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 Post subject: untwisting thoughts of the GRE
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:20 am 
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Situation: I'm scheduled to take the Graduate Record Examination in a week and a half. I am having major anxiety issues. It's kind of funny, but my therapist told me to take a xanax right before the test.

So, the twisted part:
Several issues: I am not allowed to fail. Even though intellectually I understand this is a wacked perception, my emotional side can't seem to connect. Sometimes, it is like the rational part of my brain and the emotional part of my brain just don't talk I guess.

Second issue: I may be putting too much pressure on myself. It feels like getting a good score on the GRE is the first step of getting out of here, and moving to Denver, the first step in finally letting go of the Chris situation and truly move on with my life.

Third issue: the one thing I know about myself is that I am relatively intelligent. I"m scared as all hell that the GRE is going to tell me that I'm not, and then I will feel like I don't know who I am. Intellectually, I understand this is a wacked borderline perception. Emotionally, it is causing me major anxiety.

Realistically, I am having a hard time dechipering how I'm doing regarding studying. I e-mailed the department head and asked what the parameters are for acceptance, which is basically a 600 Verbal score and a 4/6 on the analytical. I should be able to do this.

I've been working over full-time and have tried to study spordically for the last two months. Today, I took the verbal practice test three times. The first time I got 600(the minimum), the second test 580, and the third 520 So, basically I'm feeling extrememly anxious about the test, and way overwhelmed. I have study time left so that works in my favor.

I don't know. Thanks for listening. It helps to type it out.

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"I can lose my hard-earned freedom if my fear defines my world. I declare my independence from the critics and the stones. I declare my revolution, I can learn to stand alone."


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 Post subject: Re: untwisting thoughts of the GRE
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 6:14 pm 
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Just try to remember to breathe, Pip. You WILL get through this too.

Some thoughts:
Quote:
Sometimes, it is like the rational part of my brain and the emotional part of my brain just don't talk I guess.

Okay, so you have identified a problem. Now what? How could this be resolved? Would the 5 steps help out for this?
Quote:
I may be putting too much pressure on myself. It feels like getting a good score on the GRE is the first step of getting out of here, and moving to Denver, the first step in finally letting go of the Chris situation and truly move on with my life.

That is quite a bit of pressure, isn't it? Sounds to me like you may have a case of the 'musts' or the 'shoulds' or the 'have tos'. Are you saying that you feel if you happen to fail the test the first time you can't move on with your life? What about the right now? Can you re-take it? ..........just seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy to me. How can you change it?
Quote:
the one thing I know about myself is that I am relatively intelligent. I"m scared as all hell that the GRE is going to tell me that I'm not, and then I will feel like I don't know who I am

If you really believe in your heart that you are intelligent.......how can the test results "make" you feel that you are not? We choose how we feel (at least what we tell ourselves about what is happening). Are you saying that if you happen to fail because of your anxiety, you would think that you are not smart?

On your test-trying......you kept getting a worse score than the time before, right? Is it possible that the reason your score was going down was your anxiety levels? I think it is important for you to distinguish between what is anxiety related and what is intelligence related. What if you stop (HALT) and take some breaths when you are taking the practice tests? Maybe do some meditation or physical exercise to get out the excess energy?

It seems like you are studying all you can and doing your best in most regards......but part of getting a good grade for you is going to not be dependent on your memory so much as learning to control the anxiety. Make it part of what you have to do to go to the test-- a priority. Use all the tools and tricks you have learned to help yourself get a handle on the anxiety. Then, the test might be a better reflection on you. At least you would know you tried everything, right?

I hear you that this test is a big deal and I definitely think some nerves are very normal for this. But... you are stabbing yourself in foot working yourself up over 'possibles'. It's only a possibility that you will fail the test-- or pass it. It hasn't happened yet. Remember, all you can ask of yourself is to do your best with the info at hand.

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"Pain is resistance to change."
--Ida Rolf

BRING IT ON!! -- personal mantra


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 Post subject: Re: untwisting thoughts of the GRE
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:04 pm 
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Thanks Harmonium. You are right as usual, the trick for me I think is getting a handle on the anxiety part. I broke down crying three times yesterday because of feeling anxious. At least I'm realizing the wacked perceptions, I just need to realize that I have to do the 5 steps and other techniques in addition to studying. I panic because I think, I need to be studying right now, and I've noticed a decline in self care because of that. So, as usual, I need to remember that self care, skills, etc. HAVE to come first because if they don't, my world gets screwy basically. lol.

I took a vacation day from work today to study, and although I felt anxious that I took a lot of the day for self care (went to the beauty school and had a facial, eyebrows waxed and haircut), it did help me relax and also regain some perspective. And I'm still getting in a solid 3-4 hours of studying.

If I don't do as well on the test as I would like, it is not the end of the world. There are actually pros and cons to doing well/not doing well on the GRE. If I don't do well and meet the minimum for grad school, it just means that I have to study more and pay the $150 to take the test again. The pro could be that if I don't get accepted to graduate school this year, I do have a good job and am making decent money, so basically it gives me another year to shore up my savings, which unfortunately, is pretty non-existent right now.

So, yeah, basically I"m just trying to get a handle on a realistic perception and also a handle on the anxiety. Although, to be perfectly honest, I really really want to do well on the GRE, get accepted to grad school, get the heck away from here and from Chris and be in the next chapter of my life already. I know, I know, those thoughts aren't helping me stay in the moment. lol.

Anyways, thanks again for the response.

_________________
"I can lose my hard-earned freedom if my fear defines my world. I declare my independence from the critics and the stones. I declare my revolution, I can learn to stand alone."


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 Post subject: Re: untwisting thoughts of the GRE
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:36 pm 
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Hiya Pip! No advice really... just wanted to say that it is great to see you here again and it sounds like you are doing so much better overall (despite anxiety over the GRE) ;) AND I think taking time out from studying and doing "fun" self care stuff is really important and will actually help you. I know that I always did better when I stepped away from something for a while and then came back to it. Step away from studying, let the material "sink in" while you soak your feet, then when you go to take the test you will be relaxed and ready. Best of luck to you!!
Chai
f/k/a NAM


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 Post subject: Re: untwisting thoughts of the GRE
PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:15 pm 
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Ah, thanks Chai! It is good to be back here again as well. I wish I could be more helpful to others and respond more to their posts. Hopefully, after my test I can spend more time responding to others, instead of just yacking about my problems! lol.

Smiles,

_________________
"I can lose my hard-earned freedom if my fear defines my world. I declare my independence from the critics and the stones. I declare my revolution, I can learn to stand alone."


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