High Anxiety

In Mel Brooks’ classic film “High Anxiety,” which spoofs several of Alfred Hitchcock’s thrillers, protagonist Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke (portrayed by Brooks) becomes the director of the Psychoneurotic Institute for the Very, Very Nervous. Unfortunately, Thorndyke soon realizes that he himself suffers from a condition of unstable nervousness. Hijinks ensue.

Of course, there isn’t really a Psychoneurotic Institute for the Very, Very Nervous, but if there were, it would have undoubtedly admitted its share of certification candidates.

Credentialing exams are high-stress situations and typically bring on feelings of anxiety. This is not surprising, seeing as how they’re the culmination of months of preparation and effort, as well as hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars spent.

There’s nothing unusual about feeling a little tense before, during and even after a test. But when that tension becomes so great that it can hurt your performance, you have to take steps to change your outlook or else risk failure. Here are a few ways to keep anxiety levels low during all the stages of a certification exam.


This is the most important phase because it lays the groundwork for the others. Obviously, the best way to ensure you won’t be nervous when you start the test is to study copiously. (Exactly when, where and how you do that is a subject for another article.)

Also, make sure to eat something prior to the exam but don’t overdo it. You’re not going to be able…



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