Failed 6 exams. Is it TEST ANXIETIES? Going to retake PjM soon. Please advise!



  • Avatar
    Juliann Chen


    Don't give up! I've felt many moments in life where I felt like my efforts weren't helping me pass, but I finally passed my first one. Still have a long ways to go, but I told myself to change my way of thinking. I told myself to enjoy the process of studying rather than -- let's get this studying over with. It's really changed my attitude towards taking the exams and studying. I think that part is important especially for those who are struggle more with standardized testing. After taking tests, immediately brain dump everything that you can remember from the test - write it down. Brush up on it for the next round. 

    Also, since I have anxiety too.... when I get stuck on a problem, or am totally not understanding what the exam is saying. I close my eyes for two seconds and take a deep breath. It helps me refocus and concentrate. A brain refresher - and it just helps my stress and anxiety go away for a bit. 

    Sorry I don't have tips on the actual studying or test taking part. But these mental changes and practices really helped me. I hope it'll help you too.


    Good luck Mai, we are all rooting for you!

  • Avatar

    There's a lot of people going through this, myself as well, so rest assured your in good company. Studying is just part of taking these exams, then there's taking the actual exam and all the psychological factors that follow. These exams give you a multitude of questions in a short compressed amount of time and so it's TIME that's a real factor. Generally you're given about 2 minutes to answer each question, and some people can digest it quicker than others, nonetheless if you haven't fully 'digested' the question you still have to 'execute' if you want to finish the exam. Generally I mark a lot of questions because I have to read it fast (sometimes 3 or 4 times!) and then pick my best answer and move on, skipping any calculation questions until I reach the case studies then take a break. Come back,  address the case studies, marking questions and skipping calculations until I reach the end of the exam then answer all skipped questions until I reach the end of the exam and then I'll usually have about 45 min. to go through my marked questions giving me the time to go through every marked question and think about it some more. This strategy has worked for me on a few of them but i'v also failed using this as well so 'perseverance' is also a virtue with these exams, as well as studying, the weather, how your feeling and a little bit of luck. Stay on it.

  • Avatar
    Mollie Pelletier

    I am not sure it is much help, but these exams, in my opinion, are as much about reading comprehension and test taking skill as they are about actual knowledge.  The sentence structure can be very complex and sometimes it is hard to know exactly what the question is asking. My best advice is to read the questions very carefully and answer only based on the information given and only what the question asks. Move quickly through the questions and have time for a second read after you have answered them all.  Some people are better at this than others and I honestly think the pass or fail can hinge on how well you take tests. 

  • Avatar
    Jenny Guzman

    I agree with all the comments said here and empathize very much. I understand your state as I feel the same way. I have been told that you can read/study all the information as possible and still not pass. Your brain can only retain so much and it is more about how you use the information you know and analyze the question given. Giving yourself time to breathe and relax (8 hours of sleep and the CALM APP or similar) works wonders. 


  • Avatar
    Kelly Duignan

    Hi Mai,

    I'm not sure if I have any specific advice for you, but wanted to chime in and say that you're definitely not alone in feeling the stress and test anxieties.  I've taken 3 exams and have not been able to pass any, I'm restudying for PcM and PjM right now and scheduled to take them in late Feb/early March.  I have made a lot of big life changes in the past few months that I really hope will positively affect my test taking abilities, but only time will tell.

    I also have made good use of the ARE Handbook suggested materials and often question if there are certain 3rd party sources that are right for me to supplement my studying with.  I am trying very hard to be patient with myself, allow myself time and alternatives to understand materials that are confusing to me at first.  I have found relief in this forum at times and understanding that others are struggling with certain things too.  The process can be frustrating and is definitely not easy.  I'm sure it may feel upsetting to you but I think your persistence in continuing to keep trying the exams is great.  Good luck in the new year.

Please sign in to leave a comment.

Powered by Zendesk