As the month of May and the end of another school year rapidly approaches, AP Tests, STAAR Tests, and end of the year finals are on everyone’s minds. Soon, teachers, parents, and web browsers will be telling students how to prepare for the massive amount of exams that will fry their brains. This, however, is not how to prepare for these tests, but nine things not to do when testing.
- Don’t use mechanical pencils– This mostly applies to AP Tests as College Board has said that using a mechanical pencil instead of a No. 2 pencil could possibly invalidate your test. It wouldn’t be very good to pay for that test just to have it be invalidated because the wrong pencil was used. As for STAAR Tests, it will depend more on the teacher in the testing room whether or not mechanical is good to use, though it is better to ere on the cautious side and not use a mechanical pencil.
- Don’t cram the night before– For every type of test, cramming for the test is not a good idea. All that is really doing is tiring out your brain and preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep. It doesn’t actually help you remember everything long term. And if you have multiple tests in one day, cramming for every test the night before also means that you won’t retain everything you’ll need for all of the tests.
- Don’t over study– While it seems impossible to over study, it is very possible. This sort of goes along with cramming, though this kind of studying takes place over a longer period of time. Your brain needs time to process information, and if you do nothing but constantly study for something, everything sort of turns to word soup in your head.
- Don’t deprive yourself of sleep– A basic need of the human body to function properly is to get a decent amount of sleep. Especially the nights leading up to AP and STAAR Tests, depriving yourself of sleep to study, play games, or anything else will most definitely only hurt you. Going into that test exhausted will mean you won’t be able to think as well or as fast and the already boring test will most likely put you to sleep.
- Don’t psych yourself out– One of the worst things to do when you are about to take a big test is to freak yourself out. If you start thinking that you won’t do well, then you end up fulfilling your own fear. The extra stress you give yourself will only make the exam an even worse task to complete.
- Don’t eat junk food– One thing that most people think is a good idea is to load up on sugary and fatty foods before a test to help keep you awake during it. Once that sugar or caffeine crash hits in the middle of the exam, you will regret not eating healthier foods for a longer lasting energy.
- Don’t cheat– This is almost common knowledge, but some people do it anyway. Don’t cheat on these tests. Doing that would mean that not only your test, but the person’s test you were cheating off of, will get taken up and invalidated. Again, you pay for the AP Tests and have to pass the STAAR Tests, so getting your test taken away for something so dumb would be a shame.
- Don’t have your electronics on you– This goes along with cheating in a way. They say not to have anything like your phone you during these tests because it could mean your test and everyone else’s test in the room will be invalidated. So it isn’t worth the one text from your friend to have everyone’s test taken away.
- Don’t show up late– As high schoolers, many of us tend to come a few minutes late to things. These tests, especially the AP Tests, should not be one of those things to show up late to. In the AP Tests, they close the doors and don’t let anyone in after the posted test time. Out of all of the reasons listed here, not being able to take the test because you showed up late probably feels the worst.
These are just some of the things not to do when testing. More ‘do nots’ are around and all of them matter. Though, following even a few of these will help you take all of the many upcoming tests.