my inbox--KC, recent CA
exam passer. Thanks and congratulations!
Thanks for your website--really
helpful for me in passing the California Written Clinical. Here's
what worked for me (and what didn't). I am a pretty anxious person
in general, so even under the best circumstances I can get
sidetracked by worries that I am "not doing this right," or "what
if" type of thinking. I had put off studying and taking the exam
several times in the past year due to other factors (major life
changes, work, health, etc.), so now my anxiety was really amped up
and I had practically developed a test phobia.
Lesson learned: avoidance =
increased anxiety. What finally worked for me, along with using the
AATBS program, was doing some self-CBT (identifying and evaluating
negative automatic thoughts and distortions, gradually
exposing/desensitizing myself to the anxiety of studying and
getting prep test questions wrong so that towards the end I was
spending 2-5 hrs a day studying or taking practice exams, and
building in rewards--eg, study one hour, read "Harry Potter" or
watch "Mad Men" thirty min.)
I also went for a session of
hypnosis in which the hypnotherapist (who had experience working
with people taking licensing exams) guided me through relaxation
and visualization exercises and gave me a recording of the session
to use on my own, which I did frequently. I also cut down on sugar,
took a homeopathic supplement called "Calms Forte" to sleep at
night, and was moderate with caffeine.
In short, I had to do a lot to get
through the first exam, and others may not need to go to such
lengths to manage their anxiety. Also, I was lucky to be able to
budget in the AATBS and the hypnosis session, but I think I could
have found another way to relax (free online guided meditations,
write/record my own guided visualization, etc.) had I needed to.
Good luck! KC
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