Hi, everyone! I am scheduled to take an exam in less than a week. I am excited about it being over soon and a little worried about how I am going to do on that day. There are a couple of things I do routinely leading up to an exam. So, I would like to share these things with you.

I do not do anything new before the exam.

Instead, I review my notes to help me feel confident about topics I’ve had trouble with. When I come across notes that I still find difficult, I put a yellow Post-it on them so that I can go over them on exam day. The reason why I do not do anything new is that it makes me feel panicked when I find something new that I do not understand. With so many kinds of questions, there are bound to be ones that you won’t know how to answer. At this point, I focus my time and energy to continue solidifying the things that I have learned and understand. Having deeper knowledge of these concepts will be more useful than spending time learning something completely new and different that you won’t be able to grasp. 


I also talk about my worries with my family members and friends.

It is amazing how helpful it is to settle my mind. If you are still worried about the exam, do not worry. You can write down your worries on scrap paper or in your notes. According to the University of Chicago, writing about worries eases anxiety and improves test performance. It is very natural to feel worried about the exam—but what’s more important is how you handle this stress. Call a friend or speak to some loved ones. Sometimes it just feels better to express your anxieties out loud rather than keep them to yourself. 


Lastly, perhaps the most useful thing is making sure I have everything I’ll need ready the night before the exam.

These are things like the clothes I’m going to wear, my NTS, a map if I am going to the test location for the first time, snacks, IDs, and notes. Since I drive to the test center, I make sure that I allow about 20 minutes extra when I get there to call my husband and munch on some snacks in the car. It also leaves room in case there’s traffic. This type of smooth preparation helps examinees feel more confident before the exam. 


Test anxiety is not unusual. There are many ways of reducing test anxiety. If you haven’t tried any of these before, I highly encourage you do so! It is also great to find what techniques work for you and to stick to them. Remember to get plenty of sleep the night before your exam and to have lots of faith and confidence in yourself. Good luck and happy studying! 


--J. Frazier, Guest Blogger for Roger CPA Review