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being HOW nervous is normal?

Discussion in 'Step I' started by alliekat71, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. alliekat71

    alliekat71 New Member
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    So of course, I'm one day away from my exam (Monday) and I am suddenly feeling very nervous and in my final "quick review" feeling like I am seeing these things for the first time. I have put a lot of time and energy into studying (12+ hrs a day for 5 weeks, and cursory reading for monhts before that) and have been ~70-75% on UWORLD for the past 2 weeks or so (practice NBMEs in ranges I would be very happy with, too)- but I just wasn't expecting to feel THIS nervous. I know everyone says the knowledge is in there somewhere- I just had a big set back confidence-wise tonight.

    Anyone have a similar experience? I'd like to call it normal pre-stress anxiety, but I'm worried maybe I did forget these things...Any tips to beat this AWFUL feeling?
     
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  3. lilnoelle

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    I don't know how nervous is normal.... but I was VERY nervous. My proctor pretty much told me I needed to calm down and chill out when I was talking to her prior to them signing me in that morning. I consider myself pretty laid back about stuff, and was really surprised at my level of nervousness about this exam. I was doing breathing exercising for most of the morning all the way till I started the exam (and for that manner, between questions as well). If you have kids, you know what I mean.... I was basically doing "la-maze breathing exercises" all morning. Essentially trying to keep mysef from hyperventilating during the exam. I was pretty jittery during the first hour of the exam, but from then on out, it was fine.
    I was happy to find out that I had psyched myself out about nothing, and the exam was nothing to freak out about. Yes, it was hard, but I worked hard enough for it, that I was fine.
    I'm sure you'll be fine too. (And yes, I felt like I had forgotten everything the week of the exam)
     
  4. R_C_Hutchinson

    R_C_Hutchinson Senior Member
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    1. From what you said about UW and NBME's, you're gonna be fine
    2. Realize that you've done your part and past that there's nothing you can control. If you hadn't studied, you'd have reason to panic, but you have studied hard. Seeing as there's nothing more you're personally responsible for, worrying isn't your responsibility either.
     
  5. Hassler

    Hassler Senior Member
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    Hey, I'm taking it on Monday too. I'm so nervous right now that it's hard to believe. I'm eating like half the amount of food I usually eat at meals and I keep having recurring thoughts about how bad my score could be when I actually find out in July. Also, when I study, I feel like I don't know anything anymore. Help!!!

    Just hoping to get the national average here. Got a 224 on the UW self assessment 4 days ago, but everyone says it overestimates. Hopefully I can get at least that score on the real thing..........

    :luck:
     
  6. Pioneer Village

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    Hey, I developed nasty acid reflux and slept for 3 hours per night in the 5 days preceding the exam. I'm 135 pounds and 5'10, seemingly totally healthy my whole life, yet tossed and turned for 60% of my time in bed, with a grumbling stomach, a weird sweet acidic taste in my mouth, and mild diarrhea.

    In spite of this, and of the lack of sleep, my anxiety and concerns were all well-directed, my hands were steady, and what I knew seemed immediately available to me while I was answering the questions on my exam. My anxiety was completely gone about three hours after getting home afterward.

    Just have confidence that you'll perform well, regardless of how nervous you are. If anything, I think your anxiety is something of an indication of how serious you are about the exam, and I bet you'll be focused like a laser on test day.
     
  7. alliekat71

    alliekat71 New Member
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    You guys are awesome. In all seriousness, I never thought a bunch of perfect strangers could make me feel so much better. Hassler- good luck tomorrow!
     
  8. MystikBliss

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    basically you and i are in the same boat tit for tat. i studied for 12+ hours, took no days off, 75% on Uworld, looking back at everything and seeing stuff for what seems like the first time, taking it tomorrow, etc. So my best advice is to take that nervous energy and use it to concentrate on every question individually. Focus question by question and once you're done with a question, move on and don't think about it again (unless you go back to it at the end). Don't think about anything else besides the question that you are currently on (don't think about future and past blocks, how many questions are left, etc). You did your part, and now it's time for the test to do its part (which seems to drive everyone over the edge). I told my friend to do this who was having a panic attack, and he said that it really helped during his exam. Hopefully, I'll be able to follow my own advice tomorrow. Good Luck :love:
     
  9. DwyaneWade

    DwyaneWade Reiging *** Cynic
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    You will be fine.

    It's perfectly normal to be nervous, I could barely sleep the week before, and the morning of I was hopped up with energy.

    Your UW averages are good, and it sounds like your preparation will pay off come test day!
     
  10. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    I was quite wired the night before and the morning of.
     
