Junior year is a time filled with test score anxiety. It’s the time when AP, IB, SAT, and ACT scores seem to matter the most. Unfortunately, these anxieties seem to breed test score envy among classmates and even oneself.
As you enter school and gear up to ace some tests, don’t let yourself enter the test score envy pack. It’s not healthy and it rarely gets people anywhere.
As a former high school student I know how easy it can be to fall into the test score envy crowd. It doesn’t feel awesome when you study hard and get a lower score than you expected.
Is it wrong for you to feel bad? Of course not. It’s only human to have emotions. Is it bad for you to feel awful for an extended period of time? Yes, it is. So how do you avoid test score envy? There’s several ways.
There’s always time for improvement
Don’t let one bad score pull you down. For the ACT and SAT, check which areas you scored lower than you expected. What do you need to study more? Is there a specific reason you scored lower in one section than in others? Once you figure that out you’ll have time for improvement by the next test.
For AP and IB remember back to the testing room and your test prepping. If it was an issue with stress and anxiety talk to your school counselor about different ways of calming down. Or research information online in order to find tips and relaxing exercises. For studying check to see which methods allowed you to concentrate the most. Stop doing the methods that didn’t work. Experiment with different studying styles until you find your best fit.
Avoid Score Gossip
I’m sure we all know which group of students at school are always trying to figure out everyone else’s scores. Remember, if you don’t feel like sharing your score, you are not obligated to. Simply tell them you received a score you’re happy with and leave it at that. Don’t fall into peer pressure. You should never have to tell others your score if you don’t want to.
If you don’t want to hear about other people’s scores change the topic. Or simply say “Good job!” and move on.
Stop the comparisons
You are not going to feel better about yourself if you’re constantly comparing yourself to other classmates. Genuinely congratulate students who did well in their exams. Ask them for tips on how to improve your own scores. Maybe they have some cool tips that can help you or know someone you can contact for help.
Sometimes people view their classmates as competition. A way to motivate yourself into working harder for your grades. It’s a point of view I’ve heard from classmates and one I can understand. However, never let your classmates become your enemies. Friendly competition is fun but never try to be something you’re not.
You’re more than a number
If you’re worried about your score because of scholarships or college admissions do remember there are other factors. Scholarship and college admissions do more than look over test scores. Let hobbies and other accomplishments shine through.
Don’t let your individuality dim for college admissions and don’t let it dim in your own life. You’re you, not a number.
The key to avoiding test score envy is knowing yourself and being positive. You can look at other people’s accomplishments for inspiration but no one else can reach your goals for you. People trapped in test score envy often give up or stop putting much effort in trying. Don’t let yourself be pulled in. You always have the potential to do more.