I always beat myself up, when I make "stupid" mistakes on tests...

Tennis Guy

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I know it happens to us all... however, I always beat myself up over "stupid" mistakes way too much. What do you guys do, when you miss a question and then realize "oh man, I knew that answer why did I do that... I'm so stupid!"? However, I don't mind missing questions that I "don't know" the answer to just ones that I "know" the answer to. I'm doing so well this semester and I'm on track to make straight A's, but I just keep being too harsh against myself for these mistakes. On my Bio test today, I managed to make a B... when I could and "should" have made an A but these dumb mistakes cost me. Also, some of the questions I missed were on old exams that I studied, which is really inexcusable. I'm sorry for the rant... but I really need some help to overcome this state of mind :(... any help would be most appreciated. :)
 
Feb 26, 2010
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Not to sound like a douche, but what are you looking for? A pat on the back saying that everything will be okay?
 
Mar 16, 2010
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Get a hobby. Hiking? running? A musical instrument? Classic literature?

There's too much worthwhile stuff in life to worry about making a few stupid mistakes on an exam.
 
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Go volunteer with chronically and/or terminally ill patients. You'll realize that there are much bigger problems in this world to care about besides your stupid mistakes on tests...
 
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I do the same thing as well, because duh their stupid questions that i knew but i feel angry/sad for a moment then learn from them (usually i have to slow down while taking the test and when i'm finished go over the test to see if i marked the right answers and see if i bubbled all of the numbers correctly). Try that and see if it helps. Don't be in a rush to finish the test, take your time and look over your answers.
 

Dr Pennypacker

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I generally was so prepared for my exams that I never saw a question/problem that I didn't like. Often times the tests I made for myself were far more difficult than the tests my professors made.
 

Slowpoke

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I generally was so prepared for my exams that I never saw a question/problem that I didn't like. Often times the tests I made for myself were far more difficult than the tests my professors made.

i don't understand how this helps the OP?

are you suggesting that he was under-prepared? Are you inferring the idea that you've never made a "stupid" mistake because of your well preparedness?

OP, stupid mistakes are inevitable. Understand that by random chance you might mentally skip the word "NOT" on a multiple choice, or may not see a simple detail that entirely re-contexts the question. It's natural. Just be more careful.
 

apumic

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OP, stupid mistakes happen to us all. It's often best to go back and check yourself. Take the time to make sure your answers make sense. If, on checking your answers, you didn't catch something but upon seeing the answers are sure you knew the right answer, you probably are just falling into a form of self-serving bias. People tend to believe they already knew something once they have been told something they agree with.
 

jboz

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Oh dear God,
Trolllololololol
were you born a tard?

OP, i know what you mean. The same thing just happened in my Gen Chem class. I miscalculated the molar mass of Na3PO4 and because it was during the first problem in a set of questions, I was marked off 10pts (given half credit because I did the equations/ratios right), which brought down my test grade to an 84%. Luckily the test was curved, but the fact remains that stupid things like that happen and I do get mad at myself. Had there been no curve, or if my professor didn't give me half credit, then I'd be SOL. The only thing you can do is make sure if you have enough time after the next test, is to go back over your answers and double-check for the mistakes.

As others have said, it happens, just try to minimize it and not punch a hole in the wall :)
 

DrSmooth

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Sounds like you are beating yourself up for beating yourself up. Time to ease up on yourself, dude. You don't have to be perfect. :)

But in answer to your question, I've found for me that it helps to watch for a pattern. Like I severely self-flagellate over those dumb mistakes and am depressed the whole day when I get a bad test/grade back. Then the next day is a little better, I start thinking about what I'll do different next time. Then on the third day I'm back from the dead. So now I know what to expect, as do my friends and family, and I just enjoy the ride.
 

Frazier

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On my Bio test today, I managed to make a B... when I could and "should" have made an A but these dumb mistakes cost me.
B on a bio exam = phooey...

I always check over every single question when I first finish a test (basically retake the test again). Sometimes I have caught question reading errors, other times answer errors, and other times a question [or two] that I had skipped and forgotten about...

Basically, it pays to stay and check your work ad nauseam.
Trust me, I'm a premed.
 

fastfingers

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I go to an internet game and I rage on noobs.
It helps. Trust me, I'm a premed.
 

Dr Pennypacker

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i don't understand how this helps the OP?

are you suggesting that he was under-prepared? Are you inferring the idea that you've never made a "stupid" mistake because of your well preparedness?
All of the above. The OP needs to slow down take a deep breath while taking the tests, but he also needs to prepare better before the tests so there is no chance that he will write down a "stupid" answer.
 

Dr Pennypacker

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I was referring to the poster above me. Look at his previous posts, he is clearly a troll. Oh, and ask your mom if she thinks I was "born a tard". We know each other quite well.
How am I a troll? I was just trying to help the OP by telling him a little about myself. Since when did sharing factual information become "trolling"? In fact, I think you are the troll. What kind of person makes mom jokes on this board?
 

Tennis Guy

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Yea, you guys are right... self-flagellation is not the way to go and it's just not healthy. :) However, one thing that also made me mad is that I answered about two questions based on an old test from someone else and didn't really bother to check the answer to the questions myself... and my gut feeling was that the answer they had wasn't right but still marked it that way because of fear of getting it marked wrong. I should have never "assumed" their answer was right because it turned out to be incorrect, but I'm afraid to ask the professor questions from tests from previous years. Do you guys that going over past exams with professors is a good idea? A lot of the questions that he puts on the tests are "recycled."
 

