Test-taking habits cause distress

Now that we are bravely entering the wonderful world of midterms, I decided it was appropriate to complain about a favorite topic – tests and the pet peeves that go with them.

Aside from the obvious question of ‘why do we have to take the wretched things to begin with,’ there is a certain test etiquette which unfortunately tends to fall by the wayside, making an already nerve-wracking experience worse.

Number one – talking. You should not talk after the tests have been distributed. People are looking at them and trying to focus. In an already uptight environment, the last thing students want is the teacher to continue talking about it. Somehow, this just makes the whole situation worse.

Number two – asking questions. This can indeed be helpful in clearing up information or providing some background if you happened to fall asleep during the previous lesson. However, if you were foolish enough to have chosen to watch a season premier over studying, this can be a nausea-inducing wake-up call.

Number three – random noises. Unfortunately, I’m one of those people whose nerves tend to escape through evil pen clicking. And as much as it provides comic relief for the Verizon default ringtone to go off in the middle of a difficult essay, trying to regain your train of thought afterward is a right bear.

Number four – people coming in late…with coffee. As college students, most of us have discovered the delights that this legal addictive stimulant can bring. However, when you’re in the middle of the multiple choice section and someone walks in late carrying a cup of coffee, it tends to be a bit annoying. You know that the only reason this person was late was because they stopped for the coffee, and that is not a good enough reason for your concentration to be disrupted. There is also the compulsion to watch that person walk to their seat, simply because it provides a distraction from the drudgery which still sits in front of you.

Number five – running out of supplies. Why is it that your pencil breaks or your pen runs out of ink only during a test? Then, you have to disturb the class by rummaging around in your bag for a new one or asking the person next to you for a replacement. However, I have found that this is a perfectly legitimate way to postpone the abuse of your brain and your hand.

Tests tend to bring out the worst in us. Thankfully, in roughly two hours, it’s all over. Until finals week, anyway.