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Recent Letter to the ElderWisdomCircle™

SCHOOL: Nervous About Important Test
Letter #: 403077
Category: School

Original Letter

I need some advice on passing a important test its based on if im going to pass my grade. I need some advice to stay calm but there isnt like a page to study so I need some advice and on the other test I took Reading i got 212 and i was supposed to get 215 but i told my principal can i still pass. she said yes but im still not confident about the math one and I felt like not confident on the Reading test because most of my classmates got 220 - 227 and I felt unconfident.

Elder Response

Ange:AA, thank you for your letter and your honest assessment. School tests can certainly be challenging and stressful. I'd like to share some steps that helped me as follows:

1. First, don't worry about your classmates. Focus on your learning and preparation. The latter is what helps you to remain calm. There will always be people smarter and not as smart as you. I've found it best to not compare myself with others too much. Also don't forget that if you do your best, you've already succeeded.

2. I had a similar experience in college. I was taking a college algebra/trigonometry class and struggling to even get a C. I knew on my own I wouldn't succeed. I decided to work with a tutor, put in the extra hours, and eventually got a B in the class. I would encourage you to NOT limit yourself by what you believe you are capable of today. Most of us can do much more than we think.

3. From my own college experience, I found that studying longer wasn't always necessarily better. Sometimes we can be bored or uncomfortable in certain subjects. The key is to accept them and use the time that you have to study effectively. For example, if you can focus well for 15 to 30 minute intervals, try breaking down what you need to learn into these time increments. After a 30 minute session, go ahead and take a brief break; maybe 10 minutes. Come back and give yourself a quick quiz to check for comprehension of what you just studied. If you're happy with the results, you can move on to the next segment. If not, you can come back to the original subject either now or later, but don't let yourself off the hook until you have succeeded in your personal test. This way, you not only break down the entire subject into more manageable sections, but you test your knowledge as well. This can only help to improve your overall scores. 

4. Use your future life as motivation. Every time that you feel lazy or distracted, remember how much more difficult life will be if you don't get a good education. I utilized a similar tactic and found it very helpful. When I went to college, I worked during breaks and in the summer at a factory where hard labor was a way of life. This gave me plenty of motivation to find a better career; not only for financial reasons, but even more importantly, one that was less physically demanding and more enjoyable.

Another avenue would be to look into ways to improve your concentration. I Googled the subject and found the following website, https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/attention. They have links to experts discussing attention, focus, memory, etc. Whether you utilize this website or others, be careful to do your 'due diligence' to ensure that you make an informed decision about how to improve your skills.

Remember that nothing replaces hard work. Dedicate yourself to good study habits to achieve great grades. Maintain your focus and persevere through difficult times. The latter is often what makes the difference between success and failure.

Thanks for contacting The EWC, and I hope this is helpful.

Best Regards,



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