Revision, revision, revision- a word I’m sure most year 11s are familiar with. Mock week is in full stride and students are absolutely swamped with study. Amidst the chaos, I want to share a message of mindfulness.
There are two ways to look at exams: it could be a pure hatred that will never leave until you eventually finish school, or you could see them as precursors for your real exams, a push to start slowly revising. They are like small reminders, and if listened to will help you during your GCSEs, A-levels and more. So mocks are an opportunity to check what you know, acknowledge what you do not… and improve!
Clearly, mocks are stressful. It feels like it’ll be the end of the world if you fail a subject. A test going badly, leads your mind into a self-destructive rabbit hole of envisaging second-rate GCSE grades, rejected sixth form applications and the ever so ominous future. A staggering 15% of GCSE students are ‘highly test anxious’ (Putwain & Daly, 2014). Not only do these people suffer from the test anxiety that plagues most of us, but it is so high that it seriously affects their wellbeing and exam grades. Scientifically, stress can help get you through a hard paper, or motivate you to study but in the longer term, it takes a psychological toll, heightening risks of anxiety disorders.
Besides, physical and mental health are so innately intertwined. One cannot fully flourish without the other. Keeping active is incredibly important, even if that means walking to school instead of taking the bus. Eat food that nourishes your brain and keeps you energised and don’t forget to drink water. Speaking from experience, sacrificing valuable sleep to cram out of sheer panic has never helped. Sleep is important and should never be surrendered and can hinder attention, problem solving and memory: skills that are essential for exams. All these small changes made will greatly improve your mental wellbeing. Success is like a seed, and hard work is the water that nurtures it. Simply put, pouring a gallon of water upon it in one day will not make it grow. You must water it a little every day for it to truly prosper.
In the modern age of technology, students are bombarded with deadlines, decisions and an overwhelming influx of online distractions. It’s too much for anyone. Take a moment away from it all. Don’t engulf yourself in comparing grades with peers, stop submerging yourself in study- you’ll sink. Actively take a break- go on a walk, have a picnic with friends or even appreciate a rich, warm cup of hot chocolate! In the grand scheme of things, mocks are just a short chapter in the vast novel of your life.
Enjoy the little things in life for one day you’ll look back and realise that they were the big things