Superstitions? Call it What You Want… Just Do It!

24 Oct

Test taking can bring out some strange habits in all of us. Some people call them superstitions, others call them habits, and for some people it’s just normal.
We do these things because we believe that we will perform better and if we don’t, who knows what will happen.
We asked our Peer Mentors about some of their test-taking superstitions, and here’s what they had to say. Enjoy!

Erika L: I have a fear of accidentally skipping questions and ruining my bubble sheet so I wait to bubble until after I have gone through each question. I listen to music right before the exam instead of cramming or looking over my notes because it helps me get pumped. Cramming while in the test room makes me feel panicked and rushed, so I avoid it. And I always take a deep breath before starting the exam because it helps relax me.

Madeline: Right before an exam I do not for any reason look at my phone or go online. In middle school, I once heard a superstition that stated if you look at your phone, watch TV, or go online right before you are about to take an exam, you will forget nearly everything you have reviewed that day! Now I know this is not exactly true, but I got used to not using such entertaining devices right before my exams. Does it help or not? I couldn’t tell you. However, that’s the cool thing about superstitions. You may not know if they actually work or not, but you keep at it anyway!

Allymyr: On the day of an exam, no matter how tired I am, I always make an effort to look my best. When I know I look good, I feel confident and that’s always important whenever going into an exam (even though I don’t always feel ready going into it). My motto is: “Dress to impress in order to ace that test!” If I come out of a bad exam, I still feel somewhat positive because I still look good no matter what!

Briana: The second I get my exam, I flip to the very last page, read through the questions, and answer the very last question. I think it gives me a sense that I’m almost done with the exam (even though I’m clearly not) because I’ve answered the last question, which reduced a whole lotta stress for me.

Christine: Once I get to my exam, I flip it to the back of the book and I work backwards through the entire test. I have found that this has helped me with my time management because I know exactly how many questions there are left, and how much time I can spend on each thing. I also have a fear of missing bubbles, so I start that from the bottom as well and work backwards, checking every 5 questions to make sure everything is okay. Before a test, I listen to “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins because it makes me feel better if I am under-prepared, and I put on my Frank Sinatra playlist because his voice calms me down. I always sit in the front row to make sure no one/ nothing distracts me. I have a lot of traditions before exams, but I don’t know if they would work for anyone else. They have always worked for me!

Leylah: When I study before my exams, I chew a specific flavor of gum. So on exam day, I always have to chew that same brand and flavor of gum to help my memory and test taking efficiency. For me it really does work!

Erica S: Before an exam, I have a tradition of calling my mom and/or texting my sisters. For some reason, I feel like they are able to calm me down and let me know everything is going to be alright. They always tell me that I have prepared to the best of my ability, so even if it doesn’t go well, at least I gave it my all. I also try to look my prettiest, because one of my best friends has always told me “if you look pretty, you do pretty.” Although it is always tempting to roll out of bed before heading to an exam, I now try to wear a dress and look my best!

Elena: When I receive an exam, I normally look at the last page (especially if there are essay questions) and write notes about everything I remember about the topic before I start the rest of the exam. If it is a multiple choice exam, the last thing I do is fill in my scantron. In high school, one of my teachers told me that peppermint jogs the memory, so on test days when I am really struggling, I try to find a peppermint and hope for the best.

Everyone has different superstitions, just do what makes you feel more confident! And good luck!

-Elena

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