AP Exams and Stress

With AP tests coming up, it’s hard not to be constantly worried. With how stressful and long the tests are, how can any student not be bogged down studying and stressing? Well, I for one am not actually too worried. Why, you might ask? There are a multitude of reasons, but when it comes down to it, there’s no point in me worrying about tests I already plan to study for. There’s no reason to stress over a test that I’ve already set aside time to study for. This brings me to my next topic: stress and planning.

Photo ©2011 by Eamon Curry [CC BY 2.0]

Photo ©2011 by Eamon Curry [CC BY 2.0]

As I’m sure all of us can agree, going in blind into any situation isn’t the easiest thing to do. Just as going into the wilderness without a map can be scary and dangerous, so can going into a school week without a plan. If I know I have a difficult math test coming up or anything I am nervous for, I start writing out a schedule. Not only does it give me a sort of road-map to follow that is custom-made for my schedule, but it also allows me to relax. Once I’ve realized that I have time to study and that “everything’s gonna be alright,” I can be more proactive with what I should be doing in the moment. Time and time again, it has been shown that one of the greatest fears humans have is the fear of the unknown. This is where most of our natural stress comes from. When we don’t know what we’re facing, it’s all we can think about until that moment of uncertainty passes.
Throughout my life, I’ve personally struggled to not worry so much about what the future may hold. Nowadays, though, I just think to myself the same thoughts: “I’ve been worried before, and it’s always worked out alright in the end. Just focus, plan ahead, and get the job done.” Although I still retain a little bit of that worried attitude, these thoughts do help me to focus on the now rather than the future, which is most important.

– Bryan Clements

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