I have suffered from test anxiety all of my life. I am not exactly sure where it came from other than somewhere along the line. I convinced myself that I was not capable of mastering anything with any degree of difficulty. When my test anxiety is in control, I am perfectly capable of mastering my studies, understanding difficult and complex concepts in science and math, only to have it evaporate from my mind on exam day. My test anxiety would also manifest itself physically in varying degrees, including sweaty palms, upset stomach, nausea increased heart rate, a feeling of panic, and perhaps worst of all, scattered unfocused thoughts that break my concentration while simultaneously reinforcing my fear of failure and self-doubt. This broken concentration made it impossible to read the test material and understand what it said.
I was accepted into the nursing program in 2008. I quit my job of 10 years and rearranged my entire life to go to school full time. I have a lot riding on my success. After the first test, the results of which did not reflect my understanding of the material, I met with my advisor and told her of my long standing battle with test anxiety. She referred me to Mauri McCabe. I really didn’t think there was much that could be done given the power I thought my test anxiety had over me. I am so thankful that I did meet with Mauri because it has made a huge difference.
I was able to get in 3 sessions with Mauri before my next exam. I came to understand the source of my self-doubt and fears as well as what I needed in order to overcome this crippling problem. The mind is so powerful and is perfectly capable of working for you as well as working against you, which is what seemed to be happening in my case.
The first thing I noticed after working with Mauri was that my face did not feel hot, my palms weren’t sweating, and I did not feel anxious. I was comfortable, calm and relaxed throughout the exam. Even when I came to a question that I was not sure of, I didn’t panic; I was able to think it through. In the past, if my anxiety was not in full swing, coming upon a question that I didn’t know, it would increase the intensity of my panic. Mauri’s technique provided me with inner peace, for lack of a better word that allowed me to read my test questions and apply my knowledge without having to fight through layers of jumbled fragments of information and those blaring thoughts that screamed, “You can’t do this!” I scored a B on the first test I took before I saw Mauri and A’s on all exams throughout the remainder of the term!
I am not sure how or why Mauri’s technique (EFT) works but it does. Mauri gave me my affirmations and taught me how to apply the method (STOP button followed by confident statement). I apply this at anytime the negative self-talks starts and always before exams. During an exam, if I feel nervous or those old feelings of self-doubt start trying to take hold of me, I simply use my affirmations (confidence statements) and apply the tapping technique (STOP button) and I am again back in control. Toward the end of the term, I found myself looking forward to my exams so I could demonstrate my knowledge.
There is no substitution for studying and applying yourself, but test anxiety does not need to interfere with your success. Test anxiety is important to overcome for various reasons, and I have urged every student that I know who suffers from this horrible affliction to meet with Mauri. Her method works (EFT) and we are fortunate to have her as a resource. (D.W. Nursing 2008)
Math Test Anxiety
Math has never been my favorite subject. I have taken essential math twice and failed it both times. I made an appointment with Mauri and she helped me with my fear of math. She started me on a program named EFT (tapping procedure). I realized that it was an emotional problem. With 3 sessions I overcame my fear and it has helped me with math tests. I am more confident in math and I have improved my grades from D’s and F’s to A’s and B’s. I have only one person to thank and that is Mauri. (Martha fr Washington 2008)