Conquering Exam Day Anxiety: A Comprehensive Guide for IENs

Exams are milestones in our educational journey. While they signify progress and achievement, they can also be sources of stress and anxiety for many students. Exam day can heighten these feelings. This article offers strategies to help students navigate and alleviate exam day anxiety, ensuring optimal performance.

    1. Understand the Root Cause:

Before you can address the anxiety, it’s essential to understand its origin. For some, the fear of failure looms large; for others, it’s the pressure to outperform peers. Recognizing these triggers is the first step to managing them.

    1. Preparation is Key:

The best antidote to fear is preparation. Make sure you’ve covered all topics and have revisited challenging areas multiple times. Confidence in your preparation can significantly diminish anxiety.

    1. Mock Exams:

Simulate the exam environment by taking mock tests such as FBNPC’s assignments and mock tests. Familiarity with the format, time constraints, and types of questions can make the actual exam day feel less intimidating.

    1. Rest and Recharge:

Adequate sleep the night before the exam is crucial. Your brain needs rest to function optimally. Avoid last-minute cramming, which can increase anxiety and fatigue.

    1. Nutritional Boost:

Begin the day with a nutritious breakfast. Opt for foods that release energy slowly, like whole grains and proteins. Stay hydrated, but avoid excessive caffeine, as it can heighten anxiety.

    1. Arrive Early:

Rushing can increase stress levels. Aim to arrive at the exam location with plenty of time to spare, allowing you to settle in and mentally prepare.

    1. Deep Breathing Exercises:

If you start to feel overwhelmed, take a few deep breaths. This simple act can calm your nerves, improve concentration, and reduce anxiety.

    1. Positive Affirmations:

Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations. Instead of thinking, “I can’t do this,” tell yourself, “I am prepared and capable.”

    1. Read Instructions Carefully:

Before diving into questions, spend a few moments reading and understanding the instructions. This ensures you don’t make avoidable mistakes due to oversight.

    1. Time Management:

Allocate specific time blocks for different sections of the exam. This ensures that you don’t spend too much time on one section, potentially missing out on answering other questions.

    1. Skip Difficult Questions (Where applicable):

If a question seems too challenging, move on to the next and come back to it later. Spending too much time on one question can increase anxiety. You can not do this in you NCLEX exam.

    1. Visualization Techniques:

Imagine a calming scenario, such as a serene beach or a quiet forest. This brief mental escape can provide a break and reduce stress.

    1. Stay in the Moment:

Avoid thinking about the outcome or pondering over questions you’ve already answered. Focus on the present moment and the question in front of you.

    1. After the Exam:

Avoid post-exam discussions about what the correct answers were. Overanalyzing can increase anxiety, especially if you have more exams ahead.

    1. Seek Support:

If you frequently experience debilitating exam anxiety, consider seeking support. This can be in the form of peer discussion, counseling, or therapy.



Exam day anxiety is a common experience, but with the right strategies, it can be managed and even used to one’s advantage. The key lies in preparation, mindfulness, and a belief in oneself. Remember, exams are just a measure of understanding at a given moment and not a reflection of one’s overall worth or capabilities. Embrace the challenge and give it your best shot!


Harry Sagar

Founder & President


Disclaimer: The views expressed here are personal and do not claim to be scientifically proven. Read, interpret and use the content at your own discretion. Any similarity between the opinions and facts would be coincidental.