Business Commentary

Crossing the confidence chasm when you are preparing for an exam

As we go into the final 10 days of preparation for the Wine Diploma exams, if you are anything like me, it is quite likely you may experience a sudden bout of anxiety or a real drop in confidence.  This is quite typical.  When you begin to study a subject, you don’t know anything, so the fact that you don’t know what the exam questions might be at the end of your course is irrelevant – you couldn’t answer the questions anyway.

However, as you prepare and study more, that relationship changes.  You have a lot of information in your brain, you have knowledge, yet you still don’t know exactly what the exam questions will be.  This is very disruptive for a human brain and therefore we start to consider whether it is better to never know what the questions are or to push back the moment of realisation further into the future.  On your study journey, there is often a “confidence chasm” we fall into as we climb the mountain!

You can easily break this cycle of self doubt, worry, or even panic, which otherwise can really disrupt your study time.  Once you have done this exercise, you can continue with your original revision plan and concentrate properly.

Focus on a very specific subject within the syllabus and write a distinction level paragraph about it.  For example, write a paragraph about what exactly whole bunch fermentation is.  20 mins intense focus on a small topic will break the self doubt cycle and take you out of the confidence chasm.

Then you can return to your original study plan and continue as you intended to.

Usually, you only have to do this exercise once, but if not 2 or 3 of these exercises will work.

We have all put in a lot of work, there is still time.  With the right plan that works for you, you can definitely pass this exam in the way you want to.

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