Hey. I know you’re nervous. It’s okay. You’ve got a high-pressure test tomorrow, and it’s probably weighing on you a little. It’s all right to be anxious about things like this– but it’s also important to know how to handle that anxiety.
So, here: I made you a checklist, because sometimes it helps to have a tangible list of things to do when you’re nervous. If you’re in class this semester, you already received a copy today. If you took AP World last semester, you might want to download this, print it out, and read it over. (And if you’re not one of my students– because I know there are some of you out there who read this who aren’t in my classes– feel free to take this advice and apply it to your own testing circumstance tomorrow.)
And because I think it’s important, and I think you guys probably need to hear this sometimes– especially in our current world of high-stakes testing– I’ll repeat what I said at the end of the checklist.
If there’s anything else you should know for tomorrow’s exam, it’s this: I’m so proud of you guys. This is a hard class—it’s the history of everyone, everywhere, since the beginnings of humanity! It couldn’t be anything BUT hard. But you’ve handled this semester with grace, perseverance, curiosity, enthusiasm, and grit. You’ve already proven yourselves to me; I don’t need the College Board to tell me whether or not you know this stuff. This is three hours out of your life, with seventy questions and three essays. It can’t possibly tell me—or anyone else—about your sense of historical empathy, your ability use historical precedents in your personal decision-making, or your value as a person.
So go in there tomorrow and kick butt on the exam, because I know you can. But remember when the scores come back in July that you’re not a better person for scoring a five, or a worse person for scoring a two. (I think you’re awesome regardless.) The only thing that really matters is what you DO with the information you gain in this or any other class, and you can do so very, very much more than take a test.
So there you go. Go forth and conquer.
Buena suerte, bon chance, and good luck!