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How do I not worry about my test score after turning it in?

  1. Mar 4, 2017 #1
    It's a huge problem for me, and only after turning it in, do I realize that I made a few mistakes; then I constantly worry about how that will affect my test score. Has anyone ever experienced this before? How would I cope with it? I don't think I would be able to deal with the stress of worrying constantly about my test scores for the next few years.
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  3. Mar 4, 2017 #2


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    Something similar often happens to me, if I use English and cannot correct mistakes anymore. Sometimes I realize them the moment they came out. The only possibility, as I see it, is to accept it without bothering them anymore: you cannot influence it anymore. So what? In extreme cases, listen to Janis:

    All of us make mistakes from time to time, even the best. Just the severeness differs and the degree of their visibility. And even the first versions of some of the toughest proofs we know, Fermat and 4-color-theorem, had to be corrected. I guess that's part of evolution as a concept of trial and error. Have you ever wrote an essay? Don't you correct phrases each time you reread it and only stop when you think it's good enough or you lost your patience? Maybe it's a matter of temper. Not all of us have the patience (or the time) to revise their writings over and over again.
    So the moment you turn in your test, you should stop worrying about. Take it as a decision to make. Everything else is lost energy and time. Learn something new instead!

    Don't know whether this helped, but in my opinion, that's all you can do.
  4. Mar 4, 2017 #3


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    yup, exactly, couldn't have put it better myself
  5. Mar 4, 2017 #4


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    The only thing you can do in order to avoid this, is being very careful - and even pedantic at times, before you turn your test in. After turning the test in, you can do nothing. Try to think it as a matter of reality, that there is no other way that you can achieve some high score. But if you can't do anything before, don't worry, good health is the most precious thing we all have. Personally, I had managed this same thing the way I tell you and it worked fine.

    On the other hand, I'll totally agree to fresh_42. We all make mistakes many times and in many cases. For a lot of them, we have to take things as they are and go on.
  6. Mar 4, 2017 #5


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    I think the OP knows that he or she should not worry about the exam after turning it in. The quest is how one does this. Like telling someone not to think of a pink elephant, one runs into this issue of the difficulty the human brain has with interpreting the concept of "not."

    What tends to happen after an intense academic experience like an exam, at least in my own experience, is that it becomes difficult to turn off that part of your mind that was so focused on the problems. You go back and think about what you did, because you care about the result. What's worse, is that you remember most vividly the problems that you struggled with, and not so much those that you easily answered. And this can create a somewhat distorted personal perception of your actual performance.

    Here are some tips on how to put the exam out of your mind...
    1. One thing that works really well for me is physical activity. Going for a long run, or playing some kind of sport helps to get my mind off of the exam. For me it's judo. There's nothing quite like the consequence of being slammed into the mat to keep your attention in the present moment. The physical exertion also makes it easier to sleep at night too.
    2. Spend time with people who didn't take that same exam. If you hang out with your classmates right after the exam, inevitably you'll end up talking about the exam and that won't help your mind to move on from it. In particular it's best to avoid other people who are anxious about the exam as well. Anxiety is contagious in my experience. Instead, go spend some time with other friends who will be focussed on different things.
    3. Shift your academic focus onto something else. If you have another exam coming up, crack open the books for that and get your mind into that zone as quickly as you can.
    4. Sometimes it can be good to just have some mental down-time too, but with something that can grab your mental focus. Look for a good book, watch a movie, play a video game, etc. that you've been putting off for a while. I would also extend this into some kinds of hobbies. I would avoid hobbies where your mind is free to wander though.
    5. Sometimes it can help to treat yourself. Go for a massage, or go out for supper
    6. Recognize when you are thinking about the exam and stressing over it and develop a plan to react to that. This could be as simple as taking some deep breaths, to some kind of meditation to calling a friend.
  7. Mar 5, 2017 #6


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    No sound or picture.
  8. Mar 5, 2017 #7


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    Works fine here, but youtube is notorious on not to work in every country, it always depends on the arrangements they got with the copyright admins in the various places. I often can't see the US quotes here.
  9. Mar 24, 2017 #8
    I had a similar experience with a physics exam about wave motion. I was bothered about a frequency problem I had done in the exam. I was supposed to find the second lowest frequency for a standing wave.

    During the next day after the exam.
    I woke up in the middle of the night in my bed and started scribbling on a piece of paper, I had remembered almost subconciously the answer I should have written already in the exam. Then, I realized I had made the mistake of finding the third lowest frequency in the exam, so I only got 3/5 marks on that problem. But otherwise I still got a good score overall 4.7 / 5.0

    Then I was a little bit agitated and angry at myself. I decided to retake the test and study wave motion even more in detail during the past weekend.
    Especially I studied standing waves a little bit more. I did self-studying only really using online resources though, because we didn't have a textbook. We only had what our teacher had taught us during class (from his teacher's edition book) and his pdf slides.

    I was happy that I had the stubborness and perseverence to "fix my own mistake" in a sense. I wasted a couple of hours in that second exam after the schoolday, but I got the job done, so I was almost more happy about that rather than the grade itself. In the retake of the exam I scored 25/25 points, so I was happy about that. I was a little bit startled by the standing wave problem in the retake exam, though. The first part of the problem was to explain the phenomenon of standing waves in a sound box (resonance box?). I could not remember anything about the physics based explanation behind the phenomenon... so I chose the other 5 problems in the retake exam (so I still had chances of getting the perfect score)

    A smart thing I did was to email my teacher before the retake exam. I asked about some previous homework assignments and verified that I had understood the process correctly. Then, also, I asked whether one other problem in my previous exam was done correctly by myself. We had had an elective type of exam where the student chose 5 problems out of 6.
  10. Mar 29, 2017 #9
    Exact. It's done.
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