Best way not to worry about exams?

Have almost finished my first summer and post-bacc year, with A’s so far in calculus, general chemistry, biology, and labs for the two latter, but today I did badly in my 2nd general chemistry test of the semester. It breaks my heart! How do I do this without worrying so much about exams? Or is worrying and anxiety part of being in a pre-med program?

Worry can be ameliorated by consistent & adequate preparation. In my view, energy is wasted by expending it on worrying, fretting or lamenting things you cannot change. Instead, rechannel it to sharpen your focus & keep making positive steps toward then end goal - physician. No one does this without having had multiple set-backs, both minor & a few major. Those who succeed are the ones who can keep their eye on the ball, keep their priorities aligned & pay attention to the details without becoming handicapped because they are overly obscessed by the ‘small stuff’. Success is very much about being fluid, adaptive but maintaining a sharp focus on the end.

I used to worry a lot about my exams. I would prepare for them and tutor my roommate and they would get an A and I would get the D. Simply because I was nervous and I blanked out.

First thing, do not cram. Prepare for the exam with time. You know when the exam is. Decide that 2 weeks before the exam you will start to review the material covered earlier for this exam. Always review this material before moving on so that you will not forget it. Also, practice exams are great way to not only gauge your studying but also to get an idea of what the professor is looking for. You may be fretting about memorizing tedious facts when all the professor is really interested is if you understand the main concept and are able to apply it to another, unfamiliar setting (hey sounds like the MCAT).

If you have any questions, make an appointment to see your professor and speak to them about it.

When it comes time for the exam, know in your head that you prepared. Your nerves will go away, you will be calm and be able to think clearly and do well.


I think worrying is part of the process. I treated the whole post-bac experience as if I don’t do it now I will never do it so I was stressed over everything. I remember in my second semester of physics I did poorly on the first midterm. I was freaking out but I realized something a couple days later. I can freak out all I want but the grade is not going to change so there is no point in worrying about something I can’t change. Instead, I assessed the situation, determined I would need to ace my next midterm and final to get an A. I kept that in mind and my first midterm grade (without freaking out about it) throughout the semester and it motivated me to get that A.

Worrying is part of the process in my opinion but as long as it does not cross over into obsession, I think you will be just fine. For me and maybe you too, worrying is okay. It helps motivate you to do better next time.


This is my first post (anywhere, ever), but I have taken a few tests and I get good grades. I try to study in a setting that is like the one I will be tested in. I use old tests that I get from students that have taken the class before to create practice exams (Networking, even in school). I have even gone to the classroom (they leave them open most of the time at my school) and taken practice tests in my seat. This is even more important with math and physics classes. Time the “test” and do not cheat. You should be able to get your blood pressure up and create some anxiety. Anything less than putting you in the situation before it counts, and getting at ease there, will lead to inconsistent results at best. Look at the shuttle program at NASA. The folks there go step by step in and out of every procedure before they ever get off the ground.


Worry can be ameliorated by consistent & adequate preparation. In my view, energy is wasted by expending it on worrying, fretting or lamenting things you cannot change.

That’s exactly what I would say too, but knowing a fact and doing it, is not the same thing.I worry quite too much in my life. And most things I worry about don’t happen anyways. It’s such a bad energy sucker. I’ve come to the point where I think. You should harvest your anxiety and try to transform it in pure concentration. Use it as a tool to keep you awake. I do this by hearing stress release meditations and breathing techniques.