Exam season is now in full swing at the university and every one is sitting their papers in the sports hall having got through another year of reading books and writing papers. I have only got another two months for my exams, they won’t be coming until mid-July and that leaves me with plenty of time to do some reading and preparing for the challenge of the summer. When I first came to Essex I got into the business of insuring myself so that I could make it through the foundation year. It’s vital to have yourself set if you feel like your disability will make you vulnerable to failure.
In my experience exams don’t go well for me. I have already failed three in succession at the Open University before I dropped out. I failed physics because I didn’t revise properly, failed the re-sit then failed a planetary science module due to a cold. I got so annoyed with my failings I had to drop out and skip another re-sit. The stress and anxiety can put you in a dark frame of mind. It beats you into a corner and makes you feel incapable. You need to be in the right frame of mind to make yourself convinced that you can win. To do that you need to set yourself a set of activities to combat the stress as well as reading the books and your revision material.
Start by asking yourself what resources are available. Today I went to the student hub to ask for some help with managing my mental health. In any normal person managing stress is something that should be taken properly to make yourself feel good. However in my case it’s a different story. I sometimes struggle to keep mentally alert in a situation that requires my full attention and so I lose my grip on the task. To focus my mind and relax I rely on meditation tracks from my personal collection of Meditainment tunes. It’s good for the heart and mind and it can make you feel refreshed. However there are times when you need one to one help. I told the hub about my aspergers and in doing so I now have special requirements in place where I will be taking my exam in a place that is a lot less large and more comfortable for me to think. That’s a good start if you want special arrangements, because you will also get 25% more examination time so you have more time to think.
Managing revision is important and for that you will need to use the right steps to get it right first time. Make regular visits to the gym to beat stress and go for lengthy walks whenever you feel like you are wound up from reading too much. Anxiety is contagious, if you are sitting next to a walking train wreck raviting about his problems then that’s his problem. Don’t try to catch and walk away or encourage that person to get help. When it comes to sitting down to doing your revision doing it in a structured way, don’t force feed yourself with facts like a drinking contest. Otherwise nothing will sink in! You must be calm and patient and practice with a clear mind. Exams may be important but they are not a death sentence. Learn revision techniques to take the pressure off.
I hope to learn a lot more about exam revision management at the student services hub tomorrow. Let’s see what I can learn from there.