Today I received an email from Cecilia M, a person who has attempted taking a professional qualifying exam many times. Here is her email:
Hello, Dr B.
I just read your book. Thank you for writing it . I have been taking the National Dental board for years, yes for for years!! I’ve done Part One may be ten times, and the more I tried to passed it the more anxious I became (I identified with each one of the cases you described in the book), so I stopped trying for three years until I decided to take it again. I prepared for at least four months…
I followed a schedule and I read your book and I used the techniques you thought me. I followed all the steps, and this time at least my mind didn’t become blank when I sat in front of the computer. I did the “Circle of Light” exercise several times before the test and I ended up with tears in my eyes every time because, I think, the power of confidence is so immense that is difficult to absorb it after so long, after so many exams and so many years.
I took the test last week. I don’t know the results yet but I have my Dr. B book with me and I keep reading It. If I passed the board I will be able to apply to the international dental program for foreign dental graduates, and after two years in the program I’ll be able to practice as a dentist. In between I have to pass the NDB Part Two and the Regional Dental Board (and also the entrance practice exam for the program). I really want to practice; I’ve wanted to become a dentist since I was 8 years old, this is very important for me and now I know there is hope because there is someone like you that can help to ease the stress. Today I wake up with the idea that I will master taking tests and I will master being calm and confident. Thank you very much, again and again.
Thank you, Cecilia, for this description of your experience and for your enthusiasm for the book. (I will be writing back to Cecilia personally). Your comment “…now I know there is hope because there is someone like you that can help to ease the stress” resonated with me deeply. It is the reason I wrote the book. As a person who had suffered from performance anxiety for many years, the only help I received was not really help at all. It came in the form of comments like these: “It’s all in your head,” “You’ll grow out of it,” and– the least helpful of all — “What’s wrong with you?” I finally realized nothing was wrong with me! Something was very wrong with the whole test process and the industry built around it, which is solely focused on test content (right answers, strategies for multiple choice, etc. etc.). There wasn’t a single good resource addressed to test-taker and what he or she needs to move through the test process in an empowering way. Part of being empowered is to have hope. I am very gratified that one reader has gotten that from the book.
If you have a story of how the book is helping you please send it on. I will share it and will respond to you personally as well. Maybe we can get a national test-prep support network going!
Thank you again Cecilia!