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I could be studying 2.5 months for an exam, every single day, doing all the exercises that I can. Doing all the old exams that I can get my hand on. Never falling behind on submissions for the course. Yet, when it is time for the exam, I write like I am a total moron. Sloppy mistakes everywhere. Doesn’t matter how slow I go through the questions. I will still misread something or read too much into a question or interpret it completely differently from what is asked for.

I know I have exam fright and I am trying to get through it by writing the exam rather than bail on myself the day of it, or hand in blank because I know I won’t get an A.

Is there anyone here in the same position who may offer advice? I would greatly appreciate it!

I know I will be advised to not care about grades, but it is just one of those things that I cannot not care about.

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    What do you do in the last 24 hours before the exam?
    – Buffy
    Jan 22, 2023 at 14:16
  • "doing all the exercises that I can." Do you give your solutions of the exercises to your prof/TA to grade? Do you get the marks and feedbacks? Most importantly, do you read the feedbacks and figure out if there are things wrong and why they are wrong?
    – Nobody
    Jan 22, 2023 at 14:24
  • @Buffy most of my exams start at 8 and end 12:30. So when it comes to my physical/mental well being I make sure I get rested. Have breakfast/snacks for the day after and a water bottle and a coffee. I revise. Revisit A-level questions from old exams. Make sure I know where I am placed. Times I’ve even sat in the classroom where I will write before the exam to “familiarize myself with the environment”
    – V001_7 P
    Jan 22, 2023 at 14:26
  • @Nobody Not all times. We can compare our solutions to a solution manual compiled and written by one of our professors. I seem to not have a problem with most questions. If I get stuck on a question then I do ask the TA
    – V001_7 P
    Jan 22, 2023 at 14:29
  • 1
    What field is this? Or is it more general?
    – Buffy
    Jan 22, 2023 at 15:06

1 Answer 1

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I'm going to suggest that you talk to a professional counsellor about this. Freezing is an extreme reaction to a fear of failure (perhaps, I'm not really qualified to diagnose).

Your actions in studying seem to be pretty good; long term study, rest, diet...

Butterflies in the stomach are natural before a big event, whether a high dive into the pool or an exam. But freezing is a form of self defeating behavior that is probably more psychological than anything. A counsellor can help.

Even Simone Biles had a period of failure in and important meet because of (I think) losing mental focus at the wrong moment. It can happen to anyone.

Many (most) universities will provide an office of student support that can probably help.


It's not a solution, but a google search for "comfortable in your own skin" might turn up some ideas.

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