Does the thought of taking the EPPP give you anxiety? EPPP exam prep is an undertaking that can be stressful in and of itself. On one hand, stress can motivate us to meet deadlines and pursue our goals. On the other hand, though, stress can get in the way of something we want to accomplish like passing the EPPP.
For example, imagine you are taking the EPPP tomorrow. It’s the night before the exam and you are so worried about passing that you spend the night tossing and turning getting no sleep. When your alarm goes off in the morning you’re still immersed in worry. You rush through breakfast, forcing oatmeal down your anxious stomach, you briefly review your notes, and you head out the door. When you get to the testing center you check in, sit down, and reach for your pencil. It’s not there.
Now, it’s likely that a forgotten pencil will not be enough to send you home to sit the exam another day. A forgotten pencil can, however, leave you more anxious than you already are on exam day. You’ll expend much needed mental energy on finding a replacement pencil. And such anxiety, when it has passed the point of being helpful and motivating, can cloud your brain and disrupt your ability to do your best. This is not an ideal scenario for your goal of passing the EPPP.
Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin, in his Ted Talk “How to stay calm when you know you’ll be stressed,” gives insight on how to deal with stress before it even happens. A trip to the airport without his needed passport got him thinking of the possibility of putting systems in place “that will prevent bad things from happening.” He describes something called “pre-mortem” which is when “you look ahead and you try to figure out what you can do to prevent those [bad] things from happening.”
See his full talk below: