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Panicked in STEP 3

So I panicked in the STEP 3 exam. I completely lost focus and forget basic test taking over the course of the 2nd and 3rd question I did. After the 3rd question I tried starting 2 or 3 questions with no luck; I ended up doing the number theory question last and just finishing part (ii) (but I'm not confident in my answer to (ii)). I've been diagnosed with anxiety before but it's never affected me this much in an exam (I declared it on my UCAS form, but I've never been given any extra time or special provisions).

I need a 1,1, and the other exam (I think) went quite well (not S well but still). I'm pretty sure I won't get a 1 in STEP 3; I'm not sure I'll get a 2 but I think it'll be at least close. I think everything else about my application looks good (4 a*s (I'm taking a gap year so no uncertainty there); the interviews went really well; I think my personal statement looks really good).

I'd find it very helpful to know what you think my chances are. I'm also wondering if I should tell the college what happened, either now or on results day, or if they just don't listen to things like that. I figure it's at least worth a try but I'm worried about looking stupid.
Reply 1
Original post by Anonymous
So I panicked in the STEP 3 exam. I completely lost focus and forget basic test taking over the course of the 2nd and 3rd question I did. After the 3rd question I tried starting 2 or 3 questions with no luck; I ended up doing the number theory question last and just finishing part (ii) (but I'm not confident in my answer to (ii)). I've been diagnosed with anxiety before but it's never affected me this much in an exam (I declared it on my UCAS form, but I've never been given any extra time or special provisions).

I need a 1,1, and the other exam (I think) went quite well (not S well but still). I'm pretty sure I won't get a 1 in STEP 3; I'm not sure I'll get a 2 but I think it'll be at least close. I think everything else about my application looks good (4 a*s (I'm taking a gap year so no uncertainty there); the interviews went really well; I think my personal statement looks really good).

I'd find it very helpful to know what you think my chances are. I'm also wondering if I should tell the college what happened, either now or on results day, or if they just don't listen to things like that. I figure it's at least worth a try but I'm worried about looking stupid.

In the case you do get a 1,2 it appears you have quite a strong application to get in. 1/3 of people get in without 1,1 or better. You should most definitely email your college about this ON results day, have a draft ready talking about your anxiety and if possible a medical certificate to make things even more valid.
Reply 2
Original post by Anonymous
So I panicked in the STEP 3 exam. I completely lost focus and forget basic test taking over the course of the 2nd and 3rd question I did. After the 3rd question I tried starting 2 or 3 questions with no luck; I ended up doing the number theory question last and just finishing part (ii) (but I'm not confident in my answer to (ii)). I've been diagnosed with anxiety before but it's never affected me this much in an exam (I declared it on my UCAS form, but I've never been given any extra time or special provisions).

I need a 1,1, and the other exam (I think) went quite well (not S well but still). I'm pretty sure I won't get a 1 in STEP 3; I'm not sure I'll get a 2 but I think it'll be at least close. I think everything else about my application looks good (4 a*s (I'm taking a gap year so no uncertainty there); the interviews went really well; I think my personal statement looks really good).

I'd find it very helpful to know what you think my chances are. I'm also wondering if I should tell the college what happened, either now or on results day, or if they just don't listen to things like that. I figure it's at least worth a try but I'm worried about looking stupid.


Also what college did you apply to? Some are a bit more lenient than others
Reply 3
Thank your for advice! Why specifically on results day? To me it seems more authentic if I say it before I get back the results. Is it just how the system works? Would it look bad for some reason if I tell them before they decide?

I applied to Homerton. On the open day they quoted the 1/3 statistic and I'd expect a lot less pressure from them than others.
Reply 4
sorry if this is not relevant to the original post, but since STEP is in june, do you normally take it after the october when you send all the things for application or before? for example can you do it before for one time so you have two shots, and then report the grades for STEP 2,3 in your application if they are good, and get a better chance of getting admitted? Or it's not really necessary?
thanks :smile:
Reply 5
Original post by Anonymous
Thank your for advice! Why specifically on results day? To me it seems more authentic if I say it before I get back the results. Is it just how the system works? Would it look bad for some reason if I tell them before they decide?

I applied to Homerton. On the open day they quoted the 1/3 statistic and I'd expect a lot less pressure from them than others.


Were your school aware of what happened? Any letter should come from them and should go now - absolutely no point in waiting until results day as they will have made their decision by then.
(edited 11 months ago)
Reply 6
Original post by candydream
sorry if this is not relevant to the original post, but since STEP is in june, do you normally take it after the october when you send all the things for application or before? for example can you do it before for one time so you have two shots, and then report the grades for STEP 2,3 in your application if they are good, and get a better chance of getting admitted? Or it's not really necessary?
thanks :smile:

After. You usually take it alongside your normal A-levels and it uses content from further maths that you learn in the second year. I guess I could always reapply for next year though!
Reply 7
Original post by Muttley79
Were you school aware of what happened? Any letter should come from them and should go now - absloutley no point in waiting until results day as they will have made their decision by then.



No, it's not like I had a panic attack, it wasn't visible. I haven't been back there since I had the exam since I'm on a gap year, and after the exam I was sort of in shock (and kind of since...) so I didn't think about saying anything. It sounds like a great idea to talk to the (sixth form) college first about it, I think I'll do that, thanks!
Reply 8
Original post by Anonymous
No, it's not like I had a panic attack, it wasn't visible. I haven't been back there since I had the exam since I'm on a gap year, and after the exam I was sort of in shock (and kind of since...) so I didn't think about saying anything. It sounds like a great idea to talk to the (sixth form) college first about it, I think I'll do that, thanks!

Sorry about the typos - corrected now :smile:
Reply 9
So I spoke to my sixth form college and they wrote a letter explaining the situation. But apparently none of that mattered since I managed to get a 1 in both exams anyway! I guess the lesson if you're reading this in the future is you never know what your results will actually be and the stress and pressure can make it really hard to think and see things clearly.

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