Salt and Lime

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I used to work in the learning support center of a local university, and students who had a pattern of missing "easy" questions on exams and then beating themselves up about it often had a mild form of test anxiety. We had a counselor who specialized in identifying and helping to reduce test anxiety. I don't actually know what she had students do, but maybe researching test anxiety and strategies to combat it would help?

Also, slowing down and being extra careful is good practice for a future medical career. Med errors happen all the time during simple procedures, because they're so simple that the docs & nurses stop being careful.
 

surftheiop

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I know it happens to us all... however, I always beat myself up over "stupid" mistakes way too much. What do you guys do, when you miss a question and then realize "oh man, I knew that answer why did I do that... I'm so stupid!"? However, I don't mind missing questions that I "don't know" the answer to just ones that I "know" the answer to. I'm doing so well this semester and I'm on track to make straight A's, but I just keep being too harsh against myself for these mistakes. On my Bio test today, I managed to make a B... when I could and "should" have made an A but these dumb mistakes cost me. Also, some of the questions I missed were on old exams that I studied, which is really inexcusable. I'm sorry for the rant... but I really need some help to overcome this state of mind :(... any help would be most appreciated. :)
Don't stress about it, I'm sure you've thought about this before but in the long run it doesn't particularly matter how you perform on an individual test. What matters is that you make a habit of going into each test as prepared as you need to be. If you walk into every test fully prepared your going to come out fine in the long run, some days you will miss questions you should have gotten and other times you will get right questions that you really shouldn't have.

Also just remember that your going have something like >120 credits in your cGPA and at least 30 something in your sGPA. And even then GPA is probably only like 30-40% of your medschool application. So just keep things in perspective and things will tend to turn out fine.
 

Elpenor

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This is why in most cases an "A" is 90-100%

10% is plenty of room for stupid mistakes
 

Dr Pennypacker

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You're a podiatrist, right? Why do you post in pre-allo exclusively? All of your posts center around how awesome you are. Really, your professor had you "jump in and teach the class"? But whatever I'm not going to entertain you and derail this thread.


OP, I had a problem with over thinking questions and changing correct answers. Now when I take a test I answer all the questions I know off the bat first and skip the ones that I have to think about to answer them later. When I go back over the skipped questions, I don't look at the questions I could answer without thinking. You first instinct is usually right. HTH
I am just doing my part to try and give back some of the knowledge I have amassed over the years. I figure that many here in the pre-allo board could benefit from what I have to say. Thank you for your concern though. Truth is I have a son who wants to get into the medical field and he told me about this board.

I'm flattered that you have done so much research about my previous posts though.
 

Trexate

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Everyone makes stupid mistakes. Ex: on a physics MCAT passage I had my answer of 8*pi. Rather than marking the answer that was close to 24, I put something else because I didn't even think to multiply it through.

I thought about that mistake for a good week after the test. Then I realized that there was no amount of thinking about it that would go back and change it. So I drank some booze and took a nap, and that was that.

But to deal with stress, I workout.
 
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I know it happens to us all... however, I always beat myself up over "stupid" mistakes way too much. What do you guys do, when you miss a question and then realize "oh man, I knew that answer why did I do that... I'm so stupid!"? However, I don't mind missing questions that I "don't know" the answer to just ones that I "know" the answer to. I'm doing so well this semester and I'm on track to make straight A's, but I just keep being too harsh against myself for these mistakes. On my Bio test today, I managed to make a B... when I could and "should" have made an A but these dumb mistakes cost me. Also, some of the questions I missed were on old exams that I studied, which is really inexcusable. I'm sorry for the rant... but I really need some help to overcome this state of mind :(... any help would be most appreciated. :)

I do this ALL the time. What I find helps is looking over the questions again - EVEN the ones that I answered really fast because I 'knew' the answer.

It's hard when you're done with a test really fast and you just want to get out of there!!
 

Augustus

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I know it happens to us all... however, I always beat myself up over "stupid" mistakes way too much. What do you guys do, when you miss a question and then realize "oh man, I knew that answer why did I do that... I'm so stupid!"? However, I don't mind missing questions that I "don't know" the answer to just ones that I "know" the answer to. I'm doing so well this semester and I'm on track to make straight A's, but I just keep being too harsh against myself for these mistakes. On my Bio test today, I managed to make a B... when I could and "should" have made an A but these dumb mistakes cost me. Also, some of the questions I missed were on old exams that I studied, which is really inexcusable. I'm sorry for the rant... but I really need some help to overcome this state of mind :(... any help would be most appreciated. :)
You're mad because you lose enough points without taking them away from yourself.

In a way I suppose its a good thing that you're so upset over it. You want to be better because you know you can be better and thus expect to be better.

Keep working hard. I'm as prone to picking the wrong answer as the next guy, especially on multiple choice. Re-read all of the questions before turning in your exam, if you have time. Answer the question(s) you are most unsure about last so that way you can give it extra time, if there is any. I find most of the time, with me anyway, my problem is more that I don't understand what the question is trying to ask because of poor wording by the professor but if I have the proper time to answer it I can usually think through it and get the question right.
 

svftw

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I used to have obsessive thoughts about stupid mistakes I made, too, but then I got over it. You just have to decide not to let it bother you by realizing that you can't go back and change it. It's done. It's in the past. Don't think about it. No good comes from looking back at what's already done and thinking about what you should have done. You made a mistake so now you need to learn from it. Don't let a mistake in the past bother your present.