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Exam: Young wheelchair users share key tips for coping with stress

Exams are vital to your future, but they can also be overwhelming and stressful for everyone. Testing is more difficult for young wheelchair users as mobility problems, accessibility and other barriers add stress. Here we are members of the Kidz Board. with kids Share your advice for managing exam stress.


Wheelchair users and young people with disabilities can feel extra pressure to do well to “prove people wrong” or “make up for their disability.” But I want you to remember that what you are is good enough. It doesn’t matter what you took on the exam, what was predicted, what people expected or wanted of you, you’re good enough. As a young disabled person, you are already facing many barriers. Don’t put pressure on yourself and on yourself yet another. Remember that there is always another way, another way, and things will work out in the end, even if it is not what was originally planned.

Be sure to check what access arrangements will be made during the exam. Perhaps you can get some extra time, a break, a laptop, revised paperwork, etc., and knowing in advance how it works can help calm your nerves. You probably won’t be allowed to carry bags or other items in your wheelchair, so prepare your chair ahead of time so you don’t panic before the exam. Remember to give all required medications to the examiner in a clear, labeled bag (check with your school/university for this process).


Don’t be afraid to challenge what you’re given if you need to. To put it in context, for my girlfriend’s GCSE, all the students at my school took the exam in the gymnasium in the quietest area of ​​the school campus. All children with disabilities and children with learning disabilities had to take the exam in a porte-cochet adjacent to the building site on a separate site. They gave us ear protection when we complained. They obviously didn’t work. I rejected it in the actual exam. It was a four-month battle, but in the end I won. Don’t be afraid to challenge the examiner or challenge the school’s response. Just because it says it should be done a certain way doesn’t mean it’s the only way.

Last year, the university had a 48-hour open book exam, and it was the same for all students, which was great. Even if I took a rest when I got tired, I was able to finish the exam on time. This year the process was changed to 3 hours. His three-hour mock exam had to be done in person, but I was sick at the time and there was no alternative. I feel even worse after doing that. The change in process affected not only students with disabilities, but also international students who had previously arranged their return trips. Eventually he changed to 24 hours instead of 48 hours. The accessibility department itself was great, but it was a separate agency from my course department and they didn’t listen to them at all. Interestingly, I haven’t even enrolled in a new European university yet, but so far the university has met all my expectations and needs. i love europe very impressive.

Please ensure that your exam space is fully accessible prior to your exam. Also, select a backup location in some cases. During a recent test, the closest accessible toilet broke down, so we had to move to another location that had issues. All of this adds to the pressure of the day.


Support – You are entitled to some additional support. This includes tutoring sessions, extended exam time, breaks, scribes, practice assistants, your own space and room to take your exams, additional support sessions, and more. Both teachers and classmates! See what you are entitled to and what the school has to offer from day one. When you do this, you’ll be amazed at how much pressure you put on yourself to strive for perfection and get a perfect score (because there’s no such thing). Be sure to use support to talk to people within your school about how exactly these adjustments work, and remember that you don’t need to talk outside the “network” (family, teachers). This is your support, not that of your friends or other students.

Communication – This is something I wish I had learned sooner, especially when taking the GCSE exam. I had a very hard time keeping up with the exam pressure and school review. It’s not a very good hole or rut to get into, but we worked with the learning support department to come up with a number of ways to make the last few months of secondary school go much smoother. Some of these techniques I still use today and they have helped me improve myself as a student and as an educator. These include such incredibly simple things as creating a revision schedule, holding study sessions with friends and people in your course, and using the Pomodoro Technique, which you can always rely on.

Personal Pressure – Please, please remember that you don’t have to compare yourself to others. I’m proud of the grades I’ve achieved, I’m proud of the work I’ve put into reviewing, I’m proud of the coursework I’ve created, but most importantly, I’m proud of the flimsy little scrap of paper at the end of the exam. It is to remember the displayed numbers and grades. Seasons don’t define you. You are unique and special, and you have so much more to offer than a piece of paper with a few numbers printed on it. I am a prime example of my own advice. I “failed” on his GCSE in math (never passed a D grade on the old system) and received mixed C and D results on the GCSE. Since then, I have completed two of her degrees and am awaiting admission to a journalism course. I am starting to follow my passion and dreams. The world is your oyster, so take your time.

Judgment from Others – If someone asks you, “What kind of support do you have?” don’t feel like you have to answer the question because you don’t. If you feel the need to answer this question, you can say, “Yes, I have a learning support plan.” No one should feel the need to judge you because of the support you have in place for your personal situation. This only increases stereotypes. If you need to consult someone about judgments from others, especially before or after an exam, do so.

Don’t be shy – your school usually offers review sessions after school, and some learning support assistants know or feel you are struggling with a particular section or subject. (I had this for science and it’s a life saver!). If you are offered this support, please accept it. Your school will not inform other students that this is being done or is happening. You will usually participate in these sessions with other students and friends. If this hasn’t been mentioned to you, feel free to ask. Remember the worst things they say no to.

Here are some other important tips with kids Helps manage exam stress.

plan ahead

One of the best ways to manage exam stress is to plan ahead. This includes creating a study schedule, setting achievable goals, and creating a comfortable learning environment tailored to your needs. For students who use wheelchairs, this may mean finding an accessible study space, ensuring that the testing room is accessible, and arranging for any additional support or assistance needed during testing. I have.

practice self care

Exams can be very stressful and taking care of yourself is essential during this time. This includes getting enough sleep, eating healthy, staying hydrated, and participating in fun activities. For young people in wheelchairs, it is essential to pay attention to their body needs, including resting as needed and stretching and exercising to reduce discomfort from sitting for long periods of time.

ask for help

It’s okay to ask for help and support during the exam. Seeking support from family, friends, and teachers can make a big difference in managing exam stress. For young people in wheelchairs, it may also mean seeking assistance from campus or local disability services.

visualize success

Visualization is a powerful tool to help manage exam stress. Take your time and imagine yourself passing the exam and focus on the positive results you want to achieve. This will help you stay motivated, focused and confident throughout the exam.

take a deep breath

Deep breathing is a simple and effective way to manage exam stress. When you feel overwhelmed or anxious, take a moment to take a deep breath and focus on the breath going in and out of your body. This calms the mind and body and helps reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

Managing exam stress is a critical part of exam success, and with the right strategies and support, young people in wheelchairs can approach exams with confidence and comfort. By planning ahead, practicing self-care, seeking support, envisioning success, and taking deep breaths, you can manage exam stress and reach your goals. Remember to be kind to yourself during this time and know that you are capable of success.

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