I hated exams. Really hated them. I hated the time pressures. I hated the enforced silence. I hated having to sit still for three hours. I hated the weeks of revision (maybe days, ok maybe hours….) and I really hated realising that I had revised the wrong subjects. That unsettling feeling, gazing round at all the pens scribbling away frantically while my pen was being twiddled in my fingers as I waited for the brain to find just one relevant point to write down.

But I really hated the stress and anxiety which goes with exams. I would make myself ill with worry. I felt terrible. That can’t be healthy or good for a teenager.

Already Hawklad is starting to get significant worries from the impending mock exams. Really bad worries. He’s worried about struggling with understanding the time constraints. He’s worried about his handwriting. He’s worried about the alternative (trying to work with a scribe that he just doesn’t know). He’s worried about not being able to get the stuff in his brain out onto the paper. He’s worried about the pressure causing his dyslexia to return and nit being able to read the questions. He’s worried about having to sit still (he naturally paces around). He’s worried about sitting next to strangers. He’s worried about exam questions that remind him of his anxieties that have beset him. He’s worried about the silence and how that could spark anxiety meltdowns. I could go on but let’s just say the exams are getting to him.

How can all this pressure be anything other than harmful for someone who is battling serious anxiety and phobia issues…..

His main exams are in June next year, although he has to take a couple this year. So what do we do. I’m going to speak to his psychologist for advice but decisions have to be made. I’m not going to let exam worries get to him like they got to me.

33 thoughts on “Exams

  1. Speaking to a psychologist to get advice sounds like a good step!

    I’m very sorry for both of you. This sounds so absolutely stressful!

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  2. I actually rather enjoyed exams, but, for the life of me I cannot see the point of the standard approach to testing ability having any purpose at all for Hawklad

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  3. Man I can relate! I constantly failed exams. I hope you do not mind but the links below are helpful for anxiety. I do these with my kids when I find that one or all of us are starting to feel anxious. One is called the figure 8. The other is called the hook. I know probably have gone through this before and have tried multiple things already but somehow these help calm the nervous system.

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  4. Even without the challenges the lad has to deal with, exams can be very stressful and some people are just not good, do not demonstrate their true abilities. I hope your psychologist can make a helpful suggestion.

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  5. I too always hated exams and I still do. What you described meets my experience. So, I can only imagine what an immense pressure it must be for the poor boy.

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      1. Humans supporting each other in equal measure, now that I’d love to sign up to. How the humans interact at present is shameful, not all, but those at the top and the pen pushers that support them.

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  6. It’s always been uncomfortable to me to work as a substitute teacher and be reminded of the 101 ways school didn’t fit me, and to see it being repeated all over again for the next generations…

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