I have an extreme exam phobia...

  • #1
I graduated 22 years ago in Electrical Electronic Engineering. I haven't sat an exam since. The fact that I graduated at all I think was a minor miracle (I suffered terribly from exam stress - I only scrapped through due to my project and dissertation work being quote ' refreshingly good '). What was more ircsome at the time was that I was one of probably very few people who actually dug deep to try and understand the work as opposed to being as most were 'process junkies' that had little clue as to what they were doing. Made no difference to me anyway as I was not able to perform in exams. In order for me to do any real intellectual work I have to be completely relaxed and at ease otherwise the world is a hopeless jumble.

I vowed after graduating that all learning from now on would be on my terms. The one positive thing about my 4 years at uni was that it gave me an insatiable thirst for lifelong learning. I have continued with maths and physics as a hobby through my adult life and have 2 things to show for it UNDERSTANDING and KNOWLEDGE.

I was going to do an OU course on calculus of variations but what was the point in spending 1000 pounds on a course that I have already covered on my own ?

So the question is how do I rid myself of this exam phobia that has shadowed my 'academic' life ?

Please not I am a happily balanced married father of 2 so this isn't something that has much affect on me, but learning on your own can be a lonely business and I think I have much to give. Lately I've though it would be good to pass what I know to others but who would be interested in learning from someone who hasn't sat an single exam in 22 years ?

I have a library in the house with books that are coming apart from everday use and all my uni notes from the first day to the last day are lovingly kept with every page of the 20 ringbinder folders numbered.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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I don't think you can completely get rid of it. It is like stage fright, some are affected more and others less. What you can do, is to find ways to deal with it. Maybe you can find some help here:
https://www.physicsforums.com/insights/10-math-tips-save-time-avoid-mistakes/
which I wrote to give tips how to avoid mistakes, but also nervousness. The key word is distraction in my opinion. Don't think about the entire goal, the exam, but distract yourself with small actions like checking your material, reading the test in a special way and so on.

Of course there is always the possibility to seek help by pharmaceutical products, but these should only be given after a long talk with a doctor - for several reasons. Do not try any drugs or plants which haven't been prescribed, preferably by a specialist!

Another way is to use music to influence your autonomic nervous system. You'll have to find out which kind of music works best for you. I would prefer some classical instrumental works like the Tannhäuser overture, and I'd say metal or rap won't work very well, but that's an individual choice in the end.
 
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  • #3
ZapperZ
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I graduated 22 years ago in Electrical Electronic Engineering. I haven't sat an exam since. The fact that I graduated at all I think was a minor miracle (I suffered terribly from exam stress - I only scrapped through due to my project and dissertation work being quote ' refreshingly good '). What was more ircsome at the time was that I was one of probably very few people who actually dug deep to try and understand the work as opposed to being as most were 'process junkies' that had little clue as to what they were doing. Made no difference to me anyway as I was not able to perform in exams. In order for me to do any real intellectual work I have to be completely relaxed and at ease otherwise the world is a hopeless jumble.

I vowed after graduating that all learning from now on would be on my terms. The one positive thing about my 4 years at uni was that it gave me an insatiable thirst for lifelong learning. I have continued with maths and physics as a hobby through my adult life and have 2 things to show for it UNDERSTANDING and KNOWLEDGE.

I was going to do an OU course on calculus of variations but what was the point in spending 1000 pounds on a course that I have already covered on my own ?

So the question is how do I rid myself of this exam phobia that has shadowed my 'academic' life ?

Please not I am a happily balanced married father of 2 so this isn't something that has much affect on me, but learning on your own can be a lonely business and I think I have much to give. Lately I've though it would be good to pass what I know to others but who would be interested in learning from someone who hasn't sat an single exam in 22 years ?

I have a library in the house with books that are coming apart from everday use and all my uni notes from the first day to the last day are lovingly kept with every page of the 20 ringbinder folders numbered.
Have you ever seen a mental health professional to help you deal with this? This will be significantly better than asking strangers on an Internet forum. I do not believe that this is an academic guidance issue.

Zz.
 
  • #4
My word nothing like a dose of salt. I'm gonna put this monkey to bed this year.
 

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