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Score Killer: Low Self Confidence


Face it, taking a test is a nerve wracking experience.  The more important the test, the more nerves are involved and can be a key factor in your score.  Some individuals have called for an end to testing, since it is an unfair way to measure the information an individual has learned.  Since that is not a suitable option, individuals must shift their focus from “why should I take a test” to “how should I take a test?”  Testing is well entrenched in today’s society.  In school, we must take tests to prove our comprehension of a certain subject, we must take driving examinations in order to receive the necessary licenses, and we must tests to determine our general intelligence.  However, the way we test is as important as the subject of the test itself.  Self confidence plays a major factor in your testing score and for good reason.  When you trust yourself, you tend to make better decisions and clearer judgments.  You do not second guess your first instinct and confuse yourself due to doubt.


Before you enter into any examination, you should mentally prepare yourself for the test in addition to preparing for the specific subjects covered by the test.  One way to do this is to maintain a positive attitude about your capabilities.  If you enter into any examination with a poor attitude, you are guaranteed to do poorly on the test.  You may have the subject carefully instilled in your mind, but your low self confidence will undermine your attempt every time.  Even if you find you know the answers to the questions present, that voice of doubt in the back of your head will surface and make you question the correctness of each answer you supply.  A general rule of thumb is to go with your initial (or gut) instinct.  If you feel an answer is correct, more often than not it is correct.  However, when your low self confidence kicks in and makes you unable to trust your instincts, problems arise.

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One way to conquer the low self confidence killer is to thoroughly prepare for the test before hand.  No one does well walking into a test completely unprepared, and you are no different.  Take time to review the material carefully in the method to which you are best accustomed to studying.  Some individuals find they pick up and retain more information in a verbal question and answer session.  Others individuals are visual learners and find the use of cue cards or flash cards exceedingly helpful.  Whatever the case, find your preferred method of study and stick with it!  Ask for help from a friend or family member if necessary.  After you have reviewed the material, create and complete a practice test.  Have a friend or family member administer the examination in a formal manner.  This puts you on the spot and calls your self confidence into play.  If you can successfully complete the test, whether verbal or written, your self confidence will be boosted.  However, if you take your practice examination and find yourself second guessing your answers, that is a good sign you do not know the material well enough.  Consider reviewing the information more in depth, then try the test again.

On the day of the test, forgo last minute cramming.  Studies have shown this rush to learn a trivial bit of information is pointless, as your brain cannot retain such hurried information in a reasonable fashion.  Instead, take a moment to calm your nerves and reinforce your self confidence.  If you are at peace with yourself and your capabilities, you will succeed on your exam.

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