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Setting the standard high?


wish4me

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I recently returned to school. I'm doing well and getting an accumulative average of 97. Each day we have unit tests. I haven't yet made a 100 on either unit test, leaving me feel so disappointed in myself and sick to my stomach. I've had 5 tests so far and either goof up on one question (don't read it thoroughly or change my answer - multiple choice). If I make 100 on a test JUST ONCE, I will be happy. It would do so much to my self-esteem. So far: 98 ,98, 94, 95.

 

Each night we have chapter reviews with questions. I have to read the question at least 4 times and by the time I go look for the answer I have AGAIN forgot the question. I'm for sure its anxiety.

 

Am I setting too high expectations? My previous employer would always find something to criticize anything I did, making me feel so disappointed despite having appreciation for my hard work from the departments I sent the information too. For instance, I sent an email one day to the correct person but addressed the body of the email "Good Morning Doug" when it should have been "Dave". No biggie I thought but I was chewed out. I feel the same sense of loss today over the test, like I did in my workplace.

 

Today I got a 95 in my unit test. I'm still attaining an overall average of 97. I've still beating myself up about messing up on 4 questions.

 

Advice? Kel

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I obviously don't know whether or not 97 is a good average or not, since I don't know the scale, the marking system or the group norm, so I can't really comment on that, but if you're currently doing well, then keep doing what you're doing. You don't have to get full marks every time (unless most other people are). I know the anxiety is making you feel uncomfortable, but looking at it from a positive perspective, it's also what's ensuring that your marks remain high, and you still have those high marks to use in future long after the transient anxiety has passed.

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We have 2 smart people in the class who get around 98-100 on each unit test.

Each day I say to myself, read the question 2x (which I do) only to find out my interpretation was different to theirs or I marked the wrong circle. I am taking my time on the tests and not rushing. I just want one 100 before we finish this class and start on our lab work. We need to achieve an 80 or above to pass.

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Well if you really want to go for perfection, which I'm not sure I'd recommend anyway, then take the time to analyse each mistake. See how your interpretation was different, understand how to have made the interpretation in the correct way for that question, and then try to generalise that reasoning for future questions. It sounds as though you're doing fine, though; that last 5% is probably subject to the law of diminishing returns, so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

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I should be thankful I guess for having the grades I have, since it's probably been over 20 years since I graduated school. The problem is I have never been much of a reader. Reading 3 chapters each day, chapter reviews, workbooks, and chapter tests is too much to absorb, remember and recall.

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Oh I know, and it gets worse with age, I'm afraid! But tests never require knowledge of everything you've read; there's only so much knowledge you can demonstrate in a test. It's a case of knowing what to remember rather than trying to remember everything.

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