April 05, 2005

Anxiety

Now that we are a week before the final exam and I am, AS USUAL, hanging on by the edge of the seat of my pants.....we (the instructors and I) have figured out my problem. I have severe test anxiety. I knew that I had test anxiety. Doesn't everyone? I'm pretty sure that mine goes beyond the norm though.

I have a pattern of doing well on the first part of the test, then bombing the second half. I start feeling rushed with the time running out...even though I might only have half of the test left and still have half of the time left. I start worrying that I might get stuck on one or two then not have time to finish. Then I panic and can't concentrate...and have to read the question five times before it makes sense because I'm in a state of panic...then I lose more time...then become more panicked...and it snowballs. I've even been known to start crying and have to compose myself to finish the test. It's horrible! I'm not like that in other situations.

I did get like that once when an instructor was standing over me while I drew up IV push meds and had just fussed at me because I had not looked up the rate of administration the night before. Then she was telling me that I was going to have to get faster than that because I had a lot of work to do. I began shaking so violently that I thought that I'd drop the vial. It was nearly impossible to hold it still enough to draw the medication up at that point. I'm still not the speediest at drawing up medications but faster than I was then. I'm sure that is something that will develop as you do it over and over again, ya know?

Anyway, what can you do to combat test anxiety a week before the test? We have 100 questions and 2 hours. That sounds like a lot of time, but the questions are a half of a paragraph long and require a lot of thinking. If they'd just give me 30 more minutes! :o)

If you have any suggestions...they are welcome.

Posted by Barbara at April 5, 2005 08:06 AM
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