Wednesday, June 15, 2022

A Big Day for Belladonna

Belladonna is off to take the exams she needs to gain the credentials she needs to practice her professions.

She marched out, butterflies flying in formation.

She gave herself permission to not do well, so she isn't giving herself any undue pressure. Things can happen. She could get cramps. She could draw a blank. The questions could be pointed at the minutia that she didn't study.

Her mind is clear. Her lead-up was planned and well executed. Her mental image is of riding a ferry into Mackinac Island harbor and looking down through 30 feet of crystal-clear Lake Huron water and seeing fist-sized rocks on the bottom. The information is in her head. She just needs to find it in a timely way.

The one bit of advice that she found most useful was to "Read the question and pick the answer that most directly answers it." It is irrelevant if the other answers are true if they do not address the question.


Bella called me and told me the test was automated and done on a computer, no paper involved. She showed up early and the testing center let her start a half hour before the "suggested" starting time. Bella had a moment of distress when the computer screen went blank after she finished question number 75. Then it flashed "You Passed".

Apparently if the test taker has demonstrated sufficient proficiency in all seven subject areas after ten questions each, the computer algorithm figures another 75 questions is just a waste of everybody's time.

Way different from filling out little circles with a #2 pencil and waiting eight weeks for the results.

Happy day!


  1. Best of luck to Belladonna!

    I think the most important thing is exactly the thing you posted: She gave herself permission to not do well the first time. Freeing one's self from that pressure is a gift.

  2. Concur. And best of luck to her!

  3. fantastic! Kudos to Bella for ownership of her anxiety and the cure thereof!

  4. Congratulations Bella! When you are rock solid on the subject like she is adaptive testing is nice.

    Welcome to the world of Occupational testing, where everything is pretty much pass/fail. Nobody really cares if you got 100% or .5% above the passing line.

    1. Works that way now for the professional engineering exams too. You simply pass. They do give you a score if you fail which I think is useful. Were you 0.5% short or 30%?

  5. Nursing. Yep, had the same experience 22 years ago....after 75 questions the computer screen went blank....I almost jumped up and grabbed the screen; I was so wrought with anxiety I had a migraine for 3 days after the test!

  6. That's great news about Belladonna's test. Now it's onward to the next chapter in her life. Good job!

  7. Absolutely Outstanding for Belladonna!! Congrats

    I think I was the last year to take the RN exam on paper ... the wait period was miserable.

  8. Congratulations to her!

  9. Congratulations to Belladonna. That test can be *quite* the stressor. I took the RN boards a long, long, long time ago, in a galaxy not so very far away....Well, anyhow, I put my books away the day before the exam. Went to bed early, got up early, meandered downtown, ate a leisurely breakfast, bought a paper (they still had them, back then!)

    Saw numerous folks pacing, with a Lippincott Nursing Review book in their hands. Don't think THAT was helpful.

    Oh, yes: passed first time out.

    Hope Belladonna has the smarts to NOT let the profession drag her into self sacrifice. I betcha that she does have that sort of smarts.

  10. Congratulations to the happy graduate and the proud parents.


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