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I get panic attacks when I have to study. I am taking a light course load of work this semester but I am also studying for the MCAT for admission into medical school. I took it last summer but the score turned out bad due in part to my extreme anxiety... Now I'm trying to study for it again, and I feel like I was so traumatized from the last time that every time I have to sit down and study for it I get panic attacks and can't focus.

Also I get panicky when I have to do other work instead of MCAT studying because I have this huge fear that I'm going to fail the MCAT by taking that time away to do other work. Then I get depressed even more for even more behind. And feel like I am going to fail even more.

It's really frustrating because I don't want my anxiety to get in the way of my goals in life but I feel like I can't control it sometimes!
Anyone have any tips on how to calm down?
 

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The Game Master
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If you fear failure, you will fail. It is proven when the human brain is under stress it will not function to its optimal potential. You will memorize or understand next to nothing if you force yourself to cram or study.

I suggest, perhaps with a few classmates or friends, forming a study group of sorts if you have not already. A focused but light-hearted environment might calm your nerves with studying considerably and will allow you to feel more confident the day of the exam. Taking medical courses myself, I strongly suggest taking quizes on sites online, such as Quizlet. They are extremely helpful. I personally learn better by writing notes over the material we learn and skimming the material over several days before and especially the morning of the test (but I have learned not to stress during such time frames so it sticks rather easily). I also suggest listening to classical or calming music while you study and being in a familiar, comfortable room or atmosphere.

I wish you the best of luck on the MCAT. I know you will do just fine. :)
 
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