Feel like you can’t study enough? No matter how much you study, the hours you put in, and the amount of flashcards you reviewed, do you still feel overly anxious for an exam? Test anxiety is something that is many individuals struggle with. It’s okay to feel nervous for an exam, and it’s normal to feel stressed out. Frankly, that’s pretty common among most people.
The NREMT is already difficult and tricky, and the last thing we want you to experience are feelings of anxiety to make it more stressful than it needs to be. To help overcome your test anxiety, there are a couple things we want to break down for you.
Understand why you have test anxiety.
Anxiety typically stems from somewhere. So, try to figure out what is it about the test that makes you nervous? Difficulty level? Failure? Confidence in yourself? Lack of preparation? Your test history? Realizing why you are nervous is the first step in overcoming it. Once you understand the why behind your test anxiety, you can make steps to feeling better when a test sits in front of you.
Keys to Overcoming Test Anxiety:
If you’ve realized that lack of preparation is what makes you anxious, then schedule extra study hours in the you week. Review until you don’t have a single question about the material. Review until you don’t miss a single question on your EMTprep quizzes. If you can solidify the information now, hopefully you will feel less stressed on the day of the test. This means don't cram! Cramming for a test is more stressful than preparing ahead of time.
Confidence is key. If you approach the test with confidence, you are already ahead of the game. By having a positive mindset going in, you are setting yourself up for success before you even start. Because you prepared thoroughly, believe in yourself! You know the content, you just need to apply it.
Our advice is to keep your mind as focused on the test questions and material as possible. That way you won’t feel distracted or let your nervousness affect you. Read each question carefully and aim all of your energy and attention to the test.
Be calm, cool, and collected.
If you studied the right material for the right amount of time for you, then be confident in yourself. If you know the material, then relax. You prepared for the test and now it’s time to show what you know. When you see a question you don’t know the answer to, read it again and take a deep breath. Break the question down so you fully understand what is being asked and then make your selection.
Make sure you have slept well the two nights before your test, and have a healthy breakfast the day of. Nothing is worse than trying to concentrate when your eyes are heavy and your stomach is grumbling. Make sure to arrive at the testing center 15-30 minutes ahead of your scheduled exam time.
Think about the test this way… It’s your opportunity to show your comprehension of the emergency medicine. Go in to the testing center with a positive attitude, know that you are prepared, and pass this thing! A test doesn’t define who you are as a person or your self-worth. Nor does it state anything about the type of EMS professional you are or will be.
"Test Anxiety." Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA, www.adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/children/test-anxiety.