Shut downs during school evaluations, HELP!

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Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

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Joined: 2 Dec 2012
Age: 24
Gender: Female
Posts: 53

25 Jan 2013, 2:58 pm

How do I avoid "shutting down" in the middle of the test?

I study for the test and beforehand I feel like I'm ready for it, but during the evaluation if there is a question that I can't get I seem to get flustered. Then, I try to move on to the next question but I just get stuck in the one I couldn't understand. Every time I try to answer the next question, or even the ones that I know the answers to, I can't do it because my brain is hyper focusing on the one I cannot answer. Afterwards once I get over this initial stage, I seem to forget about everything I studied. I just blank/space out. If I try to process information, I can't. It's like trying to read a foreign language and the information I'm reading just bounces back.

Usually when I blank out, I just give up, start shaking, throw my pen and put my head down and my hands over my head. I feel like the only way to get my head refocused and to move on from the questions I can't answer is to get out of the room/cage and run around outside until I've calmed down or hit my head against a wall or using my fist, but obviously I can't do that in public nor in school.

This so-called shut down has happened more than once and I don't want it to happen again because it is affecting my mark and learning. It also happens outside of evaluations, basically whenever I don't get something or if I'm confused, my mind just starts "talking" about failing and such which causes me to blank out, therefore I miss some very important details. Also, this mostly happens on the subjects that I love and care about, but regardless it has happened in other things that I couldn't care less about. One time it happened when I was doing a group work with other people, and I just got overwhelmed because they said we are no longer using a "script" to present. And as if all of the sudden when they try to tell me what to do my brain became super slow at processing, I have to list every detail they told me and repeat it out loud as well as use my fingers to count it, just so I can process and remember the information and they were very basic like read this book and comment on it. This is particularly peculiar because my brain is usually fast at processing.

Has this happened to you before? How did you cope with it? Is it stress and pressure that is causing it?


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Joined: 13 Jan 2011
Age: 30
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,494

26 Jan 2013, 9:41 am

University or K-12?

I don't know the rules for K-12, but in university, disabled students can register to get accommodations from disability services. If you got a room alone and extra time, and brought something calming in with you (that you couldn't use to cheat with) that could really help. Room alone so you can do whatever you need to do to calm down in privacy, and extra time so you can stop and calm down without running out of time for the test.

Also, in my experience taking a bathroom break is usually allowed. I often use bathroom breaks to get out of a situation briefly when I'm stressed.