what happens.

Interestingly enough, I thought that I had a specific fear of problem-solving based tests, but, as it turns out, the problem wasn't that; the problem was just the anxiety that I experianced around others; biology and psychology tests don't require nearly as much concentration as, say, a java programming test. As soon as you learn how to calm yourself before a test, you'll notice that your marks are improving. When you're anxious, concentration is both a sparse and fleeting resource; that facts leads to poorer peformance.

I hope that you'll be able to get something from my post...


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