You Are Not Your Test Score

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Cassidy Audette, Writer

There is no worse feeling than getting back that test that you worked so hard on you really thought you aced it. But, intelligence is not just the ability to complete a test, and you are not your test score.

Students, especially high school students, are constantly stressed out and overwhelmed with schoolwork. They think that their grades are what dictates their worth and what controls their future. If they fail that chemistry test, then they can say goodbye to getting into their dream college. 

The fact that a student may not know the material in the test could be why they don’t get a good score. It could also be stress, as well as anxiety.

Stress can impact so many things. It can impact one’s mental health, physical wellbeing, sleep schedule and it can also impact test scores. Jennifer Heissel of the Naval Postgraduate School measured cortisol in students’ spit during weeks with high-stakes standardized tests and weeks without testing. It was found that students had 15 percent more cortisol in their systems in the period before a standardized test versus days with no important tests. “The decrease in cortisol is more a sign that your body is facing an overwhelming task and your body does not want to engage with the test,” Heissel said.  Stress does, in fact, impact test scores. The overwhelming task that’s being mentioned is the tests. If one’s body is deciding to not engage, how can they be expected to get a good score on their test? No matter how hard they try or how well a student may know the material, if they’re too stressed out, their score won’t be as good as it could be. They won’t be able to prove their full potential or intelligence. 

Some may argue that there is a way to calm yourself down, there are people you can talk to, medications you can take and breathing exercises you can use.

While those are reasonable thoughts to have, they aren’t exactly true. You can do all sorts of activities to try to calm your conscious mind down, but your subconscious is a whole other story. Not only is your subconscious mind stressed, but it’s anxious too. 

When I am anxious, it’s like I can’t seem to do anything to focus. It’s like there is a voice in your head that’s asking all these questions and fogging up your brain, preventing you from being able to get a valid thought in. It makes it almost impossible to get an important test like the ones in school finished properly. 

Stress and anxiety can really take over your body. How can someone be taking a test that they have to place their future on if their body is not allowing them to engage? Standardized testing does not accurately measure one’s intelligence.