If I think back to 2012 and my QCS experience, I can remember the one recurring thought I had at the end of every test period. “…Is that it?”
For me, it felt like years of pressure had been building to get us to this point. I knew that my QCS result would count towards my Overall Position, and that could affect my uni application. I knew that QCS was important… but I’d completely overestimated how important it was.
I stressed so much about each question that I ended up overthinking almost every response. I filled in each bubble, erased it, and filled it in again, second guessing every answer I chose. In the back of my mind, I thought that my career was in the balance. I truly believed that to get where I wanted to go, I needed to get everything right.
I was wrong.
Because I didn’t get everything right. I made a few mistakes. I didn’t get the QCS result I wanted. My OP suffered because of it… and no, I didn’t get accepted into my first preference at QUT. But I’m still exactly where I want to be in my career at this very moment, and that’s all down to one thing:
I didn’t give up.
Six months into my second preference degree and I was able to transfer into my original first preferences, and claim credit for the subjects I’d already completed. At most, I was only a semester behind. I was doing exactly what I wanted to do. I didn’t have to compromise. I just had to keep pushing onwards. The path wasn’t the one I was expecting, but it was nothing more than a scenic route on the road trip to my dream job. (Sorry… Bad metaphor?)
The worst thing you can do is worry yourself to the point of panic when you’re in the exam room. If you have a dream job, you can get there. You’ve just got to work hard for it. If you do, then no test result is going to stop you.
With that in mind, I’ve created this little survival graphic. Print it out, stick it in your school diary, blu-tack it to your bedroom wall – it’s yours. I hope it serves as a reminder that QCS lasts only a few days, but you have an entire lifetime to work hard, dream big, and accomplish amazing things.
Your worth cannot and will not ever be determined by a standardised test.
Do your best, work hard, breathe, and relax – and everything will fall into place.