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Study and Test Taking Skills, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 570

Essay

The American Board of Radiology maintains statistics on those candidates who study for and sit their examinations.  The statistics evidence that the condition rate is very high and few people actually fail the exam overall.  In this sense you can take comfort that if you adequately prepare and condition yourself for the examination, then undoubtedly you will succeed.  The low failure rate of 2-7% attests to this fact.  Despite this, the oral examination can be a stressful and nervous examination for some people, particularly for those that are ill prepared for the examination. The secret is to allow adequate time to ensure that you are fully conditioned and prepared to take the examination.  In order to accomplish this consider:

  • The need to ensure that you have a proficient trainer who is capable of fully covering the needs of the oral examination. A poor trainer can greatly diminish your chances of succeeding;
  • Ensure that you have fully explored the curriculum and you have adequate depth of coverage in preparation for the examination
  • Arrive on time for the examination so that you are not stressed from rushing or arriving late
  • Take a magazine or book with you to read in case you are waiting – helps to maintain a relaxed profile and reduces anxiety
  • Maintain a cool composure and try to answer questions with a response that is brief, concise and to the point.

It is important that you allow adequate time to prepare for the examination. Do not try to cram the exam without spending adequate time to absorb all of the key information that you will be examined on.  The use of exercise helps to reduce stress and improve mental agility; maintaining a healthy profile ensures greater chances of success and makes you feel good about yourself (self-esteem).  In the learning phase, it is good to have practice sessions in front of a video camera.  This enables you to see how you are reacting and coping.  It provides a chance to modify and bad behavioural habits.  It is important to learn to relax, reading a good book or magazine often helps to gain composure. Ensure you take some reading material with you for the waiting room prior to the exam.  Stay off medications as this can create mental acuity problems. Equally drinking too much coffee increases stimulation and creates anxiety.  Try to remain calm and relaxed, practice deep breathing as this helps to lower blood pressure.  Maintain a relaxed and confident demeanour and answer questions brief, concise and to the point.

Another useful method of overcoming study stress is to support your training by adding the provision of online courses. For example, those provided by ‘Glacier Valley Medical Education'[1] these can be valuable adjunct courses that help to reinforce the more formal study program and they often add an additional degree of clarity to conventional study programs. It is important to recognise that you cannot gain certification by online courses alone; however, these modules are often inexpensive and can be a real asset to the learning program.

Conclusion

The following is a simple checklist to avoid stress and anxiety:

  • Make sure you allow adequate preparation time for the examination
  • Don’t try to cram the learning process
  • Maintain a healthy exercise profile and get adequate sleep
  • Make sure you eat and drink. Take water with you
  • Have reading material on hand – it helps you to relax
  • Maintain a calm, relaxed and positive outlook – you will pass!
  • Stay in control – practice good breathing techniques

[1] http://www.glaciermedicaled.com/index.php?page=Radiology+Study+Guide&parentPageId=5

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