Im so confused. My teacher said I would be unable to choose a high university because of the grades that i have, but the thing is that I have the knowledge but i black out during exams and literally forget everything (doing a level bio chem and psych). Does anyone have any advice? Thanks in advance
As you can affirm, exam performance is different from just having knowledge. If you can't perform on the day, it doesn't matter that much how much you know.
What has recently helped me with exams are:
- Try to relax, but stay in an alert state. Being overly stressed (which I presume why you are blacking out) can work against you instead of for. You need the right amount of stress and urgency.
- Learn to go into your flow state often, and by command. It can be trained, but don't let it take more than 2 minutes. Going into flow also doesn't mean thinking faster than you can keep up or thinking so hard you can think laterally, it means being able to balance between creative thinking and keeping pace (in my experience). You would also need to be wary of the time limits as well.
- Start listing out things that you do know, and let your mind focus on things around what you have on paper (it helps if you're an overthinker/analyser, which I am guessing you are). You can quickly find that listing one thing will lead to another thing i.e. it can snowball. This particularly helps with planning essays. Consider using mindmaps if that helps
- Do past paers regularly, and often, hopefully under timed conditions. If you're used to past papers, the style of the questions shouldn't throw you off on the real thing. The experience you get from past papers can help alleviate some of the stress.
if you ran out of past exam papers from your exam board, try papers from other exam boards.
- Just before the exam, I would do a single practice question to get my mind into gear and to get the adrenaline pumping. It would also help cut down the time I need to get into flow, and get my mind thinking.
The above is just my take though, and I don't have any credible studies to back it up.
Thanks for the advice, I think I'll steal a few things from there such as the past paper questions. That was really handy and I appreciate the response. I have one other question; how would you get started on doing something? I get that putting phones away and stuff is a good thing so you dont get distracted, but how would you mentally prepared for the workload? [And yes, im aiming for medicine]
Robbins said that it normally takes 5 seconds. The human mind normally decides in less time than that.
I normally try to get myself to do something for 5 minutes before I think whether I have enough or not.
If it's something you can do in one minute e.g. short questions, then they're normally good to get you started.
The other thing that gets me motivated and prepared for the workload is to remind myself of the deadlines and the amount of work I expect to do. It won't be a small pile and I usually have other things on my plate.
You can try to do things under timed conditions, as a way of making some sort of mental compromise e.g. if you do this for the next half hour you get the next 15 minutes free for a break, but that doesn't really work well for me. I prefer to attempt something first, and then come back to it for a second draft later to review. It's a writer's technique for helping you get over writer's block and stop perfectionism being too much of a hindrance.