Overcoming Fear of the EPPP Exam

Have you ever felt that the minute you let your guard down, something bad will happen? Perhaps you’ve felt that minute you stop worrying about passing the EPPP, you’ll forget everything you’ve learned. There’s a fear of what will happen if all your studying goes to waste; a fear of failure.

In immediately dangerous situations, fear is a survival tool. Our bodies sense fear when there is danger to alert us to get out of harm’s way. When we sense fear of something distant – like failing the EPPP – fear can be a burden that gets in the way of success. EPPP failure is avoidable and not immediate danger, therefore it is not worth fearing. (TSM has a 94% success rate so you’ve already taken a step to success by being here.)

So how do we overcome the fear that’s not worth fearing but, alas, still haunting?

 Fear can be overcome when it is diminished. It holds less power over us the more exposure we have to what is causing it. For example, someone who is afraid of the ocean should slowly start to acquaint with the water and will eventually work up the courage to confront what’s scary.

Lisa Fritscher of Very Well wrote The Psychology of Fear and says

“Repeated exposure to similar situations leads to familiarity. This greatly reduces both the fear response and the resulting elation, leading adrenaline junkies to seek out ever new and bigger thrills. It also forms the basis of some phobia treatments, which depend on slowly minimizing the fear response by making it feel familiar.”

If you’re afraid of failing the EPPP, you should acquaint yourself with the test material and what test day will be like. Familiarizing yourself with practice tests and EPPP concepts will help you understand that you are capable.

Another tactic, presented by Dale Carnegie in How to Stop Worrying and Start Living is to familiarize yourself with the worst possible scenario and then accept it. Learning that you will not only live but be okay after failure will help you create action steps and ultimately avoid the situation you fear altogether because fear is no longer something standing in the way of you moving forward.

Think through what failure means for you. Perhaps you are afraid of failing the test because it means you’ll have to re-take it which means you’ll have to study again during an inconvenient time. What would a study schedule during such a time look like for you? Think through the possibilities of what could be a worst-case scenario, then accept it and move forward without fear hindering your success.

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