May 12, 2020
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Hi! I’m really grateful to have been accepted to my top choice DO school. However, as someone with test anxiety, I’m a little anxious about preparing for both the USMLE and COMLEX in the coming years. I understand that testing is an inevitable part of this journey (and certainly won’t end after these tests!) but I’m just seeking to mentally prepare myself for this part of medical school.

I’d really appreciate it if anyone could offer some insights into their experience preparing for both exams. What kind of timeframe would this look like? How do you balance this with your school’s curriculum/rotations?

Thank you so much!
 

Goro

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Hi! I’m really grateful to have been accepted to my top choice DO school. However, as someone with test anxiety, I’m a little anxious about preparing for both the USMLE and COMLEX in the coming years. I understand that testing is an inevitable part of this journey (and certainly won’t end after these tests!) but I’m just seeking to mentally prepare myself for this part of medical school.

I’d really appreciate it if anyone could offer some insights into their experience preparing for both exams. What kind of timeframe would this look like? How do you balance this with your school’s curriculum/rotations?

Thank you so much!
Are you aware that Step 1/Level I will be P/F? That should take some of the edge off.

If you indeed have test taking anxiety issues, those are fixable, and you do need to get them under control.

At this point in time, you should NOT be thinking about Boards, but about enjoying your time before matriculating, and once you're in,. learning how to drink from the firehouse (while running after the fire engine).
 

AcesCracked

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In medical school you have exams all the time (at least at my school). I remember being nervous about the first few, but over time it just becomes normal. I am preparing for Step 1 and level 1 right now, its a little stressful of course but as Goro said it will be pass/fail when you take them. Just relax, enjoy the ride and testing will become easier over time.
 
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Ho0v-man

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Med school may have cured my test anxiety. I took the mcat twice and legit had a panic attack the first time. So I can sympathize with you. I was extremely anxious first semester and even early second semester. Basically a walking anxiety disorder.

But med school is just extreme exposure therapy to this issue. It’s definitely not pleasant, but once you find your groove it gets better.
 

Roxas

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Med school may have cured my test anxiety. I took the mcat twice and legit had a panic attack the first time. So I can sympathize with you. I was extremely anxious first semester and even early second semester. Basically a walking anxiety disorder.

But med school is just extreme exposure therapy to this issue. It’s definitely not pleasant, but once you find your groove it gets better.
Unless you're a borderline student, in which case your testing anxiety skyrockets as any exam could leave you dismissed and saddled with monstrous debt.

I've never had nervous pre-exam bathroom urges like I did in med school. Good times.
 
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Alkaidius

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Support. Network. At least for me. And I don't mean my family, who couldn't fathom the stress I was under. Even my best friend wasn't helpful. You just need someone that understands where your soon-to-be neuroticism and all the nonsense that comes with it comes from that can listen. If that happens to be non-school folks to you, get comfy with them. I had my study group but I never got over my test anxiety. I just survived and left the worst of it in my rearview mirror. For some people it just becomes more tolerable hahaha.
 
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