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Congratulations! You've finally graduated from med school. You might already feel a bit excited and at the same time nervous about entering the real world of medicine. But wait, you must pass the board exams first.
For many med students, preparing for and taking the board exam are among the most terrifying and stressful part of their life. When you feel an intense panic or fear either before or during an exam, you are experiencing an exam anxiety.
People respond to and manage exam anxiety in different ways. No matter what, the bottom end still remains and that is, people who are taking an exam with a low anxiety tend to perform better than those with high anxiety levels. With that, it helps to lower your anxiety level before taking the board exam to make sure that you will have a better test performance and result.
Here are some tips that will help every med graduate get rid or at least lower down anxiety levels before and during the board exam.
Find time to relax once in a while
You can take a short vacation, enjoy your time, and set aside all those hardships you've been through at med school. You can as well try nature tripping, bask in the sun while at the beach or while mountain climbing, or perhaps do things you really enjoy doing. It is not bad to disconnect yourself from reality for a short time. Just don't overdo it as you'll likely get out of focus.
Plan your schedule ahead of time
One of the primary reasons why many med graduates experience a high level of anxiety is cramping due to lack or unorganized studying schedule. You surely know the date of the exam and the list of subjects that you need to focus on. So based on that, plan your daily schedule accordingly.
This will make your mindless chaotic and more organized which can greatly help calm you down.
Prepare for the big day
Apart from planning your study schedule, you also need to prepare for the exam day. Get all the things you need for the exam (e.g. tools needed for practical exams like surgical loupes, etc) ready beforehand. Plan for the food you will eat, the clothes you will wear, the things you will bring with you, and the vehicle or the mode of transportation you will use during the exam. These things may seem quite simple and unimportant but they can easily get on your way and will likely cause you to huge problems.
Teach yourself some relaxation techniques
There are different relaxation techniques that you can use to calm yourself on or before the exam. You can seek advice or recommendation from a psychologist or a professional therapist perhaps. Some proven relaxation techniques are meditation or visualizing yourself taking the exam very calmly and listening to relaxing music that soothes your mind.
And oh, don't forget to pray. It will help you a lot.