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Exam nerves

(19 Posts)
eveteen Mon 15-May-17 20:12:28

I have a 16 yr old dd who has always been bright and full of fun. She is crippled by exam nerves and I am looking for ideas on how to help her. She already attends a counsellor and sits exams in a smaller setting. Course work etc is all on track . She sailed through her GCSEs and passed them all but her a levels are a whole new level of shite! Has anyone tried hypnosis? Or any other suggestions? 🤔

SorrelSoup Tue 16-May-17 06:31:47

The Speakmans were on This Morning with this topic yesterday. One tip was to discuss everything that's worrying them and deal with it systematically. Write each worry down on a post it, with your response under it and put up on their wall.

eveteen Wed 17-May-17 19:05:07

Thanks . That does sound like a good idea. She has her first AS level tomorrow so fingers crossed .😬

Zodlebud Wed 17-May-17 20:50:42

A life coach once got me to identify what the worst possible thing that could go wrong in that situation would be and to work out how I'd deal with it.

I was prepared for the worst, it obviously didn't happen, and then everything went OK because it all faded in comparison.

I still use this today and it works for me.

relaxitllbeok Wed 17-May-17 23:10:26

Also (for next year, not exams currently underway) it's not defeatist to assume you'll likely underperform because of nerves and therefore overprepare. Let go of the feeling that it's unfair that you underperform - it kind of is, but if you react by overpreparing, you may end up with decent grades and a long-lasting knowledge of the material, which is actually a win. And if by some miracle of hypnosis or whatever you don't underperform, that's fine too and you get an A-triple-star...

Badbadbunny Thu 18-May-17 09:23:51

A life coach once got me to identify what the worst possible thing that could go wrong in that situation would be and to work out how I'd deal with it.

Probably the best advice you'll get. It's all about preparation. "If you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail".

Itisnoteasybeingdifferent Thu 18-May-17 15:49:28

By now it's all done.
The studying, the preparation, the sheets of revision noted condensed down to a few crib lines ..
A bit of nerves is good as they rev you up to perform.
Outright panic gets you nowhere..

Remember exam technique.
Give yourself five minutes to read the question paper properly.
Identify what each question is about.
Remember you get 50 % of the marks for basically addressing the question. After that it is diminishing returns.
Decide which question to answer first.
Time yourself on answering each question and do not go over time on any question.. (See Remember...)
Answer the question asked not the one you wish you had been asked.. but remember that sometimes the question is disguised and you do know the answer even though at first sight you think you don't.. (see read the question).

It should be rainy tomorrow so no hay fever to worry about..
If on period, remember pain killers... (even better do something (the pill) three months ago to shift your cycle away from vital exams..

Cup of warm coco tonight..
Good breakfast tomorrow... (the brain chews energy faster than your legs)... all this was said to me by my A level Tutor.. and I passed)

Wishing her the best of luck

thesandwich Thu 18-May-17 17:39:40

Has she tried rescue remedy / lavender to help sleep etc? Headspace app is very good for relaxation.
Wish her luck- and try and avoid others who are stressing!

t875 Thu 18-May-17 18:01:19

Try and get her to focas and think more on whats going right, the positives of each subject - Affirmations on her phone and around her room. I tell dd imagine you are in your bedroom or in the living room chilled on your own when we arent in the house (she likes this) All the best for her, i know what you mean, it is hard when they are nervous in exams.

tygr Thu 18-May-17 23:55:11

I was in a total panic the night before my geography A-Level exam. My mum gave me gin. gin

Perhaps don't do that. It did work though and I got an A wink

PaleAzureofSummer Fri 19-May-17 00:32:45

Is it a bit of a phobia that she has about exams? Just wondered if you could deal with it (longer term) as you would a phobia.

