Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
Hi there! You may have noticed things have changed on this site. You can learn more about that here.

How to deal with test anxiety for my AP Calculus AB class?

AsadFarooquiAsadFarooqui Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
edited February 13 in High School Life
I went into my Log Derivatives and Integrals test feeling moderately confident in my understanding of the material. During the test, my hand was tremoring, I took pauses in the middle of showing my work, and my mind started jumbling up the formulas. I came out of the test skipping over two problems entirely and with a lot of trepidation. I can’t “just forget about it and move on” because it’s cumulative and will be covered on the AP exam. Help?

Replies to: How to deal with test anxiety for my AP Calculus AB class?

  • bodanglesbodangles Registered User Posts: 9,031 Senior Member
    Something I have learned in the process of my engineering education is to never skip problems. ALWAYS put something down -- whether it's guessing at an answer for multiple choice or writing down formulae and givens for open-ended problems. You might get partial credit.

    Something that occasionally works at college is if part b depends on getting the right answer for part a, you can try making up an answer for a, saying "I know this isn't right but in order to work on b I'm going to assume it is" and try to get some points for the process, if not the answer. Maybe ask your teacher what they think of that before trying it but it can be a way to show your knowledge of b instead of leaving it blank.

    Bad tests happen. It's over now and all you can do is shore up your knowledge on those concepts for when they come up again in the future. Be honest with yourself -- was the nervousness because you actually didn't know it as well as you thought you did?
  • AsadFarooquiAsadFarooqui Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    @bodangles There weren’t any questions like those you described in your second paragraph. This is basic AP Calculus, not engineering.

    Addressing the last paragraph, it was hard because there were so many opportunities in the equation to screw up. That combined with my naturally slow writing will surely ruin my AP Calculus grade for this semester. How can I address this?
  • bodanglesbodangles Registered User Posts: 9,031 Senior Member
    This is basic AP Calculus, not engineering.

    I'm pretty sure problems that had a part a and b existed in my dual-enrollment calculus 1 senior year, but if that doesn't apply to you, ignore it. It's just advice for if that situation ever comes up.

    What do you mean by there being opportunities in the equation to screw up?
  • AsadFarooquiAsadFarooqui Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    @bodangles The problems had a lot of steps and several similar-looking formulas and, therefore, a lot of opportunities to screw up. Maybe I forgot this one rule? Maybe I mixed up my formula? I didn’t do my chain for e^3x? Was it lnx or 1/lnx in the formula? That’s what I mean.
  • bodanglesbodangles Registered User Posts: 9,031 Senior Member
    That sounds a lot like not knowing the material as well as you thought?
  • WaterborneWaterborne Registered User Posts: 231 Junior Member
    edited February 13
    You ought to realize that your AP Calculus grade only truly matters if you fail the class, and even then it doesn't matter that much. One D on your semester report card is not going to kill you. Heck, a 2.5 GPA means hardly anything. Just focus on passing the exam. If you feel anxious, you have to figure out why before you can learn to deal with it.
  • AsadFarooquiAsadFarooqui Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    @bodangles @Waterborne And this isn’t an isolated incident. I get test anxiety on most of my Calclulus tests. Should I just drop it before the damage gets too far?
  • WaterborneWaterborne Registered User Posts: 231 Junior Member
    No, you should not drop it. Worst case scenario, just retake the class in college.
  • meb1meb1meb1meb1 Registered User Posts: 238 Junior Member
    It sounds like you need more support and structure in preparing for each test and practicing additional problem sets on the material you are covering. Can you talk to your teacher to ask for extra help and problem sets and to review your tests afterward to ensure you understand and can practice what you missed and do this on a regular basis? And ask the teacher or guidance dept for direction to other tutoring and math support whether peer to peer or with other teachers in the math dept? And finally look for outside resourcee such as at the library or local university. You need to put yourself in charge of solving this problem by asking for help and actively working to see what your gaps in the material are. I went through this systematically with my daughter last year in BC Calc and we turned a very difficult situation around from what might have been a solid D to B by end of semester.
  • coolguy40coolguy40 Registered User Posts: 1,090 Senior Member
    Sounds like the anxiety is the problem. If it's sabotaging your grades, then maybe you should consider seeing a doctor about it. What your going through is very treatable. In college, it's only going to get worse.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 9,980 Forum Champion
    I agree with @coolguy40.... there is normal test anxiety but if you are parepared and are having major anxiety issues during the test, it is time to get some help. Talk to your doctor about a referral.
Sign In or Register to comment.