A good EPA mindset
It can be tricky to get into a good EPA mindset.
End-Point Assessment is the last test, the big cheese, the final frontier. During your EPA, you’ll be tested to make sure you have all the knowledge, skills and behaviours you need to take your career into the stratosphere.
Nerves can get the best of anyone during an assessment, and that’s normal! We could give you some general tips on keeping a positive mindset during your EPA: eat well, make sure you’re fully rested and don’t be afraid to take a break when you’re revising to clear your mind.
But we love to go above and beyond here at TQUK EPA. So, we scoured the internet to find out unique ways our apprentices can get into an optimal EPA mindset and completely own their EPA. Enjoy!
Review early, and often
Everyone knows that you should review your work before you go into a test. That’s obvious. What most people don’t consider is when they should do it.
Rather than having a massive cram session the night before, it’s far better to break up your review sessions throughout your apprenticeship. Every two or three weeks, try to take a few hours to review what you’ve done and see if there are any gaps in your knowledge, skills and behaviours that you need to fill. Reviewing the Apprenticeship Standards for you apprenticeship is a great way to do this. The Apprenticeship Standards contain your assessment plan and a detailed list of all the criteria you need to meet to get the highest mark possible.
To find the full Apprenticeship Standard for your apprenticeship, go to the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education website and search for your apprenticeship title. It’s as easy as that!
While reviewing areas of improvement early and often requires diligence and willpower, constantly reviewing will help you retain and improve your knowledge and skills. By taking bits of time throughout your apprenticeship to review areas in your knowledge and skills that are lacking, you can make the necessary adjustments and go into your final assessment confident and ready.
Read your notes…backwards
Not only is this a fun exercise, but it can also give you new insight into your job role.
If you’re revising for a knowledge test, reading over any notes you have can actually be unproductive. As many people read their notes from start to finish, they can start to remember, generally, the order in which they wrote things and stop paying attention and retaining useful information.
By reading your notes backwards, they’ll be taken out of their original context, and as a result, you’ll pay more attention and think more about what you wrote.
At some point in your life, you’ve probably been told to stand up straight with your shoulders back.
Depending on the context, this isn’t necessarily a way of people correcting your posture. When you stand up straight, you become larger and take up more space. In many ways, you appear more powerful.
Your brain can often take cues about how to think from your body. Studies have shown that there is a correlation between confident postures and improved outlook. Having a confident posture helps to modulate your brain’s response to your thoughts, making it more accepting of good thoughts and more dismissive of bad thoughts. In a 2010 study, researchers found that people who strike so-called ‘power poses’ experience increased testosterone levels and lowered levels of cortisol, the body’s stress hormone.
So, just before you take your assessment, stand up straight, strike a power stance and you’ll have all the confidence of a rock star!
Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment, which one can develop through meditation or other kinds of training. It is simply the act of paying attention to whatever you are experiencing, as you experience it. Mindfulness can be useful because it helps you draw attention away from the chatter in your head.
Mindfulness practices have been employed by psychologists to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress and have even been used to treat drug addiction. People who practice mindfulness are better able to manage stress, handle complex situations and tend to have reduced levels of anxiety.
Think about going into your Culinary Challenge or Project Presentation totally centred and ready to take on whatever comes your way. That’d be pretty useful, right?
Check out these mindfulness apps to help get you into a good EPA mindset.
Find a puppy
Therapy animals have long played a role in hospitals and care homes to help people get better and bring some cute positivity into their lives. There’s something about the presence of animals that fills people with an inexpressible joy.
Many universities and colleges across the world have already discovered the benefits of having puppy rooms to help their students de-stress. And if it can work for them, it can work for you.
So the next time you’re feeling too nervous to sit still, take some quality time with your favourite animal, borrow a friend’s pet or visit your local pet shop for some of that sweet puppy love. A visit should be sure to quiet those nerves and put you in a more positive mindset to smash your EPA!
What are your EPA de-stressing strategies? Share them with us!
See you around The Hive!