My students always seem to be intimidated by the word exam. I wanted to see what and why this happens. I gave the students a "practice problem" on graphing functions based on algebra and calculus ideas. They were not allowed to work on it together, however I did not call it an exam. I wanted to see how they did knowing it was not an exam. The students performance on the "practice" was outstanding. There were small errors in the algebra but the overall concept was near perfect. Out of two sections, a total of 53 students, everyone scored 90% or better. Then they did a similar problem for the "exam". Just knowing it was an exam made them more nervous. The scores varied from C's to A's. Attached are the practice problem and the exam. Upon returning the material I asked the students for feedback as to why they felt they did better on the practice versus the exam. Both they were not allowed to use notes and with 100% agreement they all said because one was practice and one was an exam.