To all those who have taken step 1, what did you do in order to remain calm and not become so nervous to the point of losing focus. I'm not going to take my step until mid july, but for some reason I think I'm beginning to freak out about it.
only kidding. I know of someone who took a klonopin the day of the exam. He said it helped him out, but he had taken it a few times beofre while we were doing full length practice exams. I wouldnt take it for the first time the day of your exam
What i ended up doing was taking a few deep breaths here and there, especially when a tough question came up. This actually works really well.
I had a panic session about the time you did when taking USMLE step 1. I just resolved myself to begin focusing on the boards earlier to reduce my test anxiety. I sucked at standardized tests because I'd get so worked up about them. Anyhoots I began studying from review books and filling in the margins with class notes or pneumonics at about 5 months prior to exam time. Slowly increasing my studying on boards from an hour every few days to 2-3 hours a day over those early months.
When crunch time rolled around (6 weeks till exam) I studied religiously 9-10 hours a day. Went to the Boarders, sat outside, busted out my crazy GNC crack drink, opened my pack of smokes, whipped out the balance bars and gummy bears, flipped on the cd player and started cranken out the hours. I'd close the books at 8 pm no matter what and just relax for a few hours. Go out every saturday night for two drinks and call it early.
I'd download new music every day and buy myself crap as a reward for studying non stop. Sushi bills ran high before boards but it was worth it. Postive reinforcement works, use it.
I don't recommend klonipin as its going to slow your brain down. Take a beta blocker if you really need to. NO benadryl. I used Sonata to sleep starting 4 nights before the boards. Related to gaba agonists but not a benzo. 1/2 hour half life = no drug hangover. Wonderful little drug for sleep initiation.