Steps to untwist negative thoughts.

It’s the business end of the year. ATAR exams are just weeks away, and your mind may be full of ‘what if’s’ and fears of failure.

For some, these thoughts are our motivating factor; it’s what drives us to study hard and put all our effort in to achieve greatness.

For others, the fear of failure, or worry about how things will turn out, can have the opposite effect and lead to procrastination. In some ways, it’s easier to fail and say we never tried, than to give it a crack and fall short.

You needn’t let it get the better of you. There are ways to help untwist the negative thoughts, and put you back on track with your study.


Here’s 5 steps to untwist negative thoughts and get back on track

  1.  Write down your thoughts and attempt to identify some of your thinking errors – are you catastrophizing? Is your thinking black or white with no room for error? Are you insisting things should or must be a certain way?

  2.  Look at the evidence. You haven’t really forgotten everything already. Regain some confidence by doing a topic test or practice exam at

  3.  Think about how you would talk to a friend with similar thoughts. Try and be compassionate with yourself as you would be with them.

  4.  Let go of the extremes. Try and think in shades of grey. If things don’t work out as you had hoped, you still have other options.  

  5.  Be fair on yourself. Year 12 is difficult – it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t downplay your efforts to get so far already. The finish line is in sight and there’s still 50% of your marks up for grabs. You can still turn things around with some effective and efficient revision (you can learn how to maximise your scores at ReviseOnline)


Remember, when it does get too much, take a break with some long deep breaths to re-centre yourself. Meditation apps like Buddhify, Headspace and Calm can all help you to regain focus.

And finally, prove to yourself that you can do this! Visit us at for ATAR style practice exams and tests that will give your ATAR one final boost!