severe anxiety and ocd with upcoming exams, help!! Watch

Nomad00
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I suffer very badly from ocd, anxiety and depression, and i have my a-level exams coming up. I have struggled a lot over my a-levels and am starting to worry a lot about my exams as I really want to get into my firm uni choice. does anyone have any tips or word of wisdom on how to stay calm and get through a -levels
i am doing biology, chem and geography, all aqa
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nintysixthousand
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look up some breathing exercises for anxiety, i found one and did it when i was sat at my desk before the exam started and it really helped to calm me down and get focused! I also try to reduce as much anxiety as possible by doing little things like leaving my phone at home, bringing extra pens and making sure i know exactly where im sitting and where the exam is. also just remember that it isnt that bad, in the whole of your life these exams really dont matter, you can always re take them. good luck
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dankadank
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I'm doing exactly the same subjects except that chem and biology are both OCR A for me. I feel a lil helpless but just throw everything you've known into the exam
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University of Bath
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Hi there,
I am a current university student and I myself experience exactly what you are going through with regards to mental health, and I currently volunteer for a mental health group at my university.

With regards to mental health, in general I would recommend (from my experience) trying to get any help or support you can, be that from family, friends or professionals. Make sure to surround yourself with people who will support you and make you happy, not people who make you feel worse. It might be worth looking into the app "Headspace", as I currently use this at university and find that it often helps with my anxiety. It's really important to make sure you take regular breaks when you study, not only to de-stress but also because it's been proven that working for 40-60mins max, then taking a break is most effective for retaining information (not cramming for 3 hours without a break). I used to watch a bit of a tv episode in each break, as this also gives me a motivation to get through each bit of revision.

During exams, try to not focus on everyone around you as it can be easy to get panicked by this. Perhaps see if it'd be possible to have your exams in a separate room to other students (these sort of alternative exam arrangements are common practice at universities, so it might be worth seeing if your school could do this too as it really does help you stay calm). I also use Rescue Remedy Spray to calm down in exams if I start to panic - it isn't a major remedy, but does help a bit. I also used to take a little stuffed toy in to hold on to, kind of like a stress ball, and this really helped me. In general, just talk to your teachers and see what you could be allowed to do to help stay calm. If your mental health were to affect your exams, you can sometimes filing a mtiigaying circumstance note with your exams for certain exam boards. For example, I had a fairly big anxiety attack during an exam so they noted this so the exam markers would be aware and could take it into account when marking. This isn't a guarantee obviously, but may be worth looking into.

In terms of things you could do with revision, I'd definitely suggest Khan Academy. I used Khan Academy videos at GCSE, A-Level and still am using them for my current university exams. They have tonnes of video lessons/lectures on loads of topics at varying levels of difficulty. I find audiovisual learning (i.e. learning through watching a video) much more effective then just writing notes, so it might be worth trying it to. A video is often a lot more engaging than just simply reading, so makes it easier to remember stuff. It also doesn't really feel like revision, as you're basically just watching an interesting video. Their videos are particularly good for biology and chemistry, so I'd highly recommend them.

I hope this has helped, and feel free to ask any more questions,
Jessica, a second year Natural Sciences student
(Original post by Nomad00)
I suffer very badly from ocd, anxiety and depression, and i have my a-level exams coming up. I have struggled a lot over my a-levels and am starting to worry a lot about my exams as I really want to get into my firm uni choice. does anyone have any tips or word of wisdom on how to stay calm and get through a -levels
i am doing biology, chem and geography, all aqa
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random_matt
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I have had OCD for years, best advise is CBT if you have time.
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Erica.kh
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Hey it's okay to get nervous (damn I sound so much like any random adult) and I know how it seems to rip you apart and sometimes the brain just. cant. focus. I had a panic attack before my Physics mock and it got to a point where I could even speak properly. I'm in no way someone certified but here are a few things that worked for me:

-theres this breathing thing that I found on Google that I was really skeptical about but actually really helps. It's the 4-7-8 rule. Breath in 4 seconds, hold 7, out 8. I do this in the exam while the examiner reads out the instruction 15 mins before the actual thing

-before I leave for the exam I just curl up somewhere and shut my eyes for a while to get to a 'fresh' state of mind

-really dumb but idk it helps me. I play this super basic game (I think it's called Rush) where I do something super basic like right or left and I simultaneously sing a song. Keeps both my Cerebellum and Cerebrum busy without it going into overdrive.

- also I spray a really nice perfume or scent on my wrist so if I get panicked during the exam I can take a whiff and relax
Last edited by Erica.kh; 4 months ago
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