Exam Preparation - The Stages of Stress

Exam Hall

Smugness


You've got this. 

Your plan is laid out on a huge white board/A3 piece of paper, pinned on the wall, colour coded and highlighted. 

It looks so beautiful you could tweet a picture of it, #winning.

That's the first bit of hard graft done, you should sit back and admire your work.

Dedication


You start working really hard...

...for a while...



The first break


...So hard in fact, you deserve a break.

Just a ten minute one - your schedule says you're not owed one yet but it won't matter just this once.

Just a little one.



Realisation


You make the vital mistake of talking to your friends. 

Maybe they're at stage one - gloating about their highlighted detailed plan of attack.

They could be at stage 5. panic, or worse, 6. meltdown (yes you still have those to come).

Either way it throws you into an oblivion of fear that you just will not be ready in time. 

Panic


It hits you just how little time you really have.

Suddenly all those 'little' breaks seem to have added up.

The 'just one more episode' excuse to reward yourself for that last mock exam question you got right has somehow culminated the entire box set. 

Helplessness


You may as well give up.

There is no hope - you'll never catch up now.

Cramming


Reluctantly you cram. 

And cram.

Sob a little.

And cram.

Mass Hysteria


But then exam day comes and it turns out everyone is going through the same thing.

For a moment you consider running...

Defeat


They're calling you into the exam hall - there's nothing more you can do now...

Relief


It's over.

You have no idea where the last few hours went or what you spieled out on the page - it's done.

Now it's time to celebrate.