Exams

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LauraMcM25
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Exams

Postby LauraMcM25 » Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:55 pm

Hi I'm 25 and I have Dyspraxia and I'm looking for your advice. I'm studying a masters in psychology and I have exams at the moment. The university are quite supportive but today I had one of my exams but before the exam I got a letter from the doctor because I had bad neck pain and a bad headache. I go to a physio on a regular basis because of this and it gets much worse at times when I'm at my computer loads. Anyway of course I was stressed aswell. I went to the exam couldn't remember the information I had learnt so I had to leave the exam. I had crammed too much and this does not work for me. I always say I won't cram but it's very hard when you're very busy and so many other people seem to be able to do it. I will most likely get to repeat this exam in August but I feel so pissed off with myself and really not sure about telling people because a similiar thing happened at my last exam. I have an exam tomorrow week and I have not started studying and will have to prepare essays for it so I fear I will be in the same situation again. I may be able to do this in August also but I'm really not sure about this. Does anyone have any advice or been in similiar situations before? Thanks

ssuma
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Re: Exams

Postby ssuma » Wed Apr 27, 2016 5:07 am

LauraMcM25 wrote:Hi I'm 25 and I have Dyspraxia and I'm looking for your advice. I'm studying a masters in psychology and I have exams at the moment. The university are quite supportive but today I had one of my exams but before the exam I got a letter from the doctor because I had bad neck pain and a bad headache. I go to a physio on a regular basis because of this and it gets much worse at times when I'm at my computer loads. Anyway of course I was stressed aswell. I went to the exam couldn't remember the information I had learnt so I had to leave the exam. I had crammed too much and this does not work for me. I always say I won't cram but it's very hard when you're very busy and so many other people seem to be able to do it. I will most likely get to repeat this exam in August but I feel so pissed off with myself and really not sure about telling people because a similiar thing happened at my last exam. I have an exam tomorrow week and I have not started studying and will have to prepare essays for it so I fear I will be in the same situation again. I may be able to do this in August also but I'm really not sure about this. Does anyone have any advice or been in similiar situations before? Thanks


Hello. Not sure whether this will be helpful. You probably heard this from somewhere else. My advice for you is to study begin asap. In the future, try to break big tasks down to small pieces. Make it a regular habit to study and review. As dyspraxics, our short-term memory is worse than the norm. Hence, cramming is the last thing we want to do in order to retain new information. I personally don't support the idea that people study just to do well in tests/exams. As much as society appears to be otherwise, it should be your knowledge and experience that defined the kind of person you are, not your grades or your diploma. Hence, I suggested you look and develop ways which can help acquire and learn new information effectively if you believed previous strategies/learning habits are not working. Technology have come a long way and we should embrace them effectively. Things like keeping a google calendar (to keep track of studying goals), using endnotes (to compile bibliography/list or readings)...are small things that added up and made significant differences in the long run.

IMO, everyone (dyspraxics and non-dyspraxics) had problems in meeting deadlines. Everyone crammed. Everyone get stressed out. Everyone get pissed off at themselves. The problem exacerbated for us dyspraxics because of our poor organization skills...etc. However, we need to be mindful that we don't use them as an excuse to do bad. IMO, there shouldn't be any "magic" in doing well in school. Yes, some people have better memory than others. There will always be people like that. But they might also be missing something. IMO, struggling to do well is also an important experience by itself.

May I asked what your long-term career and life goals are? Mine is to enter academia, become an educator and make the learning environment more sustainable and friendly to people who are disenfranchised by the current education system (like ourselves). Frankly, everything you typed, I also thought about it time and time again. However, every time I stopped and reminded myself what my goals are, I find the spirits to keep at it again.

PS: I just finished my masters and is beginning my PhD. I still remembered a year ago, I was "literally" going around, crying for help to everyone I know as I was just diagnosed with dyspraxia and rejected from the PhD program I applied for. Over time, I noticed, being a dyspraxic and doing masters, there are really not too many people around me that I can ask for help in terms of learning strategies. Haha. On a side note, I am glad to hear there are more dyspraxics going into post-graduate studies like myself. Frankly, I am still in the process of finding an effective learning strategy myself. My advisor once said to me, learning to work effectively is a life long quest, not sure whether you agree?

LauraMcM25
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Re: Exams

Postby LauraMcM25 » Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:19 am

Thanks for your reply. Yeah I totally agree with what you're saying about cramming it just doesn't work. The thing is I changed to part time but I started focusing on my thesis (which I could have done next year) and I fell behind in the modules. Also a big issue here is my dad is dismissive and never thought I was intelligent and my mum just said to me last night she doesn't think I'm able for the doctorate. I really want to be a counselling psychologist working with children and teens. I'm just hoping to be able to do the exams in August and be able to just focus on that. How did you find doing your masters? What are you doing your PHD in?

ssuma
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Re: Exams

Postby ssuma » Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:25 pm

LauraMcM25 wrote:Thanks for your reply. Yeah I totally agree with what you're saying about cramming it just doesn't work. The thing is I changed to part time but I started focusing on my thesis (which I could have done next year) and I fell behind in the modules. Also a big issue here is my dad is dismissive and never thought I was intelligent and my mum just said to me last night she doesn't think I'm able for the doctorate. I really want to be a counselling psychologist working with children and teens. I'm just hoping to be able to do the exams in August and be able to just focus on that. How did you find doing your masters? What are you doing your PHD in?


No problem, I am glad to share my story. I did a masters on archaeology and is currently continuing on a doctorate with it.

