Each day you get closer to completing your dental assistant training, you get more stressed about taking your big exam. You’ve never been a good test-taker, but you want to ace this exam and be able to help patients achieve great smiles they’re proud of. It doesn’t help that this feels like the biggest exam of your life. Even though you’ve been paying attention in all of your classes, you’re still worried about passing the DANB’s Certified Dental Assistant exam. Here are 4 tips and tricks to beat the stress and reduce your anxiety.
Choosing The Right Study Materials
The first step to reigning in your anxiety is choosing study materials you can count on. One of the biggest worries that people have while they’re studying is whether they’re reviewing what will be on the test or not. The Dental Assisting National Board recommends prepping for your exam by reviewing the exam outline. It will include a list of every topic you could find on the exam—this can help you place your focus on areas you’re weaker in.
Plan And Get Organized
Planning out how you will study for the exam can help you manage your time. This way, as long as you’re sticking to your schedule, you’ll have enough time to prepare. Scrambling to get things done can be chaotic and leave you in an unsure spot, so it’s important to avoid that. Some things you can do to get organized include:
- Get a calendar.
- Mark the date of your exam so you have a set deadline.
- Count the total number of days you have to prepare.
- Put your weaker areas at the top of your study list so you can spend the most time on them.
Planning and getting organized can help you feel more at ease as your deadline approaches. As long as you have an action plan, you can feel that you’re on the right track.
Envision Your Success
If you bog yourself down with negative thoughts while you’re in the process of preparing for your big day, it can affect your performance. Sometimes, half the battle can be visualizing your success. Getting up and studying each day will be easier when you believe you can pass!
Take A Breather
Certain moments will have you feeling scared and worried, whether it’s during the exam, while you’re studying, or during class. Letting your thoughts snowball and consume you can make you feel you want to give up. When this happens, stop what you’re doing and say a mantra you’ve created, like “Look how far I’ve come, I can finish this.” Sometimes, it can get overwhelming thinking about the end result instead of being proud of yourself for how hard you’ve worked. Stepping on the breaks when these thoughts begin to take over can help you control your emotions and reach your goals.
Completing each dental assisting course is a huge accomplishment in itself, so don’t undermine all the hard work you’ve put into your new career! While preparing for your DANB exam may be difficult, it’s not impossible. Controlling your stress and anxiety can help you focus and achieve your goals!
About the Author
Dr. Gregg Testerman’s focus is to give each student the tools and knowledge they need to be great dental assistants. He has completed several advanced training programs such as Cosmetic Treatment and Complete Dentures and Full Mouth Reconstruction and understands that striving for greatness can be stressful, but it’s well worth it in the end. For any questions about enrolling in dental assistant courses, visit Dental Assistant Pro’s website or contact 513-515-6611.