Hypnotherapy for Test Anxiety: the main components of test preparation

by | Feb 27, 2024

When a client is seeking hypnosis for exam preparation we usually plan for around three sessions (over a three week period) ahead of the test date. This preparation for the exam in the weeks leading up to it is about  enabling a client to focus and concentrate, and to learn and absorb the information in a calm and empowered state of mind.

Throughout my career as a hypnotherapist, I have helped many clients overcome test anxiety whether that is prepping them for the Bar exam, or, for the nursing boards or the GRE, to name just a few. And for many clients, it’s often necessary to remind them of their successes that have led them to this point. We are reinforcing their accomplishments cognitively and, we need to get clients to feel this in hypnosis; intellect opens the door, emotion turns on the light!

A few aspects to consider:

*Considering a client’s schedule: we want to get those three sessions in – weekly- before the exam. It will be helpful to put these on the calendar now

*We consider if there is anxiety about the test itself? So, when you imagine taking the test, is there anxiety?

*Have you taken the test before- and are you re-taking it- is there fear? This is often the case with clients taking the Bar exam

*How much is the anticipatory anxiety present- when you just think about it?

*We consider the order of the preparation:

We have test prep-anticipatory anxiety, desensitization, and then desensitization of the actual event. These are the main components of test preparation

Additionally, regarding test preparation for clients: It is important to put certain things on their schedule leading up to this exam:

Blocking out the days and times for study

How many hours of study? Where will you study? This is proven to be important.

*Prep: initial 1 or 2 sessions: we prep clients to learn and retain information and feel calm and comfortable while they study

*Desensitization- this is one or two sessions- desensitization of the exam- and the exam itself


Self- Confidence

 Prior to the exam prep– we work to build clients up, and get them ready to take this exam:

We are going to focus on you-and work on your self-confidence, feeling strong and recognizing your value as a person, as a mother- for example, as a woman and, an RN or as a lawyer, these are just some examples

Communication with partners and families about schedule needs: Often times we need to support Clients  to be able to communicate these schedule needs- calmly and assertively expressing and this in itself has a value

We work to have clients Feeling more empowered in terms of communication with themselves and of course this is going to allow you to be more successful in all of your communications



We have clients see themselves as an RN, or as a lawyer for example:  and really get that self-identification occurring and also work on your confidence and your ability to absorb information when you prep for the exam

*it is important to look at: How much will you be prepping for this and how will you do that: will you go to the library? Work at kitchen table? So, however you will be studying, we want to get an idea of what that looks like so I can help you with this in hypnosis


Also: laying out your schedule on a calendar/day planner

Block out those blocks of time for study in advance because consider that: there is often a lot on the line with the exam for clients


The importance of rest and sleep:

Part of the suggestions in hypnosis re: sleep will be about: writing that information to long term memory and so “as you sleep at night, you are going to absorb the information, it is written into long term memory and it is available to you whenever you need it”


Believing in yourself:

This is the bottom line- we get rid of perfectionism by building confidence

So acknowledging and feeling your accomplishments is important

We are working now on the support that comes from inside of yourself as we build you up

This is the pacing and the process: this three week preparation; it’s the time to begin projecting this success in the subconscious reconditioning and to begin seeing themselves already as the RN or as the lawyer and in that role or that job, living a life that they love.