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If you listen to graduates from prior years, they may have horror stories (or posttraumatic test anxiety) from the National Physical Therapy Exam. Even for practicing clinicians who are several years removed from taking this licensure exam, it can still bring up feelings of anxiety.

What this could lead to is procrastinating in preparing for the boards.

I see at conferences or even on social media that candidates, months prior to graduation, are job hunting (even before starting to study for the exam) or planning vacations. Each of these create stress and they tend to stack on top of each other. Now, let's throw in this dreaded topic—your board exam.

Sure, everything else is so much more attractive to spend time on; however, waiting until the last possible moment to prepare for the exam only leads to self-inflicted anxiety and stress. This is where “examzilla" behaviors—like being moody, blocking out and depriving previously enjoyed activities, and having a not-so-pleasant mind-set toward the exam—makes it harder for someone who cares about you to be around you. Don't be that person!

It seems counterproductive to increase your anxiety levels, so here are ways that you can actually reduce the amount of test anxiety you have about the exam.

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