UnaPalomaBlanca Fri 19-May-17 07:55:39

My son had 3 sessions of hypnotherapy aged 11. He was suffering from anxiety- not because of SATs, but at the time of SATs , he was unable to get into school up to 3 days a week.
CAMHS had refused to see him- it took another year before they took him on- so in desperation we tried hypnotherapy.
It was excellent for calming and relaxing him temporarily but obviously couldn't resolve the issue permanently. I feel it helped temporarily with the symptoms but not the cause. He still missed one test...
In your situation it might be helpful to quickly address the symptoms of overwhelming panic and help her through the immediate crisis by focusing on the positives and learning to take some control over the physical sensations by breathing exercises, distraction or exercise.
But i personally feel hypnotherapy alone wouldn't 'cure' any underlying issue which might need addressing longer term.
You would need to act quickly to get an appointment soon.

Vrooooom Fri 19-May-17 08:55:40

One of my DDs had this but to some extent it was justified. She was always borderline on her grades (not your typical A star Mumsnetter DC 😂) and the exams could always have gone one way or another. In some ways it was a completely rational worry although obviously the way the worry was coming out wasn't the best. She dealt with it by working ridiculously hard. I'm not sure it was the most sensible thing to do but it sort of worked for her. I tried really hard to get her to not work and have a more rounded lifestyle but it was difficult. She did have a boyfriend but he would come around and study in another room to my DD. 🤦🏼‍♀️ I used to tease them that they had the worst dates in the world.
We did the 'what is the worse that could happen' We found a fantastic 'insurance choice' Uni with a low A level requirement that would have definitely been a second choice but where my DD would have done well and been happy. Her firm choice was also fairly achievable - she wouldn't have coped with an wildly optimistic aspirational choice. It would have been too stressful. In the end she got higher grades than her predictions and went to a better Uni through adjustment.
Now she is at uni she still works ridiculously hard and gets stressed at exams but she is much more confident and less worried about her stress iyswim. She loves her course and is happy.

A levels are really stressful because they are so important 🤷🏻‍♀️ All four of my DC say they were the most stressful thing they have done as the marks are so crucial.

From my end I just supported her and made sure she knew we understood and were there for her. I also made sure the basics were covered - healthy food etc.

Sorry for any typos I'm on a little phone

WankersHacksandThieves Fri 19-May-17 09:07:38

I have 2 going through exams at the moment. Its hard to get the balace between telling them how important it is and also just being supportive.

We've settled for saying that they want to reflect the work they've put in over the year in the result for the exam but at the same time if everything doesn't pan out as they hoped then there are always different routes to get to where you want to go. These exams are just one of them and maybe the most straight forward. The motorway really. The other routes (A rods and B roads) might take longer but also might mean that they see more scenery, meet more people and arrive more relaxed.

PippaH74 Fri 19-May-17 11:16:52

Bless her, rescue remedy gives you the feeling that you're taking something that will help. Look online for breathing exercises and techniques that can help too.
Head space is a good app for calming panicky feelings and you get a free 10 day trial - worth a shot (it helped me).
Good luck to her!

GetAHaircutCarl Fri 19-May-17 14:02:53

My DD gets nervous and I bought some oil from Neaks Yard that you're meant to put on pulse points.

It's called summat like 'calm and cool.'

I suspect it may be placebo as much as anything else. But I think the action is addressing the nerves is as good as many other real remedies IYSWIM.

MarvinKMooney Fri 19-May-17 17:52:40

Good tips everyone - thank you.

I decided to do an A level 'for fun' what was I thinking?! . First exam of two on monday - swinging from a pragmatic 'it's ok, it's a hobby' approach to full on fear.

OP, hope your daughter gets through ok - and that she aces it come results day


Funnyfarmer Mon 22-May-17 12:37:05

Feel for every parent of a year 11 at the moment.
My dd has 2 today
She's coping surprisingly well.
She was more stressed I'm the run up with course work. Now they're actually here she's fine.
We're revising together a lot too. I'm learning so much. I never did my GCSE's
I do have to keep reminding her to take breaks though

Funnyfarmer Mon 22-May-17 12:40:03

On the day before her 1st exam. Dp actually said to her "it's only GCSE's chill out"

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