Three effective ways to tackle anxiety and fear beyond NBCOT® exam preparation


Many dream about becoming a professional therapist, but before they can begin a life of prosperity, they have to pass the much-dreaded NBCOT® exam. It is a 4-hour long exam that consists of 3 clinical simulation tests, and 170 multiple choice questions (three and four choices) for the OTR® exam. The NBCOT-COTA® exam consists of three, and four multiple choice questions along with six option multi-select questions. The NBCOT® exam has quite a few stringent protocols that one can only internalize with thorough practice and experience. Therefore, personal NBCOT® exam prep must also be thorough and contain as much practical experience as possible so that nothing phases you on exam date.

The NBCOT® exam is a difficult test, and that goes without saying. Quite unlike most other examinations, however, students have had to take during their academic careers, the NBCOT® exam is challenging and rigid. You will have to tackle multiple sections within a given time. Unless you dedicate enough time to practice with simulated tests, complete with countdown timers, you might find the actual NBCOT® exam quite intimidating. According to most students, who have not passed the NBCOT® exam in their first try, preparing using study guides, working with online tutors and clearing mock NBCOT® tests helped them increase their scores the next time they took their test.

You will be anxious; all day, every day

Let’s get one thing straight – you will be anxious, and there is no doubt about it. It is only human to feel the jitters before a big exam. The NBCOT® exam is probably the most significant exam you have taken and will take in a while. So, here’s what you need to do about the anxiety – don’t fight it. No matter how many times you go over your OT textbooks and notes, you will not feel prepared enough. Take that anxiety and channel it as eagerness to learn more about the topics covered by the NBCOT® exam during your study prep. Above all, do as many practice tests as often as you can. Without enough practice, no amount of positive reinforcement or affirmation will help you sleep at night. Therefore, as part of a solid NBCOT® exam prep schedule build in at least one practice exam a week and go over every answer you missed. If your score does not improve after 4 weeks then take 2 practice exams a week.

Right before the exam make it a routine of solving at least one test paper per day and going through the answers to find out where you went wrong. Simply knowing how to tell correct from incorrect won’t do the trick anymore. If you get an answer wrong, you need to find out how to get it right. Most practice papers online have the correct answers, and you just need to find the right links. Visit Pass the OT onlineto know everything necessary about the latest study material and guides. Getting your hands on the right NBCOT® exam study guide guide will take care of the more significant part of your anxiety.

You should be ready to tackle a lot of material

There will be quite a bit of study material, and you should not believe otherwise. It is true that the volume of information students has to learn and retain can be overwhelming. Thankfully, the NBCOT® exam is all about clinical reasoning. This test is not about judging your memory power. Yes, knowing a few charts of symptoms, and contraindications might help in formulating your answers, but that does not require cramming textbooks, or OT notes endlessly. So, you can safely refrain from relearning whatever you have already learned at OT school. Now, it is time to find the application for your knowledge.

Even then, the material is quite expansive and diving right in without considering breaking it according to theme or topic is a mistake. The easiest way to tackle the entire bulk of study material is by breaking it down to smaller chunks. It is possible when you have a couple of weeks in hand. That is why experts always recommend scheduling the NBCOT® exam with at least eight weeks to prepare. After breaking your content down, think about your short-term and long-term goals. Consider how many topics you should be able to master in one week and by when you will be ready to take your first mock test. Only studying and no practice is definitely not the way to crack the NBCOT® exam. 

You should NEVER assume your preparedness

Once you have finished going over the study material you have gathered from your online sources and your group has completed its discussion sessions, don’t go ahead and deem yourself ready for the exam without sufficient NBCOT® exam prep. It is a grave mistake many first-timers make. It takes more than regular textbook knowledge to prepare for this exam. The NBCOT® exam is a marathon that consists of 4 long hours, and the candidates have to remain in the center for a little over 5-hours. That is a lot of sitting without talking or fidgeting without your mobile phone! While you should not sit back home and worry, you should not give up practicing either.

You need to begin solving the quizzes and turn to the flashcards for more practice. Skimming over questions is not enough to prepare yourself for the exam. The NBCOT® exam questions are quite large and imposing. Finding the actual question from the bulk of information on the paper is the primary challenge. The only way to do so without any errors is by referring to the simulated practice papers and previous years’ question sets. Compare your answers to the ones the websites or practice papers provide. Only then you will understand how ready you are to take the NBCOT® head-on.

What do the NBCOT® exam experts have to say?

Once you find the online source of study guide you are looking for, check their recommended hours of studying. Never follow a guide you have found online while searching for “NBCOT® exam study guides” on Google blindly. Always look for reviews on the site and recommendations from your peers. The average reputed and genuine study guides recommend around 8 to 10 weeks of preparation before the exam, with around 3-4 hours of studying per day. While there have been records of exceptional students, who have managed to pass the NBCOT® exam with just two to three weeks of practice, it is always safe to keep additional time in hand. Besides, when you are working with expendable time, you can always squeeze in a few more practice papers and keep your anxiety at bay. Again, I cannot stress enough how important practice tests are during NBCOT® exam prep.