Test Anxiety ? – What Is It, And What Can You Do To Overcome It?
exam anxiety, test anxiety, how to overcome, exam tips, dental hygiene exam prep

Test Anxiety ? – What Is It, And What Can You Do To Overcome It?

This special post was created because a student asked me, “do you have any recommendations for those who have test anxiety?” Most of us have test anxiety to a certain degree. But the reality is that we have to overcome it to pass the dental hygiene board exams (NBDHE, NDHCE, CSCE, WREB, CRDTS). The following content was adapted from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, available here.

exam anxiety, test anxiety, how to overcome, exam tips, dental hygiene exam prep


  • Fear of failure. While the pressure to perform can act as a motivator, it can also be devastating to individuals who tie their self-worth to the outcome of a test.
  • Lack of preparation. Waiting until the last minute or not studying at all can leave individuals feeling anxious and overwhelmed.
  • Poor test history. Previous problems or bad experiences with test-taking can lead to a negative mindset and influence performance on future tests.

Tips for managing test anxiety

Share these tips with your child if he or she is anxious about an upcoming exam:

  • Be prepared.
  • Simulate exam conditions.
  • Develop good test-taking skills.
  • Maintain a positive attitude.
  • Practice relaxation techniques.
  • Stay healthy.

If you think you have exam anxiety, make sure you have a solution for each of the 6 tips mentioned above. Make the solution actionable and practice it. The anxiety will quickly go away.

Among all of those tips, I tried to think how StudentRDH could be helpful.

  • Be prepared. StudentRDH gives you everything you need in a concise format. 2-4 years of dental hygiene school material is a lot. StudentRDH has been able to condense everything in 17 chapters that you can finish within 2-3 months so you can be prepared.
  • Simulate exam conditions. StudentRDH has a mock board for the Dental Hygiene Exams (NBDHE, NDHCE, WREB, CSCE, CDCA). It simulates the format of the exams (with tabs or images) with a timer. You can practice it over and over again, so when you go to the actual exam, you know what to expect. NO surprises.

Now the rest is honestly up to you, but here are my tips:

  • Maintain a positive attitude. When there is something you do NOT know during the dental hygiene board exams, take a guess and move on. Leave what you do NOT know behind. Do NOT try to overthink the question! Break up before you get too attached.
  • Practice relaxation techniques. Super cliché. You may think that meditation does NOT work for you. Well, relaxation can be other things such as thinking about your favorite song or thinking about a good memory. There must be something that works for you. Find it. For me, it is, unfortunately, the cliché meditation.
  • Stay healthy. Sleep is super important. Sleep is when all of the information we absorbed get stored. Think of a library with books neatly organized. That’s what the brain does at night when you sleep. So do NOT skip quality sleep.

If you need any further assistance, please email me at ClaireJ@StudentRDH.com. I am not a psychologist, but I will try everything I can to help you be ready for the dental hygiene board exams (NBDHE, NDHCE, WREB, CSCE, CDCA).

National + Local Anesthesia + CSCE Dental Hygiene Boards Review by StudentRDH

(Disclaimer: StudentRDH is NOT affiliated with the NBDHE, NDHCE, CSCE, CDCA, WREB.)

Written by
Claire Jeong, RDH, MS

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