What's the best way to turn your performance around on your exams should you have failed them? Maybe you’ve had some other setback that has prevented you from taking the exam. Let’s relate this to athletics and see if there are some common themes.
Dr. Cohn of Peak Performace Sports recently stated this:
“Every athlete experiences rough spots or slumps, which causes periods of underperformance. Many times, those athletes get in trouble when they focus on their most recent disappointing results.
Many athletes fall into the trap of being mentally “nearsighted.” That is, they are consumed by their recent bad results or low level of play. They tend to expect their lack of production or effectiveness to continue in the near future.
For example, a baseball player who struck out three times in their last game may expect to strike out several times in the next game. Or a soccer player who played poorly in the first half of a game may also expect to make more mistakes in the second half.
Here is the problem with negative expectations. If you expect negative results, it will change the way you approach a game. You may give up shots that you would typically take.
If you expect negative results, you may not prepare the same way for the next game. You might play less aggressively. The result will be that you will underperform again.
The same can be said when taking your exams.
So, how can you break out of performance ruts? The answer is to reset mentally.”
A mental reset is no different than resetting your cell phone to improve the performance of your device. Have you had your phone freeze on you? A smartphone can become cluttered with unwanted apps and dangerous malware. A reset to your smartphone frees up storage space, eliminates potential threats, and speeds up the processing time.
Likewise, a mental reset for athletes clears your headspace, eliminates destructive thoughts, and helps speed up your decision-making in competitions. Resetting is like a mental timeout where you can refocus and recharge.
New York Jets quarterback and 2021 first-round pick Zach Wilson has struggled with basic throws during the 2022 season. Wilson's lack of production resulted in the Jets benching him in Week 12 (and benching him again later!).
Jet's head coach Robert Saleh believes that Wilson needs a slight reset to get his play back on track.
SALEH: “The biggest thing with Zach is the young man needs a reset. His decision-making has been fine, his practice habits have been fine. But there are some basic, fundamental things that have gotten really out of whack for him. And this is just an opportunity for him to sit back, focus on those things, find a way to reconnect to all the different things that we fell in love with during the draft process.”
Resetting can help you clear your mind, objectively evaluate your play and readjust your mindset to perform at your peak again.
Sometimes, you need a hard reset, such as taking a few days off. Other times, a soft reset during a competition will be effective.
Resetting during a competition can be implemented during a timeout or between plays. Take a deep breath, use the cue word “reset,” and refocus your attention on the present.
Use this self-talk: “I can't change the past, I can only move forward.
Think this applies to test-taking? You bet it does. Take these tips and apply them to wherever you are on your test-taking journey. If you’ve had a setback, then let’s reassess. Maybe you were registered for an exam and just never got around to taking it. Maybe you’ve taken the exam five times, and you’re sick of taking it again. In any of these cases, give yourself a nice reset, get back on the bus, and let’s get after it.
When you’re ready, we’ll be here waiting for you.
P.S if you want more tips are getting back on track with your exam check out Matt Fanghella's guest post here on what to do if you failed.
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Author: Isaac Oakeson, PE
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