Probably everyone will agree that anxiety is one of the crazy things that can mess with you physically and emotionally. So many students tell me that they are often paralyzed by test-taking anxiety, which is really bad when they are preparing to take one of the most important exams of their life - NCLEX!
So what can you do to overcome NCLEX anxiety? Well, as you know, preparation is key to your success on NCLEX. Knowing the content, as well as understanding how to answer NCLEX-style questions, is really important. If you want to practice answering questions, there are free resources available on the Web such as the NCSBN Learning Extension's question of the week
. But any review course or book can help - by controlling how, when, and what you study can be very empowering and should help you to control your anxiety levels.
It might even be a good idea to learn as much information about the test by going directly to the source - NCSBN. This Web site has tons of factual information, like what to expect on exam day
. There's even an NCLEX Candidate Tutorial
that's set up to mimic the real thing.
I think it's also fabulous to read study and test-taking tips that are posted on this site and others. Even writing a discussion post and voicing your concerns is a really healthy way to deal with anxiety. But have you considered writing about your concerns on the day of the test, right before you're scheduled to begin the test
Believe it or not, a recent study at the University of Chicago demonstrated that anxious students who are given 10 minutes to write their feelings down on paper performed "significantly" better than other students who either wrote about something unrelated to the test or did nothing at all! So, for those of you who are very worried about the NCLEX, here's a 1-2-3 punch you can use to strike a blow to test-taking anxiety:
- Arrive at the testing center early, take out a piece of paper, and clear your mind by putting your thoughts and feelings into words.
- After you've cleared out every negative emotion, crumple the paper and symbolically toss those worries into the trash.
- Take several deep breaths, feeling your heart rate slow. Tell yourself, "I'm ready to conquer NCLEX!"
Seriously - don't you think it's worth a try?