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April 18, 2011, 12:31PM PT in Exam Preparation Blog  |  1 Comments

Re-Test Anxiety...Trying it a second time

Re-Test AnxietyWe’ve talked here before about test anxiety and how to deal with it. But those candidates who are re-testing because they were unsuccessful on their first exam often experience a different kind of anxiety as well – re-test anxiety.

It doesn’t seem to matter if you missed by 5 points or by 50 points, the anxious and doubting feeling can be the same. You study and review and analyze those areas that need the most attention. But when you sit for your retake you suddenly feel like all that knowledge you have in your brain might not be correct. You start second guessing answers you were sure on and changing answers once, then back to the original choice just in case. Self-confidence seems to be a thing of the past.

These feelings are experienced by many re-test candidates and they can be challenging to overcome. Nobody likes to be unsuccessful, and you may feel angry or frustrated or disappointed or even all of the above! Some candidates want to sit again right away – quick before their knowledge disappears - while others start to wonder just how much more study time can they get before they have to sit. So which one is best for you? Part of that answer depends on your score report and the areas you need to review.

When you sit for a re-test with ACE, there is the possibility you will get the exact same test again. But then again, you might not! At any given time there are couple different versions of each certification exam in rotation. This means that you may get those same questions again…or a completely new set of questions. Some candidates ‘recognize’ questions on their second attempt and think to themselves ‘maybe I got that one wrong the first time. I should try a different answer this time’ and use that reasoning rather than a careful consideration of the actual question and answer set. Don’t let your self-doubt change your good test taking skills! Take a deep breath and refocus on the question.

If you are struggling with your test confidence after an unsuccessful certification exam, there are a few things you can do. Find out which domains/tasks require the greatest amount of review. You can do this by looking at your score report, or by contacting ACE for some help figuring it out. Remember that each exam is based on the Exam Content Outline in the back of your manual, so even if the questions are different, the percentage of questions from each domain won’t change from exam to exam. Next, take the appropriate amount of time to review and re-prepare (this varies for everyone).

Finally…don’t forget the power of positive talk! You can do this! I talk to people every day with the same concerns and worries about being successful on their second exam attempt. I think the hardest point for most of them is regaining that self confidence in their knowledge base. But it can be done…and we’re here to help you achieve that goal of certification!

Questions? Contact an ACE Education Consultant at 1-888-825-3636 x782

 

By April Merritt
April Merritt holds a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science, a master’s degree in Health Promotion, and several ACE certifications including Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor and Health Coach.

April Merritt holds a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science, a master’s degree in Health Promotion, and several ACE certifications including Personal Trainer and Health Coach.