by Kristie Overstreet, PhD, LPCC, LMHC, LPC, CST
You may not think about the role that trusting yourself plays in your study habits. Your lack of trusting in yourself can negatively affect your ability to retain the study material. How you see yourself as a whole person, including your ability to achieve your goal of passing the exam, is directly correlated to your outcome.
Don’t believe me? Tell yourself that you will do well on your exam and complete quizzes and mock exams to test your retention. The power of making sure your head is in the right place and ensuring retention confidence will lead you to master your exam. Here are a few things to help you get there.
You are doing the best you can to balance your personal life, career, gathering hours, and prepping for the exam. You are burning the candle at both ends. It can be challenging to include personal time to work on improvements. However, if you take time to improve your ability to trust yourself, your studying will be more productive.
Start by challenging your self-doubt. For example, if you continue to think that you aren’t going to learn everything you need for the exam, then it is likely you will not. Practice challenging this negative self-talk when it appears. Instead, say to yourself: “I know I can learn everything I need for the exam and I won’t let anything get in my way.” When you replace your negative self-doubt with positive and rational thoughts, you will begin to see how powerful your thoughts are. This will help you improve your trust within yourself. Once you do this daily, it will become a new habit.
It would be nice if you were a sponge and could soak up all of the crucial information you need for your exam. However, you are human and not perfect. No one expects you to remember everything you learn. Here are a few tips on how to improve your confidence in your retention of information.
Begin by breaking down topics and sections into a manageable size. For example, after reading and studying a section in your Study Volumes, be sure to test yourself on what you just read using the corresponding quizzes before moving on. When you stop to take a moment to be sure you comprehend the material, it allows you to retain it better. Avoid waiting until the end of a study period or section to check on your retention. Each time you review what you learned you allow it to sink in deeper into your memory. This will increase your retention confidence, which then increases your ability to trust in yourself that you know the material.
The way you see yourself, and the confidence you have in your study prep, will determine the outcome. As you improve your trust and retention confidence, you will also realize how effective your study habits have become. Take breaks when you need to and practice healthy self-care during this stressful time. You can do this!
Register for a Free Sample Exam and set a baseline score with a practice test.