are anxious and suffer from stress before and during an
examination. They may even make simple errors that are
not typical of their usual behavior. People who take
licensing exams often experience greater stress due to a
need to succeed because the results will determine
whether or not they will be able to enter their chosen
field. It is therefore important to prepare yourself
emotionally to take your license exam.
being prepared emotionally is for you to be able to
recognize the symptoms of stress and anxiety. Stress is
often strong enough to lead to increased heart rate,
shortness of breath, trembling hands, shaking legs,
nausea, sweating, etc. Test anxiety and worry lead to a
series of negative results including poor concentration,
confusion, negative attitudes or moods, negative
self-orientation, fear, anger, and even panic.
person develops poor coping strategies such as becoming
involved in negative self talk. A common psychological
defense against these negative feelings and thoughts is
giving up and becoming helpless or paralyzed during a
test. The ability to perform well under pressure,
however, is a skill that you can learn. Several
strategies for overcoming test anxiety follow.
factor involved in test anxiety is a lack of
preparation. Most test-anxious people have poor study
habits and have not prepared adequately for the test.
They then attribute their poor performance to a lack of
ability or capacity to perform.
objective look at your approaches to studying. If you
are lacking in good study habits, you may want to take a
study skills training course. Set realistic study goals
with ample time for quality learning and repetition. One
rule of thumb is that for each hour of class time, study
one or two hours at home.
test situation, the examination room, the large number
of candidates, and being watched by the person giving
the exam intimidates candidates. It is important for you
to feel comfortable and relaxed in the testing
about taking exams helps people relax during the actual
exam. Keep information about the date, time, and
duration of the exam in mind.
of progressive relaxation involves tensing a muscle
system and then relaxing it. Tensing a muscle will
produce increased relaxation when the muscle is
subsequently relaxed. Start at one end of the body and
work to the other end. Practice every day for 10 to 15
minutes until you gain the increased ability to relax at
tense and stretch various muscles in your body.
Concentrate on the difference in being tense and being
relaxed. Tense your whole body, and then relax your
whole body. Practice every day until you notice the
gradual improvement in your ability to relax. This will
give you confidence and the ability to relax when you
take the exam.
method is to breathe deeply and slowly, letting your
body go limp and allowing every muscle in your body to
relax while you concentrate on your breathing. Start
with your hands. Imagine them to be warn and heavy.
Repeat to yourself "my hands are warm and heavy" several
times. Maintain a slow, patterned breath rhythm.
Progress to the arms, then the shoulders, and continue
until you relax your whole body. Do this 5-10 minutes a
day. Look into other, different methods of relaxation.
Many books about relaxation techniques are available.
Avoid Negative Thinking
people tend to be preoccupied with themselves. They
concentrate on their negative thoughts and feeling
instead of concentrating on solving problems or
answering test questions. The way to cope with this is
to monitor your thinking. When you hear yourself talking
negatively, be aware of it. Stop talking negatively and
start positive self-talk.