11 July 2009

Performance anxiety

All too distracting: being two songs into a drum challenge in Rock Band 2 and having someone cross in front of me before the next song and then sit in a recliner just diagonally behind me. As she leaned back and put her feet up, I couldn't quite see her in my peripheral vision, but I knew she was right there.

Even though I knew she wasn't paying me or the game any attention, my focus wavered and I started making more mistakes. Instead of passing around 96%, my scores dropped to 90%. It was frustrating because I could feel the effect her presence was having on me, but I also knew she wasn't doing anything wrong.

It made me think of the SATs and other standardized tests. My practice test scores were always quite a bit higher than my official scores, part of which I attribute to performance anxiety.* All this ran through my brain while I was still playing the game mind you, so it's no wonder my accuracy percentage dropped. It's fortunate the songs didn't become more difficult in this particular challenge.

*The other parts: standardized testing always occurred at the apex of my worst allergies. More than once I was afraid the proctor would throw me out because I was coughing so hard, and then my eyes would water so much I had trouble reading. Also, not a morning person.

Man, this clearly still bothers me some even though I got into all the colleges I applied to. I suppose it's the idea of being assessed as not my best that gets to me. Huh.

Two years ago on TTaT: Best of TTaT


  1. It's like having someone watch you parallel park. Totally impossible.