The students I have seen so far are already carrying disappointment from their past mocks into their exams. They feel their tutors where disappointed in their results and because of this, they are worried that they will not do well.
On top of this is the concern that they will forget everything they have learnt. My assumption for this, is that they felt increased pressure when sitting their mocks, and the stress stopped them from thinking, when we go into flight or fright, we also go into freeze, which is not so much discussed.
I feel our students are burnt out and after a stressful incident which triggered a little freeze and the lack of oxygen in our blood when stressed also stops us thinking, has created a feeling of inadequacy within our kids, then to top this off, they then have been told, that this experience which they found so difficult, was not good enough. What they put themselves through, wasn’t great and they should do better.
Wow, talk about increasing the pressure, and increasing the stress, and creating more freeze without being able to think!!!
Surely you want these kids to pass right?
Then we need to teach them how to unwind, how to store information in a relaxing way. How to walk into exams feeling confident, how to get the best from their memory, how to feel hopeful, not helpless.
There has been numerous research studies showing just how people who are stressed lose their memory, on top of this these kids have an experience which confirmed to them, their memory is not how they want it to be, and this environment of study pressure confirms this and helps create a self fulfilling prophecy.
So my best suggestion is create a new self fulfilling prophecy, with these few little tips.
- Tonight before going to bed, write down three incidents in which your memory worked fantastically well. When you where in a quiz, or you followed instructions, or when you were responsible for collecting something and did. (Now i know what your self sadistic brain is doing right now, reminding you of how forgetful you are, well, stop it!!! and “””THINK OF YOUR GREAT MEMORY). Feel it within you, remember that feeling of knowing things, being smart, FEEL THAT FEELING OF KNOWING!!! And then take these memories and this feeling to bed with you and relive your great memory as you fall asleep.
- Use Affirmations in the morning when you wake up.
I feel calm when in exams
I know my mind is my best friend and the info in their is easily accessed by me
I feel relaxed today about my future
I can handle this
I know my memory is awesome
Whatever will be, will be, I know I have so many things to offer, that this stage in my life, is just that, a stage
I feel good about myself
- If you have been saying ‘EXAMS’ (GCSE’S, Highers, or whatever word you have been using, ) with a huge sigh and the word now hits you like a kick in the stomach that winds you, this is called a conditioned response, you now have an unhealthy relationship with the word, Stop, rename them when you discuss them, and rename them in your head when others discuss them, so you hear the echo of your word after theirs, decide to call exams, -tests, quiz, reviews, assessment, ratings, evaluation etc
- Close your eyes, when sitting safely, and repeat over and over again, ‘I feel sick’, after you have done this, close your eyes and repeat over and over again ‘I feel like I am floating’, and finally, then again with ‘I feel like all of my cells are giggling’. Now you will have noted how we can have physical reactions to our thoughts.
- Your thoughts can be of help or of hindrance, what you think you feel, so use your thoughts to stop persuading you that you are going to screw this up, and use them to persuade you that you will do very well.
These few little strategies can help you to emotionally feel capable and prepared, so use them to feel settled about the future ahead
If you would like further individual help, where you can be tutored to use your own brain as your best exam friend, then feel free to contact me.
We will look at how you see things, and identify ways in which we can alter how we look at situations to increase a feeling of overall ability, confidence and a relaxed exam situation.