As the days get closer to exam day, it’s normal for stress and anticipation to mount. There is excitement to get the exam over with and also worry that you don’t know enough. This post is a follow-up to my previous blogs about studying for NPLEX and 5 study aids. My post about ‘never enough‘ is a good reminder that NPLEX is not the end of your ‘educational experience’ (academic or practical).
So, RELAX! You’ve done all the studying that you can and now is the day of your exam. You’ve had a good 8 hours of sleep, eaten a protein filled breakfast, packed a light and nutritious lunch and you have left plenty of time to get to the exam site early. BREATH. With two 3 hour exams you need all the energy you can to get through all the case studies and questions.
The nice thing about board exams is that the ‘easy’ questions are more heavily weighted than the ‘difficult’ ones (assuming that most people get the easy ones correct and less of the difficult ones). So, if you’re stuck on a question, relax, make your best educated guess and if there’s time come back to it then look it over again.
I recommend NOT bringing your study materials with you. It will only tempt you to keep referring to them or checking if you got certain questions right/wrong. After the first half of the exam, go outside (if weather permits), have lunch with your friends and make a plan to NOT discuss the exam (regardless of content or format). Maybe even find a quiet corner and give yourself 15 minutes alone to meditate and relax. Today is not the day to panic or worry that you should have studied more. You’ve done all that you can. The information is there. You haven’t studied for the last 18+ years to not have retained anything, even if you can’t remember basic facts in the present moment.
Most likely, you will come out of the exam not knowing how it went. You will probably remember all the questions that you didn’t get correct, that’s normal. Don’t sweat it, everybody feels the same way. It is a long way (mid October) before you find out if you passed or not, so just enjoy the rest of your summer! Congratulate yourself, you are half way there to becoming a Naturopathic Doctor.
Do you remember writing NPLEX-I? What strategies worked for you?