It’s morning — and like most people on most days, hitting the snooze button is tempting.  But, as you come to your senses, you remember that this is not just any other day.  It’s FINRA exam day!!

If the thought of your FINRA exam day gives you “the jitters”, read on.  Coach Randi, our Knopman Marks Life Coach, has valuable insights that can help you release your tension so that you can perform at your best.

Check out the Test Center

Are you concerned about the testing location?  Tension is magnified when you are not in control of a situation or when you are facing the unknown.  Why not do a trial run?  Find your testing location, and plan a drive by or visit so you know exactly how much time to allow for travel.  And be sure to arrive 30 minutes in advance of your appointment.  Getting lost or arriving late can throw off your concentration, and if you’re more than 15 minutes late, you may not even get to test.  This is a bad start you can almost always avoid!

Remember your Relaxation Mantra

In preparation for times of anxiety, a relaxation mantra can calm a racing heart, the sweats or other signs of tension.  What works for you?  Is it a deep breathing exercise or a stretch?  Is there a word phrase or vision that comforts you?  Whatever it is, find something that calms you, and use it as you test.  This simple but powerful idea can help you in any stressful situation.

Manage Your Thought Pattern

Don’t doubt all your hard work. (If you’ve followed the Knopman Marks method, you have definitely worked hard on preparing).

Each time a negative thought appears while you are testing, be prepared to change the thought.  Don’t think “I should have studied more”; think “I have worked harder than ever I am well prepared.  I deserve to pass!!”

If you freeze and forget everything, take a moment to remind yourself of all the practice you have done.   You really did not forget, you are just having a moment of insecurity. Again, remind yourself that you really do know this material.  Take a breath, look at the question again and ask yourself, “What is familiar about this?” This technique will jog your memory and usually help narrow your question to 2 choices.

Never forget, you know more than you think. Now go ahead pass your Exam!

As your FINRA test prep partner, Knopman Marks is here to help you prepare for success.  Questions? Email us at [email protected] for help at any time.

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Written by Marcia Larson
Marcia Larson is Vice President, Faculty, at Knopman Marks Financial Training, New York, NY. She has extensive experience in financial licensing and regulatory training, having authored, developed and presented courseware for numerous securities and insurance exam preparation and continuing education and compliance programs. Before joining Knopman Marks, Marcia was Director of Annuity Products and Business Development at CUNA Mutual Group, where she developed and marketed industry-leading annuity products and retirement solutions and implemented distribution relationships. She was previously VP, Securities Products for Kaplan Financial, managing securities training products and subsequently, international training and businesses development. Marcia has trained thousands of financial industry exam candidates throughout their careers, and also college students as an adjunct professor. Marcia was a summa cum laude graduate of Wartburg College with degrees in Business Administration and Piano Performance. Marcia also holds the designations of Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®), Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS), and Fellow Life Management Institute™ (FLMI®). She currently teaches the SIE, Series 6, 7, 24, 50, 52, 63, 65, and 66 exams.