Sunday, September 18, 2016

There might have been things I missed, but don't be unkind (ELP)

This one's about a student I know who suffers from exam paralysis.

She's a good student in normal situations - diligent, hard working, keen to do the best she can. Only trouble is the exam room - where she freezes.

As she explained it to me, it's like her brain is suddenly empty and she can't find the way back up, out of the rabbit hole (I added the rabbit hole bit - poetic license you understand).

Her anxiety in these situations proves fatal. Although she remains outwardly calm, her inner sensibilities scramble and she can't actually answer anything. 

A Guardian article I bookmarked a while ago may be able to help her.

They suggest 10 tips for anxious students and mentioned that Anxiety UK have a student guide to anxiety. I've plucked out a few that involve taking control back. They may even help my student:

  • Self-talk. If you feel yourself start to panic, tell yourself: don’t panic; you can do this. Self talk can reduce anxiety.
  • Work on controlling your breathing. Try breathing in through your nose for four seconds, holding for two seconds, then breathing out through your mouth for six seconds. 
  • Be kind to yourself – but disciplined. It is easy to become your own worst enemy. Accept that things are tough right now and think about how you can work with your brain to make things happen. 
  • Remember you are not alone. Everyone else may look as if they are coping fine but many of them are struggling too.  

  1. Her other solution would be that NCEA external exams didn't exist... 

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