It’s that time of year again—nursing students nationwide are looking forward to finishing up their final semester of school, and many are beginning to worry about the NCLEX exam. With all of the sleepless nights and last-minute cram sessions to come, test anxiety will be running high.
Here are five tips to help you manage test anxiety so it doesn’t keep you from performing at your very best:
Find a testing strategy that works best for you
There are many wonderful tools and methods to help nursing students arrive at the correct answer choice on an exam. Mastering some individualized test-taking strategies and applying them to every test question can help reduce distractions caused by test anxiety.
Get plenty of rest the night before an exam
It is important that you refrain from staying up all night studying before a test. We all know that nursing exams are full of nothing but critical thinking questions that require a great deal of focus. Being tired only inhibits your brain’s ability to make clear decisions. Be sure to engage in the number one preferred self-care activity of all time – quality sleep!
Eat a healthy breakfast and avoid too much caffeine
The day of the exam, it’s important your body and mind are well-nourished. That’s why it’s important to eat a healthy breakfast such as egg whites, fresh fruit, and water or herbal tea. Having one cup of coffee in the morning is fine, but overdoing it can cause you to feel jittery and could make your test anxiety worse!
Close your eyes and take a deep breath
At times we may feel our nerves starting to get the best of us during a test, so important to regain control. Closing your eyes and taking a deep breath is a simple and effective way to calm your nerves and regain your focus.
If you don’t know the answer, don’t dwell—just move on
Sometimes we get to a point to where our best test-taking strategy doesn’t help us choose the right answer on the NCLEX exam. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t fret; it happens to us all. Just take an educated guess and move on. Dwelling on the fact that you do not know the answer will provide unnecessary distractions that could send you down the wrong path. Simply accept that you don’t know, and move to the next question.
If you would like to learn more about how you can receive individualized services to help you develop strategies for success, be sure to contact The Nurse Speak today!