HELP! Panic attack during GCSE exam!

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Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
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Hi, thanks for clicking on this post.
I had a GCSE exam last week. However, before I got a chance to start I had a panic attack and was forced to leave. I managed to complete it in the end but only after I had calmed down and was moved to a separate room.

Now I am terrified to go back into the exam hall, and I need some advice. I know it sounds stupid, but panic attacks really take a toll on me and I work so hard to avoid them. Please help.
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2007PSanHa
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#2
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Would it help to be in a smaller room rather than an exam hall? Ask your tutor or exams office if there is anything that they could do. They might be able to get you a smaller room or, failing this, a table closer to the door. Hope I helped
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Anonymous #1
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Report Thread starter 3 years ago
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(Original post by 2007PSanHa)
Would it help to be in a smaller room rather than an exam hall? Ask your tutor or exams office if there is anything that they could do. They might be able to get you a smaller room or, failing this, a table closer to the door. Hope I helped
Thanks for the reply. Do you think it would be too late to ask now?
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saharan_skies
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What I do is: I don't look at any revision material at least an hour before the exam because if I do, I'll panic because of how much I don't know. And then when I get into the exam hall, I spend at least five minutes taking deep breaths and closing my eyes reminding myself of how much I have put into the exam and that I should try nevertheless if I don't understand the question
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by saharan_skies)
What I do is: I don't look at any revision material at least an hour before the exam because if I do, I'll panic because of how much I don't know. And then when I get into the exam hall, I spend at least five minutes taking deep breaths and closing my eyes reminding myself of how much I have put into the exam and that I should try nevertheless if I don't understand the question
Thanks, but a lot of the time I'm not even worrying about the exam. My brain just panics whenever it feels like it.
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seawaif
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I was more scared of sitting my exams in a crowded hall than sitting the exam itself when I did my exams! So I asked for a smaller room. My school was very accommodating; they want good results after all. I got to sit in a classroom with just a few other kids and it was a much more relaxed environment; I could focus on my exam more. I think it did my grades and mental health the world of good.

I think a smaller room would be really helpful for you. Your school should absolutely be able to accommodate you. They must at least have a room for people with extra time or assistance and you should at least be able to join them. Pester them if not and get your parents on their case. Like I said, they want the best results.

I'm so sorry you had a bad experience but I wish you the best for the rest of your exams
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Kindred
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Hi, thanks for clicking on this post.
I had a GCSE exam last week. However, before I got a chance to start I had a panic attack and was forced to leave. I managed to complete it in the end but only after I had calmed down and was moved to a separate room.

Now I am terrified to go back into the exam hall, and I need some advice. I know it sounds stupid, but panic attacks really take a toll on me and I work so hard to avoid them. Please help.
It's not at all stupid. Panic attacks suck ass and I wouldn't blame anybody for being a bit afraid of them.

Talk to your school about what they can do to help. You should be able to get into a small room for all your exams and may be able to get "rest breaks" so if you ever start to panic in an exam you can take some time out to calm down.

Consider talking to your doctor for more advice. They can suggest things you can try, may offer medication depending on your severity and could help you long term with things like therapy if this is something you often have issues with.

Do things to keep you calm before exams. For me this usually means having my favourite food for dinner or lunch, having a long bath, listening to music, not looking at revision the night/ day before and taking in a lucky charm.
If you start to have issues before and exam, find a bit of a quiet place and do some breathing exercises or other meditation-like stuff. Standard things are taking a deep, slow breath in through your mouth, holding for 3 seconds then taking a slow breath out through your nose... counting backwards or out of sequence (10,9,8,7) (3,7,6,2,9)... closing your eyes, listening to soothing or familiar music and thinking of calming images.
If you start to have issues in an exam, signal for an invigilator and ask for some time out then do the same. Fresh air can help too if they will let you go outside or to a window. You will not be allowed any music, but if you have any songs you know well you can think of the lirics. If you're trying to recite something your brain won't be able to panic so much.

Remember, you own your head. If it starts freaking out and getting towards a panic attack you can stop it. It takes some time and practice to work out how, but it can be done. You have painic attacks cos you are anxious, if you have a good reason to be anxious (like you're dangling off a cliff) then it's fair enough and that panic attack is going to stay. If there isn't any good reason for being that panicked, use the smart part of your brain and tell the panicky part to chill.
Don't be afraid of the panic attack cos that'll just feed it. Remind yourself that there is nothing to panic about and do some exercises.


Hope that helps. Good luck with your exams.
Oh and do remember that exams are not the end of the world. I've ballsed up my fair share of exams (including a U in AS history with the only comment being that I am "chronologically confused"). I always found a way to move past it.
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