Discovery through Journaling: Test Taking (pg. 272)
Test anxiety is a reality I am all too familiar with; in fact, I believe I experience test anxiety before, during and after each test I take, right up until I receive my grade for the test. My specific test taking fears are usually fears of failing and then fears of the consequences of failing. For instance, if I fail a nursing exam then I have to withdraw from the class and start all over again the following semester that is only if I successfully complete Mrs. Folleco’s SLS class that is required to take during the waiting period. In addition to that, my number of withdrawals are limited, in other words, if my completion rate falls below 67% financial aid will cease paying for my tuition. As a result, I would not be able to go back to school after financial aid stops paying because I just couldn’t afford it. Thus, I have a lot at stake if I fail; damaged GPA, loss of financial aid, setback in my career and a damper on the future for my son and me.
On the other hand, though, my fears of failing and my self-defeating behaviors like negative self talk only add more fuel to the fire. To clarify, on my second nursing exam last semester, my professor asked us to clear our desks for the exam and immediately my test anxiety kicked in. I started thinking to myself, “I didn’t prepare well enough for this exam,” and “I could have or should have read or studied more on this concept.” Then I go as far as thinking, “I’m