I always encourage my clients, as well as other test takers, to start an exam by answering questions they know first. Afterwards they return to the more difficult questions.

Another important factor to remember, when you are answering test questions is to leave your answered questions alone before submitting your test. If we start to second guess our answers we are beginning a cycle of mistrust in our own superior judgement. This type of action is one of the things that perpetuates test anxiety for the future as well as the present. As a hypnotherapist, one of my goals is to help my clients trust their own judgement.

Trusting your own judgement is a blessing when we have invested our time and energy into studying for an important test. Sometimes we second guess our own superior judgement, but that comes either from negative outside influences or from negative self talk. Like many of you, I spent many a year struggling to pass tests because I didn’t entirely trust my own superior judgement. One reason I started to question my judgement was because of unsatisfactory test scores. Consequently my self esteem and sense of self worth declined, I even had teachers in school who encouraged me to question my own judgement, which only perpetuated my insufficient test taking skills.

But when I was introduced to the idea of positive self-talk by one of my college professors I began to see small improvements in my test taking skills. I reached out to her for help with passing a credentialing exam required in California. She taught me to never second guess test questions I already answered confidently. I also learned some other test taking strategies as well. But my number-one takeaway from her was that exams do not measure intelligence or integrity. They only measure performance.

We all know how degrading those exams can be, but unfortunately they are required for our goals of success. That’s why the test preparation strategies and test decoding skills are a powerful tool in overcoming the hurdles we have to conquer to reach our goals of success.