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    Hi, I'm in the second year of Sixth Form, and submitted my application to Merton College, Oxford, September 17th of this year. On the 2nd of November is the ELAT. To build a foundation for my essay on the day, I have been writing answers to different past papers (now four in total), however, after writing my last in timed conditions (a paper I did not take to AT ALL) I feel I am destined to fail. I feel so panicked by this exam, that I am considering the withdrawal of my application. I don't feeling like anything I write is good enough for Oxford...is this "normal"?
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    (Original post by moderndaytess)
    Hi, I'm in the second year of Sixth Form, and submitted my application to Merton College, Oxford, September 17th of this year. On the 2nd of November is the ELAT. To build a foundation for my essay on the day, I have been writing answers to different past papers (now four in total), however, after writing my last in timed conditions (a paper I did not take to AT ALL) I feel I am destined to fail. I feel so panicked by this exam, that I am considering the withdrawal of my application. I don't feeling like anything I write is good enough for Oxford...is this "normal"?
    We think most people go through a familiar cycle, faced with any exam, that includes some or all of the following elements;

    doubt over being ready to take the test by the test date
    desire to withdraw (flight instinct)
    fatigue preparing - longing for it to be over
    roller-coaster emotions just before & after the test
    conviction that the test went badly (selective recall)
    believing that everyone else is better and over-estimating the standard needed to be successful (cognitive bias)

    If your school has a well-being advisor or if you have sympathetic teachers, we would suggest talking your feelings over with them as sharing a problem usually helps.

    We certainly remember having the doubts and fears you describe taking exams and some our current students will experience the same things every time tests are set.

    Despite the bad experience, taking a practice test in timed conditions was a good idea. You shouldn't withdraw as you've nothing to lose from taking the ELAT but we would suggest a short time-out to build in some recovery time.

    Good luck for the real thing!
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    Hi there,

    I'm very much in the same boat, though I'm a Cambridge applicant (sorry Brasenose!).

    I, too, had a massive panic on Wednesday and had to convince myself I'm good enough all over again.

    Well, I got through it, and I've completed an ELAT paper in timed conditions today and it actually went well.

    All I can say is, keep your chin up and fight on. We can PM if you'd like, I've done papers 2016-2009, so can most likely relate to the hatred of that particularly malodorous paper.

    From one English applicant to another, here's a fitting poem:

    http://www.bartleby.com/103/7.html
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    (Original post by Oh the Byrony!)
    Hi there,

    I'm very much in the same boat, though I'm a Cambridge applicant (sorry Brasenose!).

    I, too, had a massive panic on Wednesday and had to convince myself I'm good enough all over again.

    Well, I got through it, and I've completed an ELAT paper in timed conditions today and it actually went well.

    All I can say is, keep your chin up and fight on. We can PM if you'd like, I've done papers 2016-2009, so can most likely relate to the hatred of that particularly malodorous paper.

    From one English applicant to another, here's a fitting poem:

    http://www.bartleby.com/103/7.html
    Thank you for your advice. I think I need to build in some time away from the ELAT. Purely because I don't think I'm in the right state of mind to suitably judge my responses. I don't seem to have a problem with the timed conditions, I only find that it can injure the quality and development of my arguments.

    Nonetheless, I would be grateful if we could share our ideas via the PM service. Would that be okay with you?

    Again, I appreciate your reassurances!
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    No problem at all.
 
 
 
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