Almost all test-takers experience a bit of nervousness leading up to a big exam. It’s completely normal to worry about whether you are prepared and have studied enough of the right content. You may find that a little worry makes it easier to focus once you sit for the exam.
Test anxiety is a different story. Those who experience this to a degree can tell you that the anxiety and self-doubt they often feel takes a negative toll on their mental health as well as their ability to perform well on an exam. Test anxiety can be felt at any age – it can surface when a student is preparing for their SAT or when an adult established in their career decides to sit for an advanced certification exam, such as the ARRT’s CT Registry Exam.
How do you know if you Suffer from Test Anxiety?
So, how can you determine whether you are simply nervous during tests or suffer from test anxiety? Well, test anxiety is an actual psychological disorder and is best diagnosed by a professional. However, if you regularly experience any of the following symptoms, you may suffer from test anxiety.
When it comes to physical signs of test anxiety, some of the most common are sweating, an increased heartbeat, and nausea. In folks with more extreme cases, this may also lead to fainting.
Emotionally, test anxiety most often gives off the feeling of hopelessness in those who suffer. Despite efforts to adequately prepare for their exam, test takers feel their efforts have been in vain and that they are set up for failure. Often this leads to low self-esteem and depression as well.
You may find that text anxiety exposes itself through behavioral or cognitive symptoms as well. Fidgeting during exams and forgetting even the simplest of information you long ago mastered are both possible. One of the most commonly reported occurrences is negative self-talk that overpowers the exam itself, making it impossible to concentrate on the questions at hand.
Strategies for Overcoming Test Anxiety
The good news is that there are steps you can take to ease and potentially overcome test anxiety before heading into your CT Registry Exam. As mentioned, it is best to confer with your doctor to hear their recommendations for your specific case. However, the following strategies may prove helpful.
Prepare – the Right Way
The key to test preparation is forming a study plan and sticking to it. It’s crucial to discover precisely what the test will cover, test your knowledge on that content, and then plan study time accordingly. This helps to eliminate surprises during the exam from encountering content you haven’t mastered. It is equally as important to prepare in similar conditions to the real test. While studying in bed may be comfier, factor in test prep time – including mock exams – in a setting close to that of exam day. An accurate mock exam should mimic the real test – set a timer, sit at a table, and dress how you would when taking the exam.
Take Care of Your Body
Fueling your body on test day and leading up to it can make a world of difference. Skipping meals before the test can make it difficult to focus on what is important. Drinking plenty of water is key also, and try to limit caffeine and sugary beverages to avoid blood sugar spikes. Exercise and fresh air can also be beneficial, so don’t be afraid to get a workout in before heading to your exam.
Practice Meditation and Relaxation Techniques
Caring for your mental health is smart as well. As test-taking has proven to be detrimental to this for some, it’s a good idea to incorporate certain techniques to counteract this. There are several different breathing exercises you can try. These are designed to help give the mind something to focus on completely and can help with the anxiety you feel in a testing situation. Meditation is also great for clearing the mind before your exam. When sitting for the CT Registry Exam, computed tomography should be your sole focus. These techniques help eliminate other distractions, allowing that focus to happen.
Think Positive – Visualize Success
Negative self-talk can negatively impact achievement. In the same way, positive self-talk can boost both confidence and test scores. If you’ve committed the time to test preparation and taking the steps to master the material, you should be able to pass the CT Registry Exam. Have conversations with yourself emphasizing this to help your confidence levels heading into the exam and eliminate any room for self-doubt to creep in.
Arrive Early to the Exam
Don’t add any unnecessary stress to your exam day by cutting it close on arrival time. Plan your route and allow for excess time to get to the testing site. Use any extra time before the exam to review once more or simply practice the breathing techniques and success visualization mentioned before.
Preparation from The Tuffest Stuff
We understand sitting for the CT Registry Exam is stressful. Whether you suffer from test anxiety or not, preparation for the exam is a key determining factor of success. Luckily, we can help with that. Our 16-Hour Webinar offers comprehensive study materials that cover ALL of the ARRT’s Content Specifications. Recorded lectures, multiple mock exams, and a suite of additional education materials give you all the tools you need to be successful. The best part? Mike Enriquez, the author/presenter of the Tuffest Stuff, makes himself available to help you set up a study plan best suited to your strengths and areas for improvement. You can be sure you devote the right amount of time to each area and are as prepared as can be on the day of your exam.
If you’re ready to start your journey, contact us today to schedule a consultation.