The Final Countdown


Natalie Brown, Contributor

Testing anxiety affects students every day. And for many, this will be their first time taking tests of this caliber. The stress and tension that come with the preparation are intense and hard to get a grip on. For Freshman Emily Wart, finals pose a unique challenge, despite taking high school classes in middle school.

“All my classes are doing finals. The ones I am studying for…. It’s a lot of stuff to study for. Even the ones that aren’t doing an official final are doing projects that are weighted as finals,” she says.

The method Wart uses for studying is the most common technique- going over materials already presented.

“Normally I don’t prepare too much for tests, but when I do, I use my own notes and presentations on itslearning,” she says.

Itslearning and Powerschool are amazing resources to view grades, assignments, and tests. But don’t let it overwhelm you.

“Do your best, and the ones you have down, don’t feel like you need to study really hard for them because that can be intimidating… spend the time wisely, spend it on things that you don’t understand and you need to get done,” she says.

Kate Russel has a lot more confidence coming into finals. Some of her AP classes include AP Computer Science, AP Literature, AP Physics, and AP Calculus. Despite this, she’s going into the tests strong.

“I’m not really a nervous test taker and I spend an adequate amount of time studying so in the past I haven’t had a lot of stress regarding finals. Due to the lack of excessive stress I usually have done fairly well,” she says.

To articulate how she thinks test taking stress impacts others, she goes to the negative impacts stress can have on your body- and your grades.

“I personally don’t have a lot of test taking anxiety, however I understand that it can very negatively affect the outcome of a test. Not only does it cause someone to over exceed the recommended levels of stress for peak performance, but it can affect what is retained from studying and can also cause a lack of sleep which is also going to negatively affect how the test itself goes,” she says.

To study, Russel has many strategies.

“In my opinion the best way to prepare for a final is to find out what’s going to be on it first. Most teachers will provide a review or syllabus for the test and if they don’t you can quite literally ask them “what do I need to know for the test” and usually they’ll give you an answer. Once you have that information you have to think about what you need to prioritize when reviewing and focus on some of your weakest points. It’s also a good idea to look over homework from the semester and rework some problems.”