How to decrease anxiety during USMLE Exam

Anxiety is a pretty “usual” feeling for the students who are very close to take their medical exam. Among the wide variety of stress symptoms we can mention some of these which can have an impact on you physically as well: dry mouth, feeling of sickness, palpitation or dizziness. Although students have gone through many types of exams during their year of studying, the thought of attending the medical licensing examination leaves a quite strong daily anxiety. This can have many times a negative impact on taking the USMLE, because the feeling of failing becomes permanent for many students, even before quite a long period before the day of examination.


Unfortunately many students’ feelings are dominated by the anxiety, and they do not even realize this. During their studies there is a wide range of medical exams that they need to take, so that stress and anxiety are ceaseless.  Not paying too much attention on this, it becomes unnoticeably constant, accompanying the students until the finish of the exam, or even further.

It is extremely important for the students not to stop preparing for the final examination, after they have successfully attended their exams. The medical licensing examination is very significant in a medical student’s life, because only after this “test” they can find out whether they can move ahead or in case of failing, they need to wait for the possibility of trying it again until they succeed.

Here are some useful recommendations for you to reduce the anxiety:

First of all, the most vital thing for you before your examination day is to take some real rest. You have to sleep enough in order to be in shape for the USMLE, your body and mind needs to feel relaxed and refreshed. Do not even think about spending a night hanging out with friends, right before your examination day, because there is no way that you can concentrate on what you have learned before. It is advisable for you to begin partying after you have taken your exam, as you can freely have a great time, without the fear of any upcoming exam.

The second thing which is important is that you should never go attending an exam without eating something before. Make sure that before you enter the examination room you don’t have an empty stomach, as for three hours there no chance for you to eat anything. You surely are aware of the fact that food plays a great role in the good functioning of the brain, so you should stick to that!


Always be positive when going to the exam, even if your colleagues are stressed out, because they feel like that due to the fact that they are not well prepared. There is a strong possibility that their anxiety has an impact on you, but only if you let this happen. Keep in mind that you are the one who can take control over anxiety.


Here are some tips on what you should do during the examination:

Pay a great attention to every single piece of information.

In case you come up with a question which you are not hundred percent sure of, don’t panic and resolve the other questions; afterwards you can return to it.

From time to time, you should change your sitting positions, this helps you to increase your chances of relaxing.

In case anxiety bothers you again, do not panic. Never ever start thinking about the outcomes of failing. You just concentrate on how to answer more effectively on the questions and try to resolve them as better as you can.


Another essential fact is that you should never take into consideration that a colleague of yours finishes faster the exam than you. This doesn’t mean that you also have to finish answering the question quickly.

The varieties of conditions are the ones which contribute to attending the USMLE in a successful or unsuccessful way; and once again, we enlighten that you are the only one who can overcome the anxiety and fear of the exam. If you succeed in controlling your level of anxiety step by step, you are guaranteed to benefit of great results in what the USMLE is consisting of.

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