So last week I had my Pilates practical exam (only my 2nd practical exam ever) and by god was I nervous! The instructors don’t help by making it sound like it’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do. It sounded as though they were going to be unforgiving, unhelpful and every other ‘un’ you can think of. I was worried! Particularly as I’d left it nearly a year since doing the course - due to my personal training client workload, I simply hadn’t had the time to do the hours practice/observing that I needed to do to qualify. But, I did it. I made it through and now I have the joy of the theory to do this week! Here’s what I learnt from the experience (other than the actual pilates stuff that is!):
Don’t put things off – yes, I was busy with clients and didn’t have the time to do my hours, but I could’ve done more than I did over the last year. If I’d really put my mind to it and blocked out everything (as I did this last couple of weeks), then I could’ve fit the exam in earlier than I did. The more you put things off the worse it gets. I got myself worked up about it, thinking it would be truly horrendous and I don’t think I would’ve thought that if I’d just done it earlier.
Don’t stress the small stuff – it’s only an exam. It’s not heart surgery. Yes, no-one wants to fail, obviously, but see it as character building and the chance to get more immersed into your subject matter. What will be will be, as they say.
Revise – you simply won’t get anywhere if you don’t make the time to revise. I’ve never been someone to fluke an exam without having put any effort in, so revision is definitely something I need to do. And, when you fail, if you haven’t revised then it’s no-one’s fault but your own!
Keep calm under pressure – breathe! I did get a little worked up in my exam I have to admit and had to take a minute to gather myself together. I hate not being able to remember something or not knowing the answer to something. That then sends me into a bit of turmoil which is totally unnecessary – as I said, it’s not heart surgery! And that leads me onto the final learning…
Not knowing the answer isn’t the end of the world – it would be lovely to get 100%, but it really doesn’t matter if you don’t know the answer to everything. Yes, you’ll lose a mark, but don’t stress as it’ll not help you during the rest of the exam. Just take note of what you need to know for the future and then move on.
So, wish me luck for the theory paper (lots of anatomy to revise!) and I’ll update you next time. Hopefully with a pass.