I had a college friend in the 1960's who was a master test-taker. He would score 99 on any machine-graded exam that he took. But he was not that good a student. I asked him once what he wanted to do after he finished school. I shall never forget his reply: "I'm looking for a job that will pay me to take exams." That made sense!
I have also known very smart people who never do well on written tests.
What about you? How good a test-taker are you? If you usually get high grades, you are probably smart. If you don't get high grades, you may be smart. Or you may not be very smart. But if you have read ...view middle of the document...
Half way through the exam, in panic, she handed it in. "I just can't do this." I told her that she had another half hour, so go back and write something. "Write anything that's accurate, and you'll probably get a D, which is a passing grade." She took my advice. She got a C+. That's a whole lot better than an F.
Never forget, there are people in the room who aren't so smart as you are, who are even more behind in their reading, who didn't crack a book, and who are going through a break-up with a boy-friend. These people will pick up all of the F's and most of the D's.
To get a B, all you have to do is beat the C students.
To get an A takes some doing. Forget about it . . . for this semester, anyway.
In other words, stop worrying about an F or a D. Stop worrying also about not getting an A. The field has now narrowed: beating the C crowd.
How many people in the C crowd signed up for my study course? Of those who did, how many are still reading it?
If you become an A student, don't worry. You may think that someone in 20 years -- or 5 years -- is going to care whether you got an A or a B. You're wrong. Only you will care -- maybe. You may imagine that some B+ student is on your tail ready to shoot you out of the sky. You have forgotten the obvious: the B+ student is worrying about the B- student who is trying to shoot him out of the sky. So, you will do just fine merely by showing up. Be calm. Be cool. And be collected.