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I can't see it getting any better watch

    • Thread Starter

    I've been studying A-Level Chemistry, Physics and English Literature for over a year now and it has been making me feel extremely anxious, pathetic and overall not very healthy in my own mind.
    During the first couple of months, I didn't take it very seriously, and to be honest neither did anyone else in my classes. I was too busy wrapped up in a relationship I had online to be doing a lot of work, and I spent most of my time just talking with this girl, since I had never managed to get into a relationship with anyone in the past. Back in mid-November 2015, things took a turn for the worst. I suddenly wasn't allowed to see my Dad anymore ( for reasons I am not allowed to mention) and it turned out the girl I was talking to online was a catfish. During this period of time, I had daily panic attacks where I would collapse on the floor in my bedroom and cry until I could no longer breathe. I had to take time out of lessons and therefore miss a lot of content in all of my subjects. Come December time, I'm slowly recovering, and I decided I was going to ace the mocks in January. During the holidays, I worked non stop. I looked over all of the content for both sciences, doing every question in my textbooks and making sure I knew the content off by heart. I was at my stepdads family home for new years eve, and at 12 o clock when the glasses clinked together to mark 2016, there was still a pen and paper on my lap filled with chemistry equations.
    I put so much effort in, and I was full of optimism. Even after all I'd been through, I was going to put my all in.
    And yet opening the exam papers for Physics and Chemistry, the questions were all extremely difficult, hard to understand what they wanted me to do, unclear, and were full of ridiculously hard maths. I ended up getting a U in both subjects, and a low C in my English, a subject that I achieved an A* in at GCSE with hardly any revision needed.
    I had spent my entire holiday trying to get to grips with science, and my reward is a piece of paper with UUC written on it. It might as well have been a middle finger in my books.
    Everyone else of course had done really well. My friend John got AAA without even trying, and everyone else had fluctuated between A's B's and C's.
    From then on, the U grades continued. In Chemistry and Physics, I'd be given tests every few weeks, and I'd study the content for each one, doing past papers and making my own notes on the topics. And every test I was given, I'd open up the paper, go all out on it despite how unclear and difficult it was, and have it handed back next lesson with: 28%, 33%, 31%....
    Come March, I'd stopped caring. I remember I was given a test on organic mechanisms, and I put the paper to one side and lay my head on the desk for an hour. Every other lesson afterwards, I'd start to have anxiety attacks during lessons and my teachers would have to stop midway to escort me out of the classroom.
    Yet even after all that failure, I wouldn't turn my back on the AS exams. I was given four folders of past papers for chemistry and physics before Easter, which I would do in my spare time and during the holiday, as well as revising the topics before attempting a paper.
    To my utter shock, I marked my first paper for chemistry and got a C. And then a higher C, and then a B, and eventually I was even getting consistent B's and A's in the papers. I couldn't be more ready to smash these exams, and leave my depression behind.
    So of course, things go wrong AGAIN. My teachers inform the class that those past papers are different compared to this years exams, and that this new style of paper will be HARDER and have "advanced level" and "multiple choice questions" that have loads of working out for ONE MARK.
    Every other practice paper after that was a new spec, and I got U after U after U in every single paper.
    June soon came around, and I was so done.
    I sat in a separate room to everyone else during the AS exams, as I was too nervous to do it surrounded by others. During every single science exam, I knew I had done awful. I couldn't focus at all because I was trying not to collapse on the floor, as yet again none of the questions were clear or straightforward. They were all typically hardened and complicated, nothing like the past papers or content I had learnt in class. For example in chemistry, the furthest we'd go with carboxylic acids was up to Hexanoic, containing 6 carbons. Yet in this exam, there was a compound with eleven carbons and some other really weird groups coming off it that I had never seen before and I had to do this really complicated calculation with it.
    The Physics exam was even worse. There was a section talking about "full scale deflection", which I had never even been taught before. The questions were so badly worded that I didn't even know what topic it was talking about.
    After that exam, I collapsed and had a complete breakdown in front of the invigilators. I remember opening the paper and just screaming about how stupid it was, "We've never learnt this, why the **** is it in my A-level exam???"
    After a few minutes I couldn't breathe properly, and heads of staff had to come into the room.
    After seeing therapists during the summer and taking a long break, I still never forgot how awful I felt. I have returned to Year 13 studying the same subjects feeling exactly the same, getting the same awful grades and having the same anxiety attacks during tests and lessons.
    Today during last period I had physics, and we practiced some gravitational fields questions. They were brutally mathematical, and I had no idea what I was supposed to do, despite knowing all the formulas. The most frustrating thing is that I sit next to John, who just gets it straight away. He doesn't even have to revise or put much work in to get A grades in the subjects that I have to practice for weeks just to get a U grade.
    I'm sitting here now with mocks coming up in less than two weeks, and I have never felt so demotivated to revise for exams that I am just going to end up completely and utterly failing as usual.
    I don't want to go to college or do something else. I have good friends in sixth form despite how horrible the tests and exams make me feel, and I am so socially awkward I'd be alone and even more mentally ill starting new in a college course.
    I can't see it getting any better. Girls don't like me AT ALL, I'm extremely awkward around new people, and I have no idea what the I'll be doing this time next year. University is just around the corner, and I have no chance of getting any offers thanks to last year's AS grades. I'm done for, and I'm considering not getting out of bed tomorrow.
    I'm sorry if this is a little long, but I need to have it out and I'm sick and tired of trying and getting nowhere whilst watching my friends pass with flying colours.
    What am I supposed to do?
    • TSR Support Team

    TSR Support Team
    (Original post by WeedBloke)
    Hey this sounds really hard, particularly when it feels like everyone else is doing better than you. You're definitely not alone in it though I promise, I felt the same way and know a lot of other people that did- I didn't at the time though. Everyone works at different speeds and in different ways and exams don't really reflect that annoyingly, you'll get there though. Have you talked to your teachers about how you could improve, and looked at what specific wording you need in the mark schemes compared to what you're writing? That sort of thing can make a big difference, and different revision techniques but I'm sure you've explored those.

    From a more mental health perspective, make sure people know what's going on. Talk to your family, friends, teachers, anyone about how you're feeling and see how they can help. Your GP too especially- use docready or similar to help you write a list of what you're experiencing, take it in and show it to them. You'd be amazed what a difference getting MH stuff under control can make to your grades in all sorts of ways, from concentration and motivation to just your general wellbeing. Whatever happens, remember there's more to life than exams and your health is most important. That can't be replaced. Good luck though, hope things improve for you a bit soon!
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