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How to calm your exam nerves

Many people often choose the wrong techniques to calm their exam nerves, says student nurse, Mikey Whitehead

I can write this article quite honestly as I used to practice the wrong techniques too. However, soon I realised that nerves would be something that I would have to get used to.

Already I know that whoever you are, you are tough. You have thick skin and a strong stomach. This is evident as you have made it into nursing. You are reading this which shows you are keen and passionate. It can help to accept the fact that starting placement each term, sitting exams and constantly meeting new people will at times make you feel nervous and apprehensive. It’s normal, in fact you might perform better with nerves – that’s what their there for, to help heighten your six senses. Embrace these feelings: do not be scared of them.

I have learned how to do this by accepting the fact that I am nervous, and just before I walk on to a new ward or enter an exam hall, I always whisper under my breath: “I am going to do very well here. I am meant to be here doing this job, I will succeed in doing this”. I turn my nerves into feelings of confidence, even if I am not feeling like that at the time.

You’re probably aware of how important a good night’s sleep is by now, so make sure this is top of the priority list as well. Also, I can feel a huge difference in my cognitive abilities if my diet is healthy.

Be sure to get in touch with us here at Student Nursing Times and let us know how you’re doing.

Mikey Whitehead is the student nurse editor for children’s nursing for student nursing times.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Well done, Mikey! I can attest to the power of your suggestions as I have used these for decades in my work and private life. My favorite exam tip (or other stressful situation) is to regain some semblance of control by taking the role of teacher rather than student. For written exams, maybe in my mind I'm answering an email from a student with questions. For Oral or Clinical exams, I'm there to be the role model and show others how to do something with the highest standards of Quality and Care.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Michael Whitehead

    Thanks Alice, glad you like it!

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