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[NBEO] My Best Tip For Reducing Boards Stress

Posted by Talin Amadian on June 14, 2021 at 10:00 AM
Talin Amadian
Dr. Talin Amadian is a practicing optometrist, writer and content contributor for Optoprep. She graduated from Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry and continues to practice in Southern California. Her clinical training includes Neuro-Ophthalmology, Cornea and Refractive Surgery, Glaucoma and Ocular Disease. Dr. Amadian takes pride in educating patients and providing specialized care and education based on each patient’s needs. She is passionate about dry eye treatment and management. During her spare time, she enjoys mentoring and helping prospective optometry students succeed.

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Feeling underprepared while going through Optometry school is only natural. I remember finishing every single course feeling like I still didn’t know enough. With so many things to learn and [what seems like] so little time, you will always have questions. It took me a while to understand and come to terms with the fact that I’ll never really know everything, but I can just do my best.

The worst feeling I had in optometry school was when I felt like I had no time. The best feeling I had in optometry school was knowing that I was prepared. So how do you stay prepared when it seems like you don't have enough time? Start early!

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Getting started early with NBEO® preparation was the best thing I did in optometry school. Even though some days were harder than others, I tried to set aside 20-30 minutes every day after I was done studying or doing schoolwork. I planned out my study schedule based on my school schedule and exams a month in advance. This was key!

Once my study schedule was ready, I decided to come up with a study format that was different than what I was doing for school. Changing things up really helped me switch gears from one task to another. I even would change my study room/location based on what I was studying for. I know it sounds crazy, but that was when I found out that my study environment really impacts my recollection during exams! 

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During the last few months of the second year, I started by navigating through Optoprep to see exactly what was available. Some nights I was so exhausted, I skimmed through PowerPix. Though I was still reviewing information, this was a low-stress way to use my time effectively and efficiently without being too exhausting. It was also a change in scenery from other things I was studying at the time. On other days, I would review PowerPages.  Using the PowerPix and PowerPages helped me familiarize myself with content for later in a concise way. By no means are these resources detailed, but they really helped me with memory and recollection without burning me out.

Then I began tackling practice questions. At this point, I knew my strengths and weaknesses, so I would allocate more time and energy towards the topics that I knew I needed more practice on. This was great because I was able to select exactly the topic that I wanted to focus on and move forward when I was done. I got through a considerable amount of practice questions and explanations then decided to tackle timed exams once a week. I made sure to eliminate distractions and create board-like circumstances to make sure my timed exams were as effective as possible.

Though I used multiple resources such as lecture notes and textbooks to study for boards, Optoprep helped me manage my time in a way that was realistic for me. At the time, it seemed like there was not enough time, but that's when I realized that 30 minutes a day can make a huge difference in a matter of just a few months! 

Make your study calendar/schedule, set aside 20-30 minutes a day, and reward yourself when you’ve surpassed your goals. You will be so proud of yourself after the first few months! 

~ Dr. Amadian

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Topics: Reducing Stress, Optometry Boards, NBEO Boards

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