  11. chun1982

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    i'm in a tough predicament ... been studying for a few weeks now and just took NBME 2 and scored a 175... it's terrible. I'm usually around 55% on Uworld and I have about 12 days left prior to the exam.

    my choices are quite simple... put my head down and push through, take exam, and move on. or, take a step back, figure out what's wrong, and then either do: 1. kaplan web prep or 2. falcon review... learn concepts and take the test about 8 or 9 weeks from now..

    obviously i'd have to then defer and start my M3 year later.

    thoughts?
     
  12. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    I finished with about a 62% in UW, and my NBME 5 was a 242. I have a feeling that you're just not adapting well to the NBME test from UW, so you should try to identify what it is that makes the NBME so much harder for you. It's obvious that you have a good fund of knowledge, so maybe you should take another NBME or two. Step 1 is not far from UW though, so if you're doing well in UW, Step 1 should be a natural step.
     
  13. RussianJoo

    RussianJoo Useless Member
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    you're 135lbs and 5'10"?? that's not healthy at all. you should eat something.
     
  14. RussianJoo

    RussianJoo Useless Member
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    you have nothing to worry about. you're going to do very well on the test. Just know that even if you were to show up drunk and fell asleep in the middle of the test you would still pass with out a problem. It never seems like you're ready for a test like this. I don't think anyone ever felt ready to take this test. So try to relax, get some rest and good luck tomorrow.
     
  15. Pioneer Village

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    I was trying to make a point about how nervous i was, so that the OP could know that he's not the only one who's been panicked over this. Specifically, the point was that someone my size would be the LAST person you'd expect to see reflux in.

    As for it being unhealthy, I'd tend to disagree: I've eaten ravenously my entire life but just burn it off. In the age and country of the "metabolic syndrome" and cardiac disease as the top killers, I feel pretty healthy with my wild metabolism. However I HAVE lately begun thinking about trying to gain a few; my time in the OR with those scrubs on and no undershirt has made me feel somewhat scrawny...
     
  16. DwyaneWade

    DwyaneWade Reiging *** Cynic
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    :thumbup:

    I used to weight 145 lbs , hit the gym and eat and with time you can put on the weight.
     
  17. osli

    osli Senior Member
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    I used to weigh 145 too. Then something happened. Now I have to offer the opposite encouragement... hit the gym and eat right and with time you can lose the weight. :laugh:
     
  18. DwyaneWade

    DwyaneWade Reiging *** Cynic
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    :laugh:

    How tall are you osli?
     
  19. osli

    osli Senior Member
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    6-3 now... was around 150 graduating high school, and then something happened. :confused: :laugh:
     
  20. GynGuy1983

    GynGuy1983 C&A Psychiatry Fellow
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    I was in a similar situation like yourself in terms of scoring and I would recommend postponing your exam date. This is what I would do:

    1. Take more time to study and set a later date (if possible). Program directors (from what I've heard) want to see that you passed your boards on the first try, however low the mark may be, as opposed to a 2nd try with a higher score, plus some programs don't allow applicants that have failed the exam :(

    2. What did your break down look like? What needed the most work? Path, Pharm, and Physio are a huge chunk of the exam, so if those are on the lower end, try to get them up before taking another NBME. Don't try to cram, as at this point, I think you're lacking concepts and memorizing things won't be of much help. Once you build a solid foundation, you can then add the details, but for the time being, just try to get the big picture.

    3. Take another NBME; I would recommend Form 1 and use that as a baseline. No exam will be as easy as Form 1, so if you can't clear that, I would not go into the exam.

    4. I would not recommend Kaplan and I think that Falcon would be more beneficial to someone that is already passing and looking to improve their score.

    5. Maybe you're just a bad test taker. I've heard of people doing really well in school, but they're just not good on standardized tests. I know of a lot of people that know their stuff cold, but when it comes to an exam, they just freeze up. It unfortunately happens.

    If you have the time and money, I would highly recommend doing the Pass Program with what your current scores are. I was in a similar position as yourself before I started studying for the exam and I now feel that I'm prepared to take the exam. I pretty much got your score on Form 1 of the NBME and when I took Form 2, I knocked out a 400, and have been improving consistently.

    I would be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have about the program, as I am still in Champaign getting ready to take my exam in the next 2-3 weeks. Send me a message on here and I'll reply as promptly as I can.

    In any event, good luck and don't lose hope! We're all capable of passing this exam and no matter how daunting the task may be, you need to stay positive! I hope that I was of some assistance. Keep your head up and don't stop.
     
  21. hsans23

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    i would just like to add that the entire week before i was SO NERVOUS it was AWFUL! could not eat, sleep, or even study. felt like i forgot EVERYTHING. did the test today...not sure how it went but it was fine. i calmed right down as soon as i got going. not once did i think, oh i knew that a week ago and forgot it in the past week (like i thought i would) - you will be fine no matter how nervous :)
     
  22. DwyaneWade

    DwyaneWade Reiging *** Cynic
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    awesome, me too! :laugh:
     

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