Any test, and particularly a standardized test, can be stressful for a student and sometimes that stress is just too much to handle. People react in all sorts of unexpected ways when under duress. The emotional rollercoaster of taking a test is very similar to the stages of grief.
Denial: This isn’t happening… This is like, a diagnostic. Yeah that’s what this is! The real test won’t be for a very – very – long time. Aww, our teacher is so sweet for giving us a practice test! I’m going to bring her an apple. Or my first born child.
Anger: Are you kidding me? Are you KIDDING ME? I can’t even. That Dolores-Umbridge-look-alike said proofs wouldn’t on the test and what do I see here? Freaking proofs. YOU MUST NOT TELL LIES, DOLORES.
Bargaining: Okay prof, we can work something out, right? I have this really good peanut butter and jelly sandwich in my bag… Before you say no, you should know: the crusts are cut off.
Depression: Why do you do this to me? I’m just a kid… A kid who hasn’t slept in 2 days.
Acceptance: Okay I can do this. I CAN DO THIS. And if not, my life will still be equally full of happiness and success and ice cream and rainbows.
But unfortunately for some, the acceptance stage never occurs. *Cue suspenseful music* And their depression turns into stress-induced delirium. Creative juices begin flowing. Any remaining shred of motivation is thrown out the door and all that’s left is a student with a chip on his or her shoulder. The following are real stories by real people.
It’s amazing how much you can amuse yourself with a pencil and some paper with a side of sass.
“Once during an IB exam (History Higher Level), my friend drew a hand turkey in the essay booklet.”
“I wrote my SAT essay about Spongebob and Patrick”
“I wrote an essay comparing Dick in a Box to a classic Greek literature story for my final last year.”
“On my AP BC Calculus test I wrote a lengthy story comparing the rise and fall of the British Empire to the rise and fall of America. It was actually pretty interesting to me and I hope the AP grader actually read the whole thing.”
“One time I was supposed to write about the tense relationship between two characters in Beowulf. For my answer I wrote: he stole his lunch on the school bus every morning.”
“I drew a little ninja with a knife to a bunny’s throat at the top of the page with a speech bubble that read ‘Gimme an A or the bunny gets it.’ To my surprise, I got my paper back, and everything I had written had a red check next to it. I aced his quiz. On the back of the paper, my teacher had written, ‘Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have negotiated with terrorists, but you deserved the A.’”
Ultimately, can teachers really be mad when their students provide such creative answers? At least they put some thought into it! After all, there are some that wouldn’t…
“During AP BC Calculus Test, two of my friends literally put their heads down and slept throughout the entire test as soon as it started. They didn’t even bring a pencil.”
In an education system of frequent testing, it is hard not to let the pressure get to you once in a while, so if this happens to you, don’t beat yourself up over it. Maybe you won’t get the grade you originally wanted, but you’ll always have the story. Prospies, if there is one thing I’ve learned in the last few years, it is that life is too short to value yourself based on a number…unless that number is the number of all-nighters you pulled (for more fun reasons than finals) or the number of times you made someone smile. This is what’s important in life. But Jasmyn! My future depends on this! Yes. Your education is extremely important and I highly encourage you to challenge yourself and work diligently, but take it from someone who missed way too many Friday nights spent in the library, you do not need to overwork yourself. Even when it seems utterly impossible (and some days it will), there is a way to balance your life. These ridiculous test answers all came from successful students that are now in college. Let this remind you that there will be hiccups along the way and it’s a privilege to make the most of it. Be well, prospies.