(Well, I’m bad at calculations under pressure, as I find it really hard to concentrate on numbers, especially under test conditions).
So, what I was willing not to happen has happened. I have always been well aware that maths is my weakest point. Since I’m aware of this, I have revised and revised and revised for my Numeracy Skills Test. I’ve read up on terminology, learnt fractions and decimals and percentages. I have tested myself and completed numerous practice questions. I do bits every day, around running and around work and I babble on to my boyfriend and to family and to almost anyone (absolutely anyone) who will listen about numbers and multiplications and blah blah blah. But, it wasn’t good enough.
As soon as I got there today, my face felt warm and I felt a little panicked. The woman reviewing my ID was also rather abrupt. I handed over my passport and then she asked for my secondary ID. Trying to make light of my nervousness, I told her that I had brought various forms of ID and letters etc. (I literally brought a file full of letters, qualifications and identification with me). ‘I need one of the ones off the list’, she said sternly and unhelpfully. I handed over my driving license. I then had to squish my bag in a locker. ‘Aren’t you going to take the key?’ she gestured towards, sarcastically. I hadn’t forgotten the key; I was simply hanging up my coat too. Unbeknownst to me, I also had to take my passport into the test room with me, to show another person. I didn’t know this, as I’d never taken a test there before. It wasn’t a big deal, but she was even sarcastic when I asked whether I needed to keep it on me. This doesn't help someone who is very nervous about taking a very important test.
Anyway, the fact is, I panic with numbers. However, I know through revising that I have come a long way. I am not awful at maths. I can work things out just fine. However, it is nerve-wracking when you only have 20 seconds to work something out and when so much depends on passing this test. I know I struggled with the mental arithmetic and the ‘wordier’ questions. I got lost in the context of the question and I started to run out of time. I failed by 3 marks. I will pick myself back up and re-book it. I definitely need to calm my nerves for next time. I only have two more attempts and then it’s time to reassess my career path.
It’s funny because, as a person I know my own mind and I am very strong-minded. It is mind over matter which gets me through all my races. I know I am determined and, in this way, my mind is successful. If I could just apply even half this conviction to a job that I could make a living out of, then I would be content.
To end on a positive note, I was pleased with my marathon time of 3:59:15 at Wrexham Marathon on Sunday. There weren't many ladies in the race, but I did come 10th lady and 3rd in my category, yey :) - getting a bit faster.The weather was pretty bad and the route itself was literally a tour of Wrexham Industrial Estate. Every cloud...