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going through the motions at school

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hi everyone:


i don't know what to do lately about school. seems everytime i have an assignment or a big test i end up just barely passing. and it's not that i don't understand the material - i honestly think that i may not have what it takes to be in school. i study, but my memory can't cope under stressful situations, and it's hard for me to articulate myself concisely and in an organized manner when it comes to essay and short answer questions. i really feel stupid a lot of the times, and i really don't know what it is that i'm doing wrong. i take courses that i enjoy, and the profs aren't all that bad. i attend classes and i pay attention. i keep up with the readings as much as possible, and i have a part-time job on top of it all. i find school extremely tough and enjoyable at the same time. i really don't know what it is about me that makes for such awful grades. any insight?


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Would it help if you studied in a group? Sometimes actually talking about the material out loud with other people helps. Do you give yourself time to study for tests or do you cram? Just remember that it's not a life or death situation when you go in for these tests or these assignments. If you don't do well it's not the end of the world. That helps with me. If I go in with that attitude, it helps me relax and focus on the material rather than my own stress, and then I usually do better. Hope that helps a little!

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A lot of schools offer workshops that help you with test-taking skills. It seems like there is always help available for things like essay tests. Plus, test-taking is a learned skill, not something that necessarily comes naturally, so the more you practice, the better you get. Workshops can provide you with practice situations and give you helpful tips on how to organize your thoughts during a test and what to expect when studying.


Also, have you tried to talk to your professors? For the most part, they are glad to help students who enjoy the course but can't show their understanding of materials on tests. While workshops can give you general ideas, your professors might be able to give you specific tips geared towards their tests. (And while I wouldn't always count on this, if you show that you're interested in the material and understand it when you talk about it with them, they might give you a little more credit on your tests because they have a better idea of how you're performing...)

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