Eliminating Test Anxiety

| Saturday, December 17, 2011
I have my last final of the semester in a bit under four hours. So test anxiety and stress are right on my mind. Some people deal with these with studying. Psh. It's a stats exam, so of course I spent last night teaching someone the basics of energy in chemical bonds. This morning I'm writing this and I can't imagine missing "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me", the NPR news quiz which is in less than an hour.

Most importantly though, I deal with tests with creativity, with applications of my vast knowledge, some of which is psychological. See where I'm going with this? Yep, I have my own way to deal with stresss based on proven psychology. We all know the "flight or fight" response. But have we ever truly applied it? We get all worked up over an intellectual challenge, but prepared for a physical challenge. So why not fix that so we can focus on thinking?

The general idea is to allow the flight or fight response to manifest itself fully, activate, and then go away. In specific applications this means I release a couple tigers into the building before exams and then we can all fight them or run like wimps. Once that's done, we're in the perfect mental state to tackle t-tests, z-tests, and of course, f-tests, which make a great stats exam pun. It makes sense, what is a bit of over-hyped algebra compared to tigers trying to kill you?

I'm still left with one nagging thought about regression. We (our classes) describe them as taking four general forms: level-level, ln-level, level-ln, and ln-ln, but no cow-level.


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