If your profession requires licensing, it’s very likely that you will need to go through passing a board exam. Nothing quite comes close to experiencing the hell week prior to a licensure exam. Defending your paper does not approach the pressure that you go through since a thesis is something that you know from inside out because you came up with it. You went through the procedures and methodologies. A licensure or board exam, on the other hand, tests all the things you have learnt and measures whether you know enough to be unleashed upon the unsuspecting world.
How do you survive the week that leads up to your licensure exam as well as the exam day itself? Countless other people have done this before you and countless others will follow, but that’s not to say that the pressure won’t be immense. Remember one thing: this too, shall pass.
Build a strong foundation
The key to survive a licensure exam week is to know that you know what you will be tested on. This you won’t do on the week before, but on the years leading up to your board exam. Like my nephew Thomas told me, I got a good job because I studied hard. You’ll get the job (pass the board) done if you have studied hard. Enroll in a review center to set your mind at ease and to get a feel of how the exam proper will go.
Have a support network buffer you up
Let your friends, colleagues, and family know what you are going through. Sometimes, all you need to relieve the pressure is to talk about it. They don’t necessarily need to be your review buddy, but a sounding board is invaluable. Friends and family will also provide you a cheering squad when you’re too harsh on yourself, and can bring you down a peg or two if you’re too cocky.
For the week leading to exam day, you should have already gone through your books and all theories inside out. You actually don’t need to push yourself too hard anymore. You’re just stressing, so you need to go and distract yourself from what is to come. Read, relax, play video games, do yoga, chant om, do whatever it is you need to do to take your mind off the exams.
Take care of your body
Finally, take good care of your body. You can’t do well on your tests if you are physically not feeling well. Can you imagine taking a timed test but getting too distracted because of sniffles and sneezes? Worse, because you have a raging hangover? Eat well, take your vitamins, exercise, and get plenty of sleep. Take care of things that you have control of, and once you’ve taken your licensure exams, don’t look back.