Don't feel alone here about the thesis. The Thesis is what nearly killed my academic career during my masters. My poor organization skills really got in the way. It did not help my advisor in my university and my mentor in the field who provided me with the data want me to focus on two completely different topic with the data. All it is good, this event caused me to desperately look for ways to improve my efficiency, eventually leading me to find out I am an undiagnosed dyspraxia and suffering multiple types of neurosis as a result of it. So I guessed all is good in the end?

My advice for you on your thesis (as someone who just recently finished one) is really break down your thesis into smaller pieces. Precisely, try setting some time everyday to read, write notes and write your thesis. Don't feel discouraged, if you felt like you are struggling. My advisor once told me during the process is that if one is not struggling when working on their thesis, something definitely is wrong. Thesis, let it be masters and doctorate, are not supposed to be easy that everyone, dxypraxics or not, can do. Frankly, I took 2.5 years to finish my 2 years masters. So if you can finished you masters on time, you already exceed this one here.

On a side note, I noticed one big problem for dyspraxics is that we have a hard time hiding our emotions and sometimes even when we don't feel like it, we showed it in front of everyone. Hence, I honestly thinks many of us need to learn how to hide it. Not sure if you agree with me, but no one likes to hang out with people with too much negative emotions, and when people who cares about you see you have too much of it all the time, really worries them. Hence, I think we dyspraxics, of everyone, need to learn better how to control our emotions (how difficult it might be).

Also, I think having confidence makes a big difference. Especially when you are in the science profession. Specifically, develop the courage to comfortably tell people you don't know, need more time, accepted constructive criticisms and not be too bothered by others' seemingly obnoxious behavior. Those are things I wished I have known earlier. You probably heard them before and I am not sure whether you suffered similarly as I do. I just feel the need to type them down as those are things I wish that someone told me earlier. I hope the tips helps.

LauraMcM25
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Re: Exams

Postby LauraMcM25 » Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:42 am

Thanks for your advice! Yeah I think you're so right about the confidence as you make mistakes and need to hear criticisms as well as things you did well in! I also sometimes am too emotional even tho it can be good as I'm sensitive but it's not good at times as well! Yeah I have another year and a bit to do my thesis I was going to do the masters in one year but I'm now doing it in 2 so I can do it bit by bit! How do u find the doctorate?

ssuma
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Re: Exams

Postby ssuma » Sun May 01, 2016 11:35 pm

LauraMcM25 wrote:Thanks for your advice! Yeah I think you're so right about the confidence as you make mistakes and need to hear criticisms as well as things you did well in! I also sometimes am too emotional even tho it can be good as I'm sensitive but it's not good at times as well! Yeah I have another year and a bit to do my thesis I was going to do the masters in one year but I'm now doing it in 2 so I can do it bit by bit! How do u find the doctorate?


I just started so I am not sure how much I can comment on it. As of now, all i can say is like everything, it is hard, however, the knowledge you gained and the work you do is totally worth it.

Good look on your thesis, with some creativity and hard work, I am sure you will prevail!

LauraMcM25
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Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:39 pm

Re: Exams

Postby LauraMcM25 » Mon May 02, 2016 10:21 pm

Well done for getting accepting on to it that's no joke! Thanks I think I have to work on my belief in myself and it doesn't help when members of my family do not believe in me do you ever get that or not really?

ssuma
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Re: Exams

Postby ssuma » Tue May 03, 2016 3:38 am

LauraMcM25 wrote:Well done for getting accepting on to it that's no joke! Thanks I think I have to work on my belief in myself and it doesn't help when members of my family do not believe in me do you ever get that or not really?


Thank you. For the most part, I am just lucky to get accepted. I am also very lucky to have the moral support of my mother. However, frankly, the rest of my (both immediate and extended) family are not that supportive. Hence, while my situation is different from yours, there are similarities.

Based on my personal experience, one thing that troubled me greatly as a post-graduate student is not simply the bodily limitations posed by dyspraxia but also its effects on my mental health. When I was first diagnosed withy dyspraxia, my GP also diagnosed as having depression. It does not help that academia is highly competitive that drove even normal "non-dyspraxics" insane.

I think the biggest turning point in my academic/social life is when I started to understand the mental problems plaguing me and try to mitigate its effects on my academic/social life. I am sure everyone combat them differently. For me, I am not a big fan of taking drugs for psychological disorder. Hence, I turned down my GP's advice for me to take anti-depressants (not sure whether this is a good idea). I try to take a much more positive outlook. Specifically, I try to convince myself all the struggles I am having now serve a purpose for me in the future. Since I want to be an educator, I convince myself I would need to be as independent as possible and also need to be mentally strong (Like how can an educator surrendering himself to depression and dyspraxia expects that he is qualified to teach others?)

I am also a buff in history so I look back to many figures in the past who suffered from depression in the past and see how they coup with it. Apparently, Abraham Lincoln also suffered from chronic depression in his younger days, obviously, at his times, people knew very little about mental disorder, he apparently got through it by convincing himself that he have a bigger purpose in life in the future.

Hopefully, I do not sounds like I am projecting my life onto yours. If so, I apologise. Moreover, I want to apologize if my words are blunt and unrefined. Since you want to be a counselling psychologist working with children and teens, I assumed you will have to face a lot of young people that have similar problems with academic and family, like yourself right now. Perhaps all the struggles you are experiencing right now is all of a grand plan and test ? Perhaps, these experiences will make you stronger and become a great counsellor. And frankly, when you have problems in your life, would you want to consult a psychologist who had life easy through his/her whole life, or would you trust a psychologist who struggled with the same problems before and got through them?


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