My 17 year old daughter had her CTEC assessments cancelled just after New Year. You may remember that the Government announced the cancellation of A-levels just as schools and colleges returned from the Christmas holidays. It was left to individual colleges to make decisions about CTEC practical exams which were due to start on 5th January. The end result was that my daughter did two days of assessments and then the plug was pulled half way through the second day.
RRC NEBOSH Diploma January Exams
I mention this because NEBOSH Diploma students studying with RRC have had a very similar experience with the mid-January exams being cancelled by RRC at short notice.
If you ask my daughter how this whole experience of preparing for a set of exams and then having the rug pulled from under has made her feel she’ll tell you. Anxious. Annoyed. Not really relieved because the exams are still there – dangling like a sword of Damocles.
And Covid is not helping matters at all. Deaths and sickness hangs like a dark cloud over everything. Not only is the news all doom and gloom, but all of the things that you might otherwise look forward to; socialising with friends, going out, etc. have all been taken away.
She summed it up quite nicely: “It’s a bit shit.”
When the rug is pulled from under you
If you are one of the many National or International Diploma students who had worked towards the mid-January exams then you may well be feeling the same way. Preparing for a set of professional exams at the standard of the NEBOSH Diploma is hard work. It takes real dedication and graft to get to the level where you are able to answer exam questions well. And it is essential that you get your timing right. You have to build up to the exams so that you reach your peak ability at just the right time.
And then the rug is pulled from under you. It’s a bit shit indeed.
So what I would like to do over the next few blogs is talk directly to those of you affected by the exam cancellations to perhaps share a few ideas that might help.
And the first thing I would like to say is that you need to recognise and admit to the various emotions that the cancellation has caused you to experience. Because it will, no doubt, have caused a riot of various emotions. From huge relief for some of you to incandescent rage and frustration for others. It’s important to admit to these emotions and recognise them because otherwise they may sit in the way of preventing you from calmly and logically thinking about the problem that now faces you.
So set aside some time. Take yourself offline. Sit down with a notepad and a pen. Gaze out of the window at the lovely weather we are having. And write down how it made you feel.
The cancellation was not of your doing. You had no control over it.
So just let it out and let it go.
Dr Jim Phelpstead BSc, PhD, CMIOSH
RRC Consultant